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Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Doctor Who Got Too Close to Alcoholic Loses Appeal

(CN) - A medical board properly suspended the doctor who tried to make a female patient transfer her addiction to alcohol to an addiction to him, a New York appeals court ruled.

Michael Eisenberg had been practicing medicine since 1979. In the last few years, he received a referral to treat A., a female patient in her 20s, who was dealing with acute alcohol addiction and related illnesses.

A hearing committee learned that Eisenberg had frequent phone sex with A.; sent her thousands of text messages, some of which were sexual in nature; and had repeated sexual contact, but not intercourse, with her.

It found that Eisenberg had actively encouraged A.'s complete dependence on him.

After A. reported Eisenberg to the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct, Eisenberg contacted her again and tried to pressure the young woman emotionally.

The hearing committee revoked Eisenberg's license, and the Third Judicial Department of the New York Supreme Court's Appellate Division refused to review that decision.

Eisenberg had argued on appeal that the bureau used his own confidential medical records against him, but the court called that argument "speculative."

"The disputed information was used as part of cross-examination by the BPMC attorney and the actual records were not introduced into evidence," Justice John Lahtinen wrote for a five-member panel in Albany.

"Petitioner also threatened to kill himself if patient A revealed their relationship, and he attempted to manipulate her testimony once professional charges were filed against him," Lahtinen added.

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