September 26, 2007 in City

Doctor’s license on hold after deaths

By The Spokesman-Review

A Moses Lake doctor’s license has been suspended after he allegedly overprescribed medications, contributing to the deaths of six patients.

David T. Earl, an internal medicine doctor, put some of his patients in danger by giving them too much medication and not informing them of the drugs’ side effects or risks, the Washington State Department of Health says.

Several of his patients died of drug-related causes.

“We get like 120 cases a month,” said Erin Obenland, disciplinary manager at the department. “Anything we get about patient death we take pretty seriously.”

Earl, who is in his mid-40s and got his Washington physician’s license in 1991, has less than three weeks to respond to the charges.

DOH documents include a case in which Earl overprescribed painkillers and anti-depressants to an undercover agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Obenland said she had not heard of any criminal charges pending against Earl.

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