Doctors Death

The anthology, Dr. Death (2021), is a worthwhile view.

The first season features a dramatized biographical profile of Christopher Duntsch, who could be described as a mentally- and performance- challenged psycho. He crippled his patients with his surgeries.

Duntsch supposedly sparked the creation of an organization devoted to medical ethics, apparently to pretend they're doing something about the plague of medical malpractice. To the show's credit, it does post a slide at the end of the season, that this sort of thing will occur again, which is an oblique condemnation of the whole medical profession, an indication of systemic failure.

They were a little soft on the two doctors who reportedly took steps to stop Duntsch. They were made out to be heroes (a plot point repeated in the second season with different doctors), but there's some contention there. One has to wonder if what really happened to halt the goon, was that Duntsch offended someone high up the food chain, which seems the only time we experience any justice.

If they were such heroes, one of the "heroes" wouldn't have just stood there while Duntsch pulverized one person's spine. Some events were fictionalized in the televised program, dramatized for the sake of the story. However, Duntsch's lunacy was all true, except played down!

It's not hard to spot a reason why they don't step in to excise these malpractioners, though. Suppose the hospitals that hosted Duntsch were to suddenly discover their ethics, and expose the fraud. Well, then they'd be opening themselves up to lawsuits, of course. Yet no one thinks to tackle a problem like this (a true "systemic" problem) and seek a solution. Isn't that the proper role for some government bureau?

The show didn't mention that Duntsch made up lies about being a scientist as well. He was supposedly some sort of innovator, but in fact merely took credit for the work of a married couple, Russian scientists, and patented their ideas for himself.

A bit of research finds that the guy self-indicts, publicly. Here's a taste of his interactions on a website comment section, as entertaining as the TV show. In the better bits, we have Duntsch dissembling and twisting and turning like a worm on the hook. (Not edited for his spelling or grammar.)

Here's one where he attempts deflection.

1 Dr. Hoyle walked into the OR, went strait to my nurse, hit her on the bottom, and literally groped her in front of all. She laughed it of given he is 80. But I do stand for such conduct.,

2 Is it possible that you really do not know that I did the exposure with Dr. Hoyle not you, do you even know that he admitted not exposing in 30 years, but thought he could do it if I helped. In my program we expose all the time. However, once exposed, do you know what he did. He could fit the bookwaiter as he preferred, so he fixed this problem by extending the incision by 6 inches. Did you see the patients excision. It is 14 inches. Have you ever seen such a thing, I was horrified.

Then threats (this against "Blake," who said Dr. D was a bully in school).

Blake I would slow down if I were you. You are moving into dangerous ground. What you are posting is not even relevant, much even ok in this venue. You do know me, I don't know you beyond that we went to high school. What your are posting is libel and slander and you are liable for each statement. Despite the tone of this post, you are the only person acting in a manner that is without explanation. And you are making a very sad and serious situation worse by introducing these posts. You have every right to your opinion. You have every right to an opinion. You have know right to act in this way. If you think your behavior is ok, I will make point to you in civil court litigation. That is a promise. You are acting as if you have mental instability.

Then, he finally concocted a wild excuse for robbing Walmart, around the time he really started to melt down.

It was the next the day the most important business of my life over 25 years in medicine, neurosurgery, academics, biotechnology, and teaching, was scheduled to come to a foregone conclusion based on my actions and abilities to do well and to take care of what really mattered to me in life at that point. So ... without a thought about it, on the way to the hotel before a series of meetings, I found myself again, without clothes but what I was wearing, personal effects, and whatever else I needed. Again, without a thought, I went to the same Walmart. Again, without a thought, I obtained a large wire transfer from my business team. Again, I spent 60 min shopping in hurry to get done, to the hotel, changed, and back to work. Again, I spent a lot of money for walmart, replacing what was stolen 9 day before when I was assaulted and hospitilized, the same shirts, ties, toothbrushes. And to my surprise, again, I found myself approached by security guards who admitted they watched me come in shop, and leave. They asked for a receipt, and took 30 minutes, with my purchases and the reciept. Then, one noticed a drink in the cart, and not listed on the reciept, and they went right back the place I was yesterday. Trying to state I stole a drink. Then I found the receipt for it, that I got when I first came. And laughed at the fact that even I could see the irony of the same everything the next day. Then one checked a pocket, and found some chewing gum, Again they said I took the gum and proceeded prevent my departure. I told them it was on the receipt, it was not. Then I checked every where, it could not be found. Then I told them where I bought it from, and who. 10 min later I walked out the door thanking God for being able to walk out the door. It just so happens, that the checkout guy did not see the gum. And I noticed and gave it to him. He rang it up separately. And apparently did not give me a reciept for the 47 cents purchase. He did remember me. Because in line in front of me were two young with a lot of teen sport gear. So excited and talking about the day they were spending with their sons playing sports. But they did not have enough money to pay for it. Without a thought seeing two great dads so excited then so devastated. I took out my wallet and paid the rest. I was glad to, and I was embarrased to see two young men so grateful for my kindness. Then I paid and left. This checkout guy remembered this, me, the gum, and personally requested the manager pull the computer reciept, and personally came back to where I was and stated plainly ... "Yes he did pay for the hundreds of dollars of items here, and yes he did then purchase 47 cents of gum"...

Is he, or any of his ilk, really "insane," when everything he does manages to be self-serving?

Some of this has to fall on the gullible public. Anyone with a head on their shoulders could tell this guy was a flake and a dingbat right off the bat, just based on his manner and line of spouted BS.

Then you read his comments, and encounter a liar, and a dope, to boot. Just recalls the old maxim, "do your due diligence, people."

It was a bit jarring to read some details about companies that provide "self-help." A worker in this field explained that broke suckers line up for these get-rich schemes, begging for more, shelling out their last few bucks for a batch of faithless promises, while their families go hungry. That reminds of how, a few years back, they flaunted that "self-help" book, The Secret, a repackaging of a much older book that had gone out of copyright. Bitcoin is an example of a similar grift.

And it's almost the same when people lined up to be mutilated by this turd, Duntsch. Note that choosing him was partly the result of their own insanity being reflected back at them. So, it's not so much that Duntsch is nutty, but more his gullible followers, who had every opportunity, by inspection, to see what Duntsch really was. That's why we can't be completely sympathetic for the victims.

Then there's the Italian quack.

The second season of Dr. Death, examined Paolo Macchiarini, another so-called doctor serving time for his fraud. This one was actually a competent surgeon, however, at least in the sense of not botching the chopping and carving aspects of his operations.

Science Fiction gets short shrift, and that's by design, because so much of what they present as reality is sci-fi. For example, Macchiarini had his plastic trachea, basically a Y-junction coupling that looks like something you might pick up in the plumbing department of the hardware store, which he flogged as something to replace the real thing. Then the voodoo/sci-fi came into play. He was using "stem cells" to "seed" the plastic so it passed off as authentic in the patient. And it worked, "Like magic." Well of course it was all gobbledy-gook, it didn't integrate, and the patient rotted around it.

In fact, this is how the world works in a more general sense, if you want to become rich, and if you're a good "sci-fi writer," and can concoct a good tale, whether it be bitcoin, quantum computing, health, A.I., or what have you. Ideally, you have something that sounds like it makes good sense. Like the fake tracheas with "stem cells" that grow and mimic the patient's real cells to prevent rejection. It sounds really good. In fact, we were seeded with the idea, beforehand, since they've been hyping this "stem cell" BS for years now.

In sum, this series is notable for its indictment of the administrators and fellow physicians that either shielded those goons or didn't stop them when they should have.

There are valuable lessons here: when it comes to desperate, scared people, reason goes out the window. Same deal when there is the chance of raking in a big profit. And, like "Bones" McCoy said in Star Trek, they're not doctors, but butchers in this era of medicine.

Dr. Death is well worth a watch, though one might want to jog up the playback speed a bit, since it is somewhat drawn out.


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