by Bob Williams
On May 14, 2003, Dr. Carlos Baez, 41, a staff obstetrician-gynecologist in the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), was indicted on three counts of sexual abuse of a ward for having sexual intercourse with three prisoners between November 2002 and January 2003 at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Carswell, Texas. FMC Carswell is the only federal medical center for women in America.
Facing up to one year in prison on each count and loss of his license to practice medicine, Baez pled guilty to two counts of misdemeanor sexual abuse of a ward on July 2, 2003. He was sentenced on October 21, 2003 to 14 months in prison. While Baez acknowledged having sex with two female prisoners, consensual sex is not a defense in the doctor-patient context. Sexual acts between a BOP physician and his patients not only violate federal law they violate BOP policy and ethical guidelines. But Baez was not new to these problems.
On October 19, 2000, while in private practice in Arizona, Baez performed a Caesarean section. Thirty minutes later, while on his way home, he was informed by the hospital of complications with the mother, including low blood pressure. Instead of returning, Baez issued orders for a blood count to check for internal bleeding but made no orders to follow up on the results or even verify basic vital signs. Three hours after surgery, the patient went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to surgery. On October 3, 2001, the Arizona Medical Board found Baez negligent and concluded that "there was both actual and potential harm" and the patient could have died. He was reprimanded and placed on probation for two years in addition to undergoing specialized training.
In another incident, Baez was disciplined by the same Board for post-dating progress notes on patient charts for patients he never saw in order to cover for someone else. Negligence breeding more negligence.
Baez received his medical training, completed his residency, and received his medical license in Puerto Rico (1995). BOP rules only require a doctor to be licensed in any state or territory of the United States. Baez later moved to Arizona where he was also licensed.
Although Baez was on probation in Arizona for negligence, the BOP hired him on December 2, 2001, because he "had the proper credentials," according to BOP spokeswoman Kathryn Tracy. Baez resigned his $122,746 per annum position on March 21, 2003. His Arizona medical license expired in August, 2002, and his Puerto Rico license expires in 2004.
Baez pleaded for leniency at his sentencing and blamed the rapes on his bi-polar disorder and hypersexuality that caused him to lose control of his sexual impulses. Baez indicated that upon release from prison he plans to pursue a career change as an engineer.
Baez's conduct exemplifies the trend in prisons and jails of hiring medical staff that are frequently incompetent and often sexual predators, alcoholics, and substance abusers with a sordid history, unable to gain employment outside the prison industry. This conduct has been reported throughout PLN's history (for recent examples see, e.g., the cover story exposes of Feb '01, Nov '01, Dec '02, & Jan '03).
Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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