Don’t take his money, St. Luke’s

Many Houston doctors are outraged that St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital is preparing to rename its medical tower, a local landmark, after controversial plaintiff’s attorney John O’Quinn (Apr. 28, 2004, etc.) in exchange for a $25 million gift. O’Quinn was the chief driver of the silicone breast implant litigation, which though decisively refuted in its major scientific contentions inflicted billions of dollars in costs on medical device providers and, not incidentally, plastic surgeons. And just this year O’Quinn’s law firm was singled out for condemnation by federal judge Janis Graham Jack in her scathing ruling on the shoddy business of mass silicosis-screening — “diagnosing for dollars”. Doctors “last week began circulating a petition against [the renaming proposal] and Monday night convened an emergency meeting of the medical executive committee….By late Monday, about 80 had signed the petition. ‘It offends us to have money we earned — and which he took by suing us — going to name after him a medical building in which we work each day,’ says the petition.” The University of Houston law school has already renamed its law library after O’Quinn, a full-length oil painting of whom looms over the students. (Todd Ackerman, “Doctors push St. Luke’s to forgo $25 million gift”, Houston Chronicle, Aug. 9). More: Kirkendall and MedPundit comment; so do GruntDoc and Michigan Medical Malpractice.

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