The Medical Quality Assurance Commission said Dr. Johnny Delashaw had intimidated subordinates and put patient care at risk.
A Washington state panel has suspended the medical license of Dr. Johnny Delashaw, a prominent surgeon who was recently featured in a Seattle Times investigation about Swedish Health’s neuroscience unit.
The Medical Quality Assurance Commission wrote in documents dated May 5 that the immediate suspension of Delashaw’s license was warranted because “of an immediate threat to the public health and safety.” Delashaw has 20 days to respond to the charges and request a hearing, officials said, and he cannot practice in the state until the charges are resolved.
Delashaw attorney Carol Sue Janes said Tuesday that Delashaw strongly disagrees with the commission’s decision.
“It is unfortunate that the Commission took this one-sided action without giving Dr. Delashaw any opportunity to present the opposing evidence,” Janes said. “The totality of the evidence will show that the statutory standard for this type of summary action has not been met, and will support his well-deserved reputation as a world-class neurosurgeon.”
In documents filed to support the suspension, commission officials said Delashaw had intimidated subordinates by yelling, swearing and making threatening movements toward staff members. That had a chilling effect on staff members, according to the commission, and some became afraid to ask Delashaw questions that were needed to properly care for patients.
“This reluctance of staff to engage (Delashaw) imparted an enormous amount of risk onto the patients,” wrote Melanie de Leon, executive director of the commission.
The commission described occasions when Delashaw directly tried to suppress questions about his work. After a staff member expressed concern about how Delashaw scheduled multiple surgeries to run at the same time, Delashaw demanded that the reporting nurse…