Friday, December 04, 2009

D.C. Corporation Counsel -- Willful and Knowing Misconduct?

December 18, 1997
3801 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-4530

Charles L. Reischel, Esq.
Deputy Corporation Counsel
One Judiciary Square
441 Fourth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 727-6252

RE: Freedman v. DHR, D.C.C.A. 96-CV-961

Dear Mr. Reischel:

It has only recently come to my attention that the D.C. Code in its latest revision makes it unlawful for a physician to "[fail] to conform to standards of acceptable conduct and prevailing practice within a health profession." See D.C. Code 2-3305.14(26). This provision was added to the District of Columbia Health Occupations Revision Act by D.C. Law 10-247, enacted on March 23, 1995.

Under the above-referenced provision of the D.C. Code the actions imputed to Gertrude R. Ticho, M.D., a physician licensed to practice in the District of Columbia, by the D.C. Department of Human Rights 1/ in Freedman v. Akin, Gump, Hauer & Feld, agency no. 92-087-P(CN) would form the basis of disciplinary action against Dr. Ticho since those imputed actions, relating to her providing an ex parte clinical assessment concerning me to Dennis M. Race, Esq. and Malcolm Lassman, Esq., at their solicitation, fail to conform to the standards of acceptable psychiatric conduct as established by the American Psychiatric Association. See THE PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL ETHICS WITH ANNOTATIONS ESPECIALLY APPLICABLE TO PSYCHIATRY (1995 Edition).

Dr. Ticho has expressly denied, in writing, having had communications of the nature attributed to her by the Department of Human Rights and by the Office of Corporation Counsel. See Record on Appeal at 62.

I am troubled that the Office of Corporation Counsel defends the actions of the Department of Human Rights in attributing to a physician conduct that the physician herself has competently and fully denied; and, further, conduct that the Government of the District of Columbia in 1995 saw fit to prohibit.

I believe it is appropriate that you bring this matter to the attention of the Court of Appeals.


Gary Freedman

cc: R. Chapman, Asst. U.S. Attorney; M. C. Rogers; Larry G. Massanari (SSA); G.R. Ticho
1/ See Dept. of Human Rights Initial Determination, dated June 30, 1993, at 7 (Record on Appeal at 17): "Dr. Gertrude R. Ticho identified Complainant's behavior, putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as "ideas of reference" and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent."


Gary Freedman said...

In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association drafted Section 7.3 of its Principles of Medical Ethics With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry, which became known as the Goldwater Rule:

“[I]t is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”

Gary Freedman said...

I wrote this letter 2 days after the D.C. Court of Appeals' oral argument in Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights, which was on December 16, 1997.

Did the Corporation Counsel forward this letter onto the Appeals Court so that it could make an informed judgment?

The Court's opinion was filed September 1, 1998.