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Seattle doctor arrested in forgery case

Officials say he traded prescriptions for sex

A 72-year-old noted Seattle doctor has been arrested and his license to practice medicine suspended during an investigation of prescription drug forgery, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The state Department of Health has ordered the doctor, Leonard D. Hudson, to stop practicing medicine immediately.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Hudson has offices at Harborview Medical Center and has privileges at the University of Washington Medical Center. He was president of the American Lung Association of Washington and a noted pulmonary physician.

Officers arrested him as he was doing rounds Tuesday morning, and he was booked into the King County Jail.

Sheriff’s detectives say Hudson committed 34 counts of prescription forgery related to prescriptions he wrote in return for sexual contact with a woman who was not a patient. The prescriptions for Xanax, OxyContin and Percocet were then filled at various local pharmacies. Hudson hasn’t been charged, according to the King County prosecutor’s office.

The 22-year-old woman also faces charges, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

According to the Health Department, Hudson paid money and wrote the prescriptions in return for sexual favors over a five-month period with a woman who suffered from severe addiction to prescription medication.

In March, the woman had to be hospitalized after suffering an overdose. Hudson continued to prescribe drugs even after he was told of concerns about her substance abuse, according to the Health Department.

According to the Health Department, the doctor met the woman several times through an online escort service where she advertised sex for money. The woman requested narcotic prescriptions for payment.

The department also said Hudson wrote a prescription in the name of the woman’s friend, who wasn’t his patient, so the purchase would be covered by the friend’s insurance. The friend’s parents notified police when they noticed the insurance charge.

According to the University of Washington, the doctor was the former head of the division of pulmonary and critical-care medicine and received an award in 2009 from the American Thoracic Society and the American Lung Association. It honored him for his contributions to research, training of pulmonary and critical-care physicians and care for his patients.

He received a distinguished alumnus award from the UW in 1998.

He received his medical degree from the UW, returned there for his residency and was chief medical resident at Harborview. He joined the UW faculty in 1973 and in 1979 became the first appointee to the endowed chair in pulmonary disease research.

Hudson has 20 days to respond to the Health Department charges and request a hearing.