SAN FRANCISCO, CA — After suspicious behavior and inconsistencies were revealed in a routine audit of controlled substances, Dr. Trindle was asked to submit to a drug test. He tested positive for Fentanyl.
At the time, Dr. Trindle was participating in a now-defunct diversion program for substance abusing physicians. Doctors were allowed to continue to practice and keep their substance abuse secret from patients. After failing five state audits, this program no longer exists; currently, there is no program for substance abusing doctors to get the help they need. Dr. Trindle eventually failed out of the program.
After his positive drug test, the Medical Board opened an investigation. Dr. Trindle admitted to a Medical Board investigator that he had stolen Fentanyl, Sufenta, and Propofol from his hospital. He also admitted to working at the hospital while under the influence. The Medical Board called Dr. Trindle's actions "potentially injurious to the patients at the hospital that he was treating."
Before the Medical Board could discipline Dr. Trindle for being impaired at work, Dr. Trindle caused a car crash with a blood alcohol level of 0.19%, more than double the legal limit. Even though the other driver had been hurt, Dr. Trindle fled the scene. He was eventually caught and arrested.
The Medical Board placed Dr. Trindle on probation, requiring random drug screenings. While on probation, Dr. Trindle tested positive for alcohol – a blatant violation of his probation. Two months later, Dr. Trindle again tested positive for alcohol. Still, the Medical Board did nothing. Finally, a positive drug test for cocaine eventually led to Dr. Trindle's surrender of his medical license.
Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots. Doctors found to be impaired on the job will have their license suspended. If Prop 46 had been in effect, Dr. Trindle’s drug and alcohol abuse may have been detected, possibly preventing threats to patient safety in the process.
Hall of Shame: Insurance Companies Backing No on 46
NorCal Mutual Insurance Company $11,000,000.00
Cooperative of American Physicians $10,161,489.04
The Doctors Company $10,000,000.00
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan $5,000,000.00
Medical Insurance Exchange of California $5,000,000.00
The Dentists Insurance Company $1,620,000.00
The Mutual Risk Retention Group $1,000,000.00
All Insurers: $43,916,007.28
Insurance companies have spent nearly $44 million dollars to oppose Prop 46 in order to shield dangerous doctors like Dr. Trindle from punishment, at the expense of patient safety, in order to protect their already substantial profits. In total, the opposition to Prop 46 has over $58 million dollars in their warchest, outspending consumer and patient safety advocates more than 8:1.
Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at: www.yeson46.org
Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Kabateck, Brown, Kellner, LLP.