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Fraud

Fraud arises when a physician intentionally misleads a patient about the risks and benefits of a treatment. It becomes a serious legal (and criminal) issue when a patient is induced to accept substandard care by forgoing beneficial treatment or submitting to an unorthodox treatment. Concerns about fraud often arise when a physician begins to specialize in an unorthodox treatment. The most common examples are weight loss clinics that employ unusual and unapproved regimens, such as giving patients human chorionic gonadotrophin injections or pesticide pills. A patient who can establish fraud may be entitled to punitive damages. Fraudulent dealings may also subject the physician to criminal prosecution and the loss of his or her license. One physician who was involved with a fraudulent weight loss clinic was successfully prosecuted under the federal racketeering laws.[56]

[56]U.S. v. Bachynsky, 934 F2d 1349 (5th Cir 1991).


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