NSW Attorney-General insults police and victims of criminal doctor

Sunday, 29 December 2013

SYDNEY:  NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, the Hon Greg Smith, SC MP, today insulted the NSW Police Force investigation by saying ‘there’s insufficient evidence to pursue additional charges against former obstetrician and gynaecologist Graeme REEVES who was convicted of assaulting his patients’.

“He would say that, wouldn’t he?” said Lorraine Long spokeswoman for Medical Error Action Group.

“How come Attorney Greg Smith is spruiking this line that it’s a lack of evidence that’s the problem?”

“It is all about State government budget cuts in the DPP and nothing to do with weakness in the brief of evidence.  It’s an insult to the victims alive and dead”, Miss Long said.

“This is not just one or two offences; it’s a multitude relating to just one doctor.  Police clearly believe there’s a solid case against Reeves on these outstanding charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm, common assault, and grievous bodily harm many times over.”

Evidence Medical Error Action Group had gathered for years and presented to police was examined and investigated by them and it was the NSW Police Force “Sex Crimes Squad” that compiled the brief that was given to the DPP.

“It must be pretty galling that an action group, with extremely limited resources, can expose the facts and people involved, yet the NSW Government, with all the power, resources and expertise at its disposal, seemingly cannot.”  “It is to them we look for the administration of justice”, Miss Long said.

Graeme Stephen Reeves wasn’t dubbed “the Butcher of Baulkham Hills and Bega” for no reason.  The depth of his crimes and depravities has not been before the courts to be aired.

The Attorney’s comments confirm that the Reeves scandal has been unimportant to the NSW Government since it came to office in 2011.  The Minister for Health Jillian Skinner, and the Minister for Disabilities Services and Member for Bega, Andrew Constance, have been ‘missing in action’.

Minister Skinner, and Minister Constance have ignored correspondence Medical Error Action Group has sent to them over the past 2½ years pertaining to Reeves matters and compensation for Reeves’ victims.  “None of those letters have been acknowledged, or responded to”, said Miss Long.

“Whilst in Opposition, Jillian Skinner misled Parliament on 5 March 2008 [see Hansard: ‘Skinner Wed 5 Mar 2008 at 15:10 hours’] by denying she knew about Reeves earlier and did nothing, which explains why she hasn’t wanted to “revisit” any matters Reeves since”, Miss Long said.  “But that’s not good enough as the majority of Reeves’ victims ended up with zilch, i.e. no compensation whatsoever”, Long further added.  “The sums some received were insultingly paltry.”

Both Skinner and Andrew Constance knew about Reeves’ malpractice in April 2006 and allegedly July 2007 respectively, yet neither went to police nor raised Reeves’ malpractice with any Minister for Health.  Now Constance wants the DPP to ‘review its decision’.

“Look what happened in the UK when regulatory authorities failed to take action against Dr Harold Shipman.  He was allowed to harm and kill hundreds of patients at least before he was dealt with”, Miss Long said.

“Members of Parliament contact Medical Error Action Group with curious frequency when they’re off to hospital to make sure they don’t encounter a rogue surgeon”, Miss Long said, “but may this latest inaction serve as a warning to all MPs and the DPP that by allowing doctors to get away with their misdeeds gives them licence to not change their medical practising habits.” 

“Reeves’ patients have already been let down by the government and the medical regulatory authorities, now by the DPP.  Where do trusting patients ending up harmed by a rogue doctor turn to now?” Miss Long said.

Butcher of Bega “released” from his crimes

Former doctor Graeme Reeves “released” from his crimes

Friday, 27 December 2013

SYDNEY:  Victims of the disgraced ‘Butcher of Bega’, Graeme Stephen REEVES, have angrily attacked the decision by the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to abandon 61 pending criminal charges against the former obstetrician and gynaecologist, who was found guilty of maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm and financial deception in 2011.  Medical Error Action Group spokeswoman Lorraine Long said that because of the DPP’s outrageous decision it is very likely that the “Butcher of Baulkham Hills and Bega” will walk free from his NSW jail in coming days.

Miss Long said a massive NSW Police Force “Strike Force Tarella”, costing taxpayers millions of dollars, put a brief containing 17 criminal charges to the DPP in September 2008 and a further 52 charges in December 2009.  Sixty-nine charges were formally laid against Reeves but 61 have lain dormant in the court system for years without any action from the DPP.   Miss Long said that shortly before Christmas she learned that not only would all the pending criminal charges laid against Reeves be dropped but that Reeves would soon be released from prison after having served his sentence for the only four offences on which he has stood trial and been convicted.

“What are the victims of criminally incompetent doctors in our medical system meant to conclude from this decision?  That there’s one law for doctors and another for any other type of criminal?  I challenge the DPP to publicly explain why they have made this decision to abandon all outstanding charges.   Nothing has changed in the evidence since brave women and bereaved families came forward to help police investigate one of the most appalling criminals in New South Wales medical history”, Miss Long said.

Today Miss Long accused the NSW Government of slashing the DPP’s budget so severely that prosecutors had been forced to abandon one of the most high-profile prosecutions of a doctor in recent decades.  Interested journalists had approached police and the DPP in the past year to try to get answers on why the remaining charges had not been proceeded with; no answer was ever given.

“There is now a price on justice because of budget cuts to the Prosecution service in New South Wales.  The DPP clearly believed there was sufficient evidence when police laid the original 17 charges that Reeves stood a reasonable chance of conviction if and when the cases came to trial.”

“There is no valid evidential reason why these charges are being abandoned – just a cold, cynical, decision by the DPP.  Nothing has changed with this evidence of clear criminal conduct.  The women who were raped, who were physically abused and damaged, rendered infertile, genitally mutilated, and who lost their babies to this man will never have the opportunity to see justice done in the New South Wales courts.   I ask why?” 

Miss Long was especially critical of what she described as the cynical decision by the DPP to quietly drop all charges against Reeves during the holiday season – clearly in the hope that the bad news story would be missed by the media and the public.

“My organisation has spent the past 19½ years fighting the cosy relationship between the legal profession and the medical profession.  Too often doctors have been treated excessively leniently by the Health Department, the oversight bodies such as health complaints commissions, Medical Boards and professional registration bodies such as the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.   The Reeves case was an enormously symbolic step forward for New South Wales.  Evidence Medical Error Action Group provided to police was of a shocking pattern of criminal assaults, cover-ups and failures inside the health system”, Lorraine Long said.

Miss Long said there was still a question mark over the case of the late Mrs Kerry McAllister, whom a NSW Coroner found in February 2013 had died in 1996 because of Reeves’ gross negligence.  The Coroner’s Court heard that Reeves failed completely to respond adequately to Mrs McAllister’s post-natal infection after she gave birth to her third son in The Hills Private Hospital, Baulkham Hills.  The evidence in the case raised the strong possibility that Reeves should be charged with manslaughter because of his refusal to assist Mrs McAllister despite the multiple concerns of hospital staff.

The victims Reeves harmed and the bereaved families of victims he killed suffer for the rest of their lives with inexplicable injustice by the perpetrator getting off so lightly and getting away with his long-running pattern of depravities and criminal behaviour.

“I hope that someone the NSW Government or the DPP loves never has to suffer in a New South Wales hospital because of the decision that the DPP has made today”, Lorraine Long said.  “This decision to abandon charges against a notorious recidivist offender in the health system sends a terrible message to the medical professionals out there who take similar licence with their patients.”


Canberra: Butcher of Bega Reeves can appeal against mutilation sentence

Former obstetrician and gynaecologist Graeme Stephen REEVES, who was convicted for maliciously inflicting grievous bodily harm on one of his patients by removing her clitoris, has an appeal against his sentence upheld.

REEVES, 63, was sentenced to three and a half years jail after being found guilty of removing a woman’s vulva, labia and clitoris without her consent during an operation in Bega, southern country town of New South Wales, in August 2002.

He was also found guilty of indecently assaulting two others and sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

On appeal by the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions, his sentence was increased by 18 months.

REEVES appealed against the conviction and sentence to the High Court of Australia, Canberra.

Today the court unanimously dismissed his appeal against his conviction but upheld his appeal against his sentence and referred it to the Criminal Court of Appeal.

In the judgment it says the appeal court did not consider REEVES’ deteriorating health and that his non-parole period was about to expire.

MEAG COMMENT:  Who cares about HIS health!  What about the victims he butchered for years?  Take note all his legal defences and applications to appeal have been funded by Legal Aid, i.e. the taxpayer.  Outrageous considering his victims could not obtain Legal Aid to sue him for malpractice.

Marseille: PIP breast implants founder Jean-Claude Mas jailed

It was one of the biggest trials in French legal history.  The boss of a French company which distributed defective breast implants around the world has been sentenced to four years in prison for fraud.

Jean-Claude MAS, the founder of the PIP company, was also fined 75,000 euros (£63,000) by a court in Marseille.

The company’s sale of faulty implants caused a global health scare with an estimated 300,000 women in 65 countries affected.

The company used sub-standard silicone gel, causing many implants to rupture.

Four other former PIP executives were also convicted and given lesser sentences.

About 300,000 women in 65 countries are believed to have received PIP implants.  Europe was a major market but more than half went to Latin America.  They were not sold in the United States.  42,000 British, 30,000 French, 25,000 Brazilian, 15,000 Colombian and 16,000 Venezuelan women received PIP implants.

With more than 5,000 women registered as plaintiffs in the case, the trial was considered one of the biggest in French legal history.

The health scare came to public attention in 2011 when the French government recommended that women have PIP implants removed due to an abnormally high rupture rate.

There was confusion as British health authorities said there was no need for routine removal – though they later agreed to replace the implants to put women’s minds at rest.

The issue of whether the sub-standard silicone used in the implants posed any danger was not resolved by the trial, AFP news agency notes.

MAS, 74, showed no sign of emotion as sentence was passed. His defence lawyer, Yves Haddad, said he planned to appeal.

He and the others had all admitted to fraud.

PIP’s director-general was sentenced to three years in prison, two of which were suspended.

The company’s head of quality control received two years, one of them suspended, and the head of research and development was sentenced to 18 months, suspended.

Throughout the trial, MAS had denied the silicone used was harmful while all but one of the other defendants said they had not been aware of the risks.

When an implant ruptures, the silicone gel filling can leak into the body. Some women will not notice anything at all, and there is no evidence of an increased cancer risk.

However, it can result in the formation of scar tissue that can change the shape and feel of the breast. The gel can be an irritant, causing pain and inflammation. It can also be more difficult to remove an implant once it has ruptured.

France’s Health Products Agency (ANSM) has to date registered more than 7,500 implant ruptures and 3,000 cases of undesirable effects, mainly inflammations, among the 30,000 women using PIP products in France.

In a report released in June, the ANSM noted: “Taking into account the known under-reporting of medical device incidents, the number of women actually explanted may be greater than the number of cases reported to the agency.”

Isabelle Traeger, who received a PIP implant and attended the trial, said earlier that four years would be too little for what Mas had done.

“They explained what was in them [the implants],” she told Reuters news agency.

“Inflammable substances, substances to make your car work, and that at a certain point they said to the engineer who made them, ‘How did you make them?  How did you mix together these substances?’  And he said, ‘You use your best guess’.

“And then they asked him, ‘Could you repeat what you just said?’.  ‘You use your best guess’.  Which explains why there were women in the room who had been much more seriously affected, as well as others who actually are coping quite well.

“Can you imagine? It’s a matter of chance.  A dollop more, a bit more, a bit less.  And he’ll get four years for that?  For what is put in your body using one’s best guess.  We don’t even give horses their food according to a ‘best guess’.”


Minnesota: Doctor’s killer ‘hostile’ over mother’s medical treatment

Minneapolis MN:  The 30-year-old lawyer suspected of killing prominent Orono, MN, physician Dr. Stephen LARSON, 74, had expressed hostility toward LARSON because of how he believed the doctor had treated his mother in an undisclosed medical situation, police said Monday.

Ted C. HOFFSTROM of St. Anthony MN, confronted Orono police outside the 74-year-old OBGYN doctor’s home with a semi-automatic handgun Friday night. “Diligent attempts to negotiate” with HOFFSTROM failed and he was shot and killed, authorities said.   Dr LARSON was then found dead inside the house, shot with the gun HOFFSTROM had wielded, ballistics tests would show.

“This is a tragedy of epic proportions for both families involved, as well as the community of Orono,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said Monday afternoon at a news conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Sheriff Stanek told reporters that HOFFSTROM’s motive is still unclear.  However, HOFFSTROM had allegedly expressed hostility toward LARSON’s family because of how the doctor had treated HOFFSTROM’s delivery when he was born 30 years ago.  It is believed HOFFSTROM blamed Dr LARSON for a birth defect that left him with limited hand mobility.

Just before 21:00 Friday, Orono officers responded to a call about trouble at Dr LARSON’s house on Heritage Lane.  LARSON had been on the phone with someone who heard him answer the door and heard startling noises.  When Dr LARSON didn’t return to the phone, the person he had been talking to called police, Stanek said.  “We know who committed this murder, yet many unanswered questions remain,” Stanek said.  “Orono is a safe community, and there is no threat to the public at this time,” Deputy Chief Chris Fischer said.

Dr LARSON, who founded a medical group in Edina and Burnsville, was a well-known expert on pelvic surgery and a former adjunct professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Women’s Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

State records show that Dr LARSON was reprimanded in unrelated instances twice in his 40-year career as a licensed physician, in 1990 and 1996.  He was fined $1,000 in each case, and no corrective action was required.  According to State birth records, Dr LARSON was not the primary doctor at Mr HOFFSTROM’s delivery in 1983.

‘Doesn’t make any sense’

For some who knew Mr HOFFSTROM, his death and suspected involvement in Dr LARSON’s death came as a complete shock.

HOFFSTROM graduated from the University of St. Thomas law school in 2009 and was sworn in to the bar last month.  An online résumé listed brief stints as an intern for state Sen. Chuck Wiger in 2006 and for two Hennepin County District Court judges in 2008.  He also spent his summers for 12 years working at Gross Golf Club in Minneapolis.  He had a virtually spotless record, and a friendly demeanor, friends say.

“He was one of the best guys I’ve ever known,” said Nick Houwman, a high school friend who had seen HOFFSTROM three weeks ago after he was sworn in to the bar on Oct. 25.  “This doesn’t make any sense.”  Another friend, Chris Miller, stayed in touch with HOFFSTROM after they studied journalism at the University of Minnesota.  “That’s not the Ted HOFFSTROM I know,” he said of the shooting, “it’s shocking”.

Work-related violence is not unknown to the nation’s doctors.  An average of five physicians and 20 health care providers die each year in the United States as a result of assaults or other workplace violence, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports dating back to 2003.

That tally, however, does not include killings outside the workplace and would not have counted LARSON’s death.

Police said Ted HOFFSTROM was upset at how he believed Dr Stephen LARSON treated his mother’s medical condition.  He was denied his hospital medical records but according to State birth records, Dr LARSON was not the primary doctor at Mr HOFFSTROM’s delivery in 1983.

New Hampshire: Hepatitis infector gets 39-year jail sentence

A US medical technician who stole painkillers and infected dozens of patients in multiple US states with hepatitis C through tainted syringes has been sentenced to 39 years in prison.

“I don’t blame the families for hating me,” David KWIATKOWSKI said on Monday after hearing about 20 statements from people he infected and their relatives.  “I hate myself.”

KWIATKOWSKI, 34 was a cardiac technologist in 18 hospitals in 7 states before being hired at New Hampshire’s Exeter Hospital in 2011.  He had moved from job to job despite being fired at least four times over allegations of drug use and theft.  Since his arrest last year, 46 people have been diagnosed with the same strain of hepatitis C he carries.

US Attorney John Kacavas said the sentence “ensures that this serial infector no longer is in a position to do harm to innocent and vulnerable people”.

KWIATKOWSKI admitted stealing painkillers and replacing them with saline-filled syringes tainted with his blood.  He pleaded guilty in August to 16 federal drug charges.

Before he was sentenced, KWIATKOWSKI stood and faced his victims, saying he was very sorry and that his crimes were caused by an addiction to painkillers and alcohol.  He told investigators he had been stealing drugs since at least 2003 and swapping syringes since at least 2008.

“There’s no excuse for what I’ve done,” he said.  “I know the pain and suffering I have caused.”

The victims spoke angrily and tearfully of the pain that KWIATKOWSKI had inflicted by giving them hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can cause liver disease and chronic health problems.  Authorities say the disease played a role in one woman’s death.


Melbourne: Thalidomide victims receive landmark payment

VICTIMS of thalidomide have won an $89 million settlement from the drug’s distributor, but their lawyers say the drug’s manufacturer behaved appallingly in not paying compensation.

More than 100 Australian and New Zealand victims, many of whom were born with missing or shortened limbs, will be compensated under the landmark settlement, announced to the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday.  The $89 million will be paid by the drug’s distributor DIAGEO, with thalidomide’s manufacturer GRUNENTHAL not included in the settlement.

A class action against GRUNENTHAL will no longer proceed.  Lawyers for the victims say GRUNENTHAL’s conduct has been appalling.

“Every single Australian thalidomider was injured by a drug made by GRUNENTHAL in Germany,” lawyer for the victims said.  “Despite that, GRUNENTHAL still will not pay a cent to its Australian and New Zealand victims.

“Fifty years on, GRUNENTHAL will still not `fess up to its shameful behaviour in relation to that drug.”  “The result we have achieved today is a vindication of their courage and it is a vindication of the proposition that right around the world there are people like them who have missed out and whose time has come,” the lawyer said.  A lawyer for the victims said in some ways he regretted that the settlement meant they could take no further action against GRUNENTHAL in this country but voiced hopes it will pay its dues elsewhere in the world.  “We think time is running out on GRUNENTHAL, and before too long its sorry secrets and its embarrassing and shameful conduct in relation to the drug will be exposed,” he said.

The settlement comes after DIAGEO last year reached a multi-million-dollar settlement with prominent thalidomide victim Lynette Rowe, who was born with no limbs, was in court for Monday’s announcement.

The drug was distributed in Australia and New Zealand around 1960 and 1961 by DISTILLERS, which became part of DIAGEO in 1997.

GRUNENTHAL apologised for thalidomide for the first time in August last year.  The settlement is subject to final court approval in February, with victims likely to receive payments as early as March 2014.


London: Surgeon jailed for manslaughter for being ‘too laid back’

Senior surgeon David SELLU, 66, was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter over the death of father-of-six James Hughes.  SELLU has been jailed for two-and-a-half-years after being criticized for being “far too laid back” as a patient died at his private hospital.  Mr Hughes, also 66, died at the Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow, north west London, on February 14, 2010 after falling unexpectedly ill following knee surgery.

His wife, Ann, described the suffering experienced by their family in a victim impact statement read to the court.  She said: “For three years we have struggled to discover and then accept the truth of what happened to Jim.  The world does not stand still but for us we have been subjected to a tortuous purgatory that can only be brought to an end by truth and justice.  Our trust in normal processes, authorities and structures of society was shattered by the inexplicable, callous and deceitful actions of the medical profession entrusted with the most basic responsibility to protect human life.”

Mr Hughes, a retired builder, had a planned left knee replacement on February 5, 2010.  The operation went well but while recovering from surgery he developed abdominal pain and was transferred to the care of SELLU, who had been a doctor for four decades.  He suspected that there had been a rupture in Mr Hughes’ bowel – a potentially life-threatening condition that requires surgery – but the surgeon ignored the urgency that the case demanded.  After being in pain for around 40 hours, Mr Hughes was sent to the operating theatre at 9pm on February 12. But by this point the situation had deteriorated so badly that intensive care specialists had to work to stabilise Mr Hughes before SELLU could operate on his bowel.  Four hours later, at 0100 hours, SELLU was eventually able to operate, but Mr Hughes died the following day.

Frances Hughes, one of the victim’s daughters, said outside court: “For three years we have all struggled to discover and then accept what happened to dad.  As a family we are grateful that a light has now been shone on the truth. We hope now it is less likely another person will suffer like he did.”

Judge Mr Justice Nicol said SELLU “was simply far too laid back for someone with a suspected perforated bowel”.  He went on: “This was not a single isolated act of negligence.  There were several.  Nor were they committed in the pressured circumstances of an acute NHS hospital where the stress of dealing with very many patients in an emergency condition can be particularly challenging.”

The judge told SELLU that “several failures” in his care meant his “culpability is high” and “that negligence contributed significantly to the death of Mr Hughes”.

Prosecutor Bobbie Cheema QC said: “That death was avoidable.  Had (SELLU) operated the night before or even earlier on February 12, Mr Hughes would have had a very good chance of survival.  Dr SELLU’s care of this patient on this occasion fell very far below an acceptable standard.  There was a series of missed opportunities and serious errors in judgment in the care of this patient and they combined to cause Mr Hughes’ death.  The standard of care was exceptionally bad.”

SELLU, who gave no reaction as he was jailed, was told he will serve half his sentence in custody.

Doctors and nurses “warned” still at work

MELBOURNE:  There are 500 doctors, nurses and other health specialists working in Victorian hospitals and clinics with a black mark on their registration due to addictions, poor performance or conduct risking patient safety.

The group has been allowed to continue treating patients – with those suffering “health” problems having their issues hidden from the public – after medical boards imposed the safety measures through their disciplinary processes.

The extent of restricted health workers can be revealed for the first time by the Herald Sun, with details from the health watchdog showing there are 3000 across Australia working with conditions and undertakings on their registration, due to concerns about their conduct, behaviour and abilities.

With 590,000 registered health professionals working across the country, Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency  (AHPRA) spokeswoman Nicole Newton said fewer than half a per cent required limitations on their registration, with doctors accounting for less than one in six.

“The boards take their job seriously and are not willing to take risks with patient safety,” Ms Newton said.

“Restrictions are designed to keep the public safe.

“If there is a serious risk to health and safety, the boards can suspend registration and stop someone working altogether while they investigate.”

But patient advocates and lawyers have ­accused medical boards of being too soft.

Medical Error Action Group spokeswoman Lorraine Long said patients should not have to put their lives in the hands of anyone facing issues serious enough to warrant registration conditions.

“I don’t believe they should be allowed to practise at all while they have any impairment, because they are dealing with human life”, Ms Long said.

“People go to doctors and get looked after by nurses with 100 per cent trust, and a lot of times that trust is not returned.

“If you go to a pediatrician you would want to know if they are under a condition because they are being investigated by police for child abuse, but the public are none the wiser.”

The restrictions cover 14 professions, including doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and psychologists and relate only to serious conduct and behavioural issues, not routine regulation training or qualification processes.

Read more of GRANT McARTHUR’s story in The Australian 3 November 2013 at:

Warned doctors, nurses and health workers still at work


Practitioners repeatedly brought to the attention of Victorian medical boards:

JAILED for 14 years after pleading guilty to negligently infecting 55 women with hepatitis C while treating them at an abortion clinic.

SUSPENDED in 2008 after he paid a female patient $50 for oral sex in his consultation room in 2004. He was also suspended for 15 months in 2001 after the board found he engaged in sexual relationships with two vulnerable patients.  He was reprimanded in 2006 after telling a female patient, “Holy mackerel, you’re small”, during a Pap smear test. He was granted his registration back this year.

REGISTRATION cancelled for one year in July after he was found guilty of serious misconduct for prescribing addictive drugs to heroin-addicted patients, including more than 25,000 Xanax tablets and 9000 Valium.

THE high-profile cosmetic surgeon agreed to surrender her registration after continuing to treat patients during a 10-year legal battle with authorities over claims of botched facial treatments.  She can still practise non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Las Vegas: Life sentence for largest US hepatitis C outbreak

Former Las Vegas endoscopy clinic owner, Dr Dipak DESAI, 63, has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 18 years, following his criminal convictions in what is believed to be the largest hepatitis C outbreak in the USA.

Clark County District Judge Valerie Adair sentenced DESAI yesterday.  The former state medical board member was found guilty in July of 27 criminal charges, including second-degree murder, in a viral outbreak in 2007 that officials traced to his clinics.  DESAI was convicted in the death of 77-year-old Rodolfo Meana in April 2012, and authorities have since reported the death of a second infected person in the case.  Michael Washington, 73, died on 23 August in Dallas TX of complications from the disease. Prosecutors haven’t decided whether to press additional murder charges, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

DESAI had created a penny-pinching work environment at the Endoscopy Clinic of Southern Nevada, emphasising profits over patient safety and leading to unsafe clinic and injection practices that spread the virus.  The outbreak was believed to be the nation’s largest when it became public in February 2008.

The Southern Nevada Health District notified 63,000 former clinic patients to get tested for potentially fatal blood-borne diseases, including hepatitis and HIV.  Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta later determined nine people had contracted hepatitis C at two DESAI clinics.  Authorities later said hepatitis C infections of another 105 patients might have been related.