Vegas Doctor Reinstated
A Las Vegas doctor with a history of inappropriate behavior related to his medical practice and several arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) is being permitted to practice in the state again, under certain restrictions.
Anesthesiologist Ronald Foote Hope, a specialist in pain management, is a defendant in a malpractice lawsuit in Clark County District Court where he is accused of writing prescriptions for addictive pharmaceuticals in exchange for sex.
According to public documents from the court, the female plaintiff says she visited Foote in 2012 to seek treatment for anxiety and mild lower back pain. The plaintiff claims that Foote fondled her buttocks while telling her she was attractive, offered to prescribe medications if she would have sex with him, then prescribed Xanax and Oxycodone to the plaintiff without first conducting a thorough examination and an in-depth review of her medical history.
The plaintiff also claims that Foote later offered her $10,000 to deny that she had ever had sex with him, and that his actions and statements caused her to be afraid for her life.
A jury trial in the case is slated for September 26th.
Other Complaints Revealed
During a meeting with the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners on Friday, June 3rd, during which Foote asked the board to lift the temporary restriction of his license to practice medicine resulting from the malpractice lawsuit and his DUI arrests, board members heard evidence of repeated unethical behavior.
A report provided by a Los Angeles addiction recovery center alleged that Foote had engaged in 17 incidents of inappropriate sexual behavior during the course of his work with the organization. Foote defended himself by saying that the incidents were a misunderstanding based on a conversation with the individual who investigated the complaints and compiled the report. He also said he had undergone two polygraph tests related to his alleged misconduct, and that he had passed one but failed the other.
A History of Impaired Driving
The board also heard details of Foote’s arrests for driving under the influence. In 2014 he was arrested for drinking and driving, and records show that incident was the fifth time he had been cited for the offense. Foote’s medical license was suspended shortly after the arrest in the wake of several complaints to the board.
In 2004, after leaving the scene of an accident he was involved in, Foote was arrested and taken to University Medical Center. Police officers said he smelled strongly of alcohol, and while at the hospital Foote squeezed the crotch of a male nurse, and stated to hospital personnel that he would refuse to treat the officer who arrested him if he were ever in need of a life-saving procedure.
Foote stated that he had entered a recovery center after his arrest in 2014, and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings where he serves as a mentor to new members. “I have made a very strong effort to have as strong a recovery from alcoholism as possible, and I’d like to remind the board that unfortunately I have this disease. I daily do things to maintain my recovery and prevent myself from going to an active phase of the disease,” Foote told the board on Friday.
Board Lifts License Suspension
Though some members of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners voiced concerns over allowing Foote to continue to practice medicine in the state, the board’s legal advisors noted that Foote could choose to hold a formal hearing which could result in the lifting of the suspension with no restrictions, and that it would be difficult to prove that he was an immediate danger to his patients.
Foote was directed to complete a treatment program for alcoholism that he had already been enrolled in, received a reprimand from the board, and was ordered to pay $10,000 in administrative fees.
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