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Okla. surgeon halts practice while probe under way

Okla. surgeon halts practice while probe under way

An Oklahoma City surgeon who made headlines after he performed a risky operation in 2006 that left a Russian teen brain dead has agreed not to practice medicine while under investigation.
Paul Francel was listed as "not practicing" as of Dec. 24, according to Oklahoma medical licensing records.
"The physician has voluntarily stopped practicing while he is being investigated," said Lyle Kelsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision.
Kelsey said Tuesday that the move is not considered disciplinary, but he could not comment on the nature of the investigation, which could take months.
Officials would not say if the investigation stems from the Russian boy's death or other matters. Since June 2007, Francel has been named as a defendant in at least five lawsuits claiming medical negligence, court records show. Those involve cases other than the Russian boy's.
Francel did not return a message left on his cell phone. But his attorney Linda Scoggins confirmed he was halting his practice and said "we are confident he will practice again."
Kelsey said officials give a doctor the option of voluntarily stopping his practice "if we feel it may be endangering to the public enough where we might have an emergency hearing."
Sixteen-year-old David Kurbanov came to Oklahoma in October 2006 after Francel agreed to perform an operation to remove a dangerous brain stem tumor. An American missionary living in Russia helped organize it.
His father, Sabit Kurbanov, claimed there was one condition _ that his treatment at St. Anthony Hospital could be filmed for a feel-good television story.
Shortly after the operation, the boy slipped into a coma, and he was declared brain dead in November 2006. His father disputed that finding and fought for continued care, but the boy died in June 2007.
Why David never recovered is unclear, but the father later accused St. Anthony Hospital of performing experimental surgery. Francel said he performed the surgery out of goodwill and it was "not some marketing ploy."
Surgeons in Moscow had scheduled an operation for March 2006, but warned the Kurbanovs there was a 30 percent chance David could have complications, such as partial paralysis. The family then sought out alternatives.


Updated : 2021-04-13 07:33 GMT+08:00