June 20, 2019
BANGOR DAILY NEWS (BANGOR, MAINE

Surgeon treated unfairly

I find it reprehensible that you should have carried as a news item a malpractice suit being brought against a Bangor orthopedic surgeon (BDN, Aug. 15). In this litigious age such suits, as well as many other types of claims for injuries and damages, are commonplace and would not be considered worthy of news coverage in most metropolitan dailies. In this case it shared space on the same page as foreign affairs news, covering headline events in Canada, Liberia, and South Korea.

Reporting this, and in such detail, is grossly unfair to the targeted surgeon, for it puts him in the position of being guilty until proved innocent. How many of your readers are in any position to judge the merits of such a case? Or even understand the medical terminology? In surgery there are usually alternative procedures and options, the choice of which often depends on the physical condition of the patient.

This particular surgeon is an exceptionally fine one. Of the many patients I know whom he has treated, all are unanimous in their praise of his expertise and his strong sense of concern for his patients. He has twice performed surgery on me (for unrelated conditions) and in each case diligently followed up on the procedures for many weeks afterward….

Several years ago another fine Bangor orthopedic surgeon was forced to relocate out of state when simliar adverse publicity destroyed his practice. Can we afford to lose highly skilled medical practitioners through this type of irresponsible reporting which injures their reputations and deprives members of the public from availing themselves of the greatly needed skills these dedicated individuals can provide? Elise Hawtin Northeast Harbor


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