Over the course of a year, Dr. Jyoji Bristol of Cheshire allegedly twice had consensual sex with a drug-addicted patient, wrote prescriptions for her inside a Starbucks, drove her to the pharmacy though she’d gotten drugs from 33 other prescribers, and sent her reams of explicit texts messages.
Afterward, Bristol angrily denied all of the charges and said the board should be embarrassed by its action. He vowed an appeal to Superior Court. He said some of the patients who testified had criminal records, others had psychiatric problems and none of them should be believed. “Why would I start doing this at 53, 52 years old and jeopardize my family, when I had no history of this?” said Bristol, a 1998 graduate of Spartan Health Sciences University on St. Lucia, a controversial, one-building medical school whose graduates are banned from practicing in six states. David Tilles, a lawyer for the state Department of Public Health, noted that agency investigators found that Bristol in 2008 and 2009 had repeatedly prescribed opiates to drug-addicted patients without proper examination, documentation, and follow-ups. There was evidence that he often used profanity and sexually offensive language when talking to the female patients. In one instance, a patient came to Bristol at Right Now Urgent Care complaining of back pain. Bristol responded by “visually examining her groin and manually examining her breasts, buttocks and/or inner thighs,” according to the statement of charges. Another patient’s mother had to intervene and ask Bristol to stop or reduce the amount of opiates he was prescribing her drug-addicted daughter. He never did, and continued to pick her up in his car and drive her to the pharmacy to get her medication, though she was nodding off and slurring her words in his presence, according to the statement of charges. In 2010, Bristol was denied an Oregon medical license and was fined $10,000 by that state for failing to disclose his arrest for domestic battery and disciplinary action taken against him while a doctor in the Air Force. Also on Tuesday, the board postponed action against Dr. Michael Waldman, a former radiologist at New Milford Hospital who admits puncturing a patient’s spleen, failing to inform the patient, and sending him home. The patient, Thomas D’Amato, 73, of New Milford, developed internal bleeding and came back to the emergency room four to five hours later. He was then transferred to Danbury Hospital, where he died of a heart attack two days later after receiving emergency blood and plasma, according to his wife, Diane D’Amato. Over objections by some members, the board was poised to approve a memorandum of decision Tuesday that called for a reprimand, probation, and monitoring of Waldman by a consulting doctor. The approval was delayed so some technical adjustments can be made to the order. Dr. Robert Green, a board member, likened the action to “a slap on the wrist” and said Waldman’s failure to inform the patient and then take steps to monitor him were egregious errors. Dr. David Goldenberg, the board member who chaired the hearing panel for Waldman’s case, said Waldman admitted to all of his mistakes, has been sanctioned by the hospital, and is not likely to repeat those errors. Other board members who supported the decision, said that the issue of whether or not there is a connection between Waldman’s action and the patient’s death was not before the board. Waldman’s lawyer maintains there was no nexus. But Diane D’Amato said she believes otherwise and is contemplating a civil lawsuit. She said her husband was on blood-thinners and never should have had a thoracentesis, which is the insertion of a needle to remove fluid from the pleural space near the left lung. She said he had no fluid in the lung, By JOSH KOVNER, [email protected] The Hartford Courant 5:11 PM EDT, March 20, 2012