There is another gruesome case of practicing medicine without a license in Florida where Mark D. Schreiber, 60, is accused of mutilating a patient’s penis while attempting to remove an implant from it. Schreiber crossed over from a penile implant to a penal implant after holding himself out as a doctor when he was reportedly stripped of his license years ago.
The victim, a 55-year-old hairdresser, first went to a doctor identified as Nery Carvajal Gonzalez (who is now reportedly himself a fugitive) to have a penis implant installed. The implant however began to give him trouble. Gonzalez allegedly sent him to “Dr. Mark” Schreiber. It probably should have tipped off the victim that something was not quite right when he was sent to meet Dr. Mark at a warehouse to pay him $1,000 cash to remove the implant.
The victim said that he was given five unknown pills as sedation and passed out. He said that he woke up the next day at home and found his penis covered in blood-soaked bandages. He said that he found that his member was mutilated and, according to the warrant, his “penis was now incredibly small, yet very swollen and the skin around the shaft had been removed and was raw. The victim stated that his penis had retracted so far that it protruded less than one inch from his body.”
He called “Dr. Mark” who assured him that everything was fine and that he just needed to tie some sticks to his mangled member and everything would be fine.
Schreiber then disappeared.
The man then called Gonzalez who also assured him that his penis would heal but then allegedly added a remarkable defense: He allegedly told him that “he was responsible for his own situation because of his own vanity in wanting a larger penis.”
Putting aside Gonzalez’s bizarre comparative negligence claim, there is an interesting question of whether the conduct of the victim (in seeking clearly questionable and presumably unlicensed care) would factor into the torts case.
The man reportedly has been left with a deformed penis and “has no sensation during urination and . . . is unable to engage in sexual relations and spontaneous erection is extremely painful.”
Police found and arrested Schreiber — who lost his license in 2008 — was arrested and charged with one count of unlicensed practice of health care causing serious injury.
These cases often involve both criminal and tort cases. In negligence cases, the defendant is often subject to the standard of the profession to determine culpability. Thus, if you hold yourself out as a doctor, you are subject to the standard of a reasonable doctor. Something tells me that most doctors would not meet patients in warehouses to carry out impromptu surgeries or allegedly proscribe sticks for a damaged body part.
Hopefully, the police will continue the search for Gonzalez, who may have fled the country.
Florida law specifically mentions disfigurement as a basis for a felony in the second degree for such crimes:
In addition to the administrative and civil remedies under paragraphs (b) and (c) and in addition to the criminal violations and penalties listed in the individual health care practice acts:
1. It is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, to practice, attempt to practice, or offer to practice a health care profession without an active, valid Florida license to practice that profession. Practicing without an active, valid license also includes practicing on a suspended, revoked, or void license, but does not include practicing, attempting to practice, or offering to practice with an inactive or delinquent license for a period of up to 12 months which is addressed in subparagraph 3. Applying for employment for a position that requires a license without notifying the employer that the person does not currently possess a valid, active license to practice that profession shall be deemed to be an attempt or offer to practice that health care profession without a license. Holding oneself out, regardless of the means of communication, as able to practice a health care profession or as able to provide services that require a health care license shall be deemed to be an attempt or offer to practice such profession without a license. The minimum penalty for violating this subparagraph shall be a fine of $1,000 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
2. It is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, to practice a health care profession without an active, valid Florida license to practice that profession when such practice results in serious bodily injury. For purposes of this section, “serious bodily injury” means death; brain or spinal damage; disfigurement; fracture or dislocation of bones or joints; limitation of neurological, physical, or sensory function; or any condition that required subsequent surgical repair. The minimum penalty for violating this subparagraph shall be a fine of $1,000 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year.
Kudos: Professor Roger Schechter