JFK Conspiracy Theories and Breaches of Medical Ethics

A narcissistic psychiatrist googles himself (salerian) and discovers that someone doesn’t find his JFK neurotoxin conspiracy theory to be very convincing. The offensive post is the second hit, above the link to his own blog.

So Dr. Alen J. Salerian [or perhaps one of his devout fans] submits an indignant comment and doesn’t expect it to be published. WRONG!

The Neurocritic took this as an opportunity to do a quick Google search, and discovered a link to an official court document (on the first page of results). Dr. Salerian was placed on probation for two years in the state of Maryland because of a sensational and self-serving breach of confidentiality, as outlined in detail below.

Action Taken:

The Board has issued the Physician a Reprimand, a Fine of $3500.00 and placed his license on Probation for two years to include completion of an Ethics course.

 

The court opinion finding Dr. Alen J. Salerian guilty of a professional ethics violation is informative:

REPORTED IN THE COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS OF MARYLAND No.624 [PDF]

To spare you the 35 page legal document, here’s a news article:

Md. Court of Special Appeals upholds spy consultant setback

The Maryland State Board of Physicians rightly disciplined a psychiatrist who evaluated accused spy Robert P. Hanssen, then revealed Hanssen’s disclosures to the media and Hanssen’s wife, the Court of Special Appeals held.

The board found Alen J. Salerian guilty of “immoral or unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine” and punished him with probation and a $5,000 fine. Salerian challenged the decision on multiple grounds, all of which the appellate court rejected on Wednesday.

In 2001, Salerian contacted Hanssen’s attorney, Plato Cacheris, with an offer to perform a psychiatric evaluation of his client. Salerian was eventually hired on a limited basis, with the obvious stipulation that he should not approach the media or otherwise disclose confidential information.

During the interviews, Hanssen disclosed personal information about his unsavory sexual activities (including secret videotaping and other gross stuff) kept hidden from his wife:

On May 11, 2001, appellant disclosed to Cacheris what Evaluee had told him about his “sexual exploitation” of his wife. Cacheris instructed appellant not to reveal this information to anyone, including Evaluee’s wife. Yet, one day later, appellant disclosed Evaluee’s sexual activities to Evaluee’s wife. He did so, appellant explained in a letter to Cacheris, to “engender enhanced understanding and reconcilment [sic] between [Evaluee] and his wife . . . .”

But the prohibited disclosure went beyond the perhaps understandable desire to inform the wife of grave offenses committed against her. Salerian then contacted the media, thereby invalidating any noble intentions one might have attributed to him:

On June 12, 2001, Cacheris wrote to appellant, informing him that a producer for “Sixty Minutes” told Cacheris that appellant “had discussions with him concerning confidential matters involving [Evaluee].” Cacheris again warned appellant that appellant was “not permitted to disclose to anybody communications [he] may have had with [Evaluee] and members of his family” and that “any such disclosures will be violative of the attorney/client privilege and [appellant’s] own canons of medical ethics prohibiting disclosures,” and, furthermore, he reminded appellant that appellant signed the United States government’s “Special Administrative Measures,” which “prohibit public disclosures.”

[Two quotations above taken from the court document. Here’s the transcript from a CBS interview: Reveals Impressions Of Accused Spy Hanssen]

Let’s conclude with a link to a Dr. Drew-like ethical violation: offering vacuous “expert” psychiatric opinion on a celebrity:

‘Is Kobe Bryant Guilty?’ — Commentary by Psychiatrist Alen J. Salerian

The comments are quite amusing…

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