Herman Hugh Fudenberg, M.D., Ph.D., is part of a small but noisy network of misguided health professionals who claim that vaccinations are dangerous and that mercury poisoning is a major cause of autism. He routinely advises against giving immunizations during infancy and early childhood. He has also promoted the dubious notion that “transfer factor” is an effective treatment for autism.
In November 1995, the South Carolina medical board found Fudenberg “guilty of engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct,” fined him $10,000, ordered him to surrender his license to prescribe controlled substances (narcotic drugs), and placed his license on indefinite suspension. The Board’s order, shown below, said that he could apply for probationary status if he underwent a neuropsychiatric examination and was judged capable of practicing medicine safely. In March 1996, he was permitted to resume practice under terms of probation that did not permit him to prescribe any drugs. His license expired in January 2004; and in March 2004, he applied to have it reinstated. However, after a hearing in which the Board considered a neuropsychatric report issued in 2003, Fudenberg agreed to remain in a “retired” status and withdrew his application for reactivation of his license. The South Carolina board’s Web site lists his license as “lapsed.”
Fudenberg’s lack of a license does not appear to have stopped him from offering medical services to the public. His Neuro Immuno Therapeutics Research Foundation Web site offers the following services: review of past medical records ($750 per inch); determining what tests are needed, ordering the tests, and interpreting the tests ($750); and determining which therapy will work (usually 2 hours @ $750/hour).
BEFORE THE STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In the Matter of:
HERMAN HUGH FUDENBERG, M.D..
Medical License #7275,
This matter came before the Board of Medical Examiners (the Board) for hearing on October 16. 1995. as a result of the Notice and Complaint served upon the Respondent and filed on March 1, 1995. A quorum of board members was present. The hearing was held pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §§40–47-200 and 211 (Supp. 1994) to determine whether sanctions should be imposed based upon the Memorandum of Agreement and Stipulations dated and filed with the Board on October 16, 1995, and the Certified Report of the Disciplinary Panel, which panel had heard the charges on April 12, 1995 and May 24, 1995, and filed a certified report of the proceedings together with a transcript of the testimony taken and exhibits entered into evidence. Clifford O. Koon, Jr., Esquire, and Richard P. Wilson, deputy General Counsel, represented the State. Richard A. Jaffe, Esquire , and Ralph Phillips, Esquire, represented the Respondent.
The Respondent was charged, in case number M-146-89, with violation of S.C. Code Ann. §§-47-200(F)(7), (8), and (12)(Supp. 1993); Regulations No. 81-60(A), (C), (D), (F), and (G)(1986); and Regulations No. 81-60(A), (C), (D), and (E)Z(Supp 1993) of the Rules and Regulations of the Board. In case number M-208-94, the Respondent waived the filing of a formal complaint.
FINDINGS OF FACT
Based on the reliable, probative, and substantial evidence on the whole record, the Board finds the facts of the case to be as follows:
1. The Respondent is a physician whose license to practice medicine in South Carolina is currently in an inactive status. The Respondent resides in Spartansburg, South Carolina.
2. The Respondent admitted that he has on numerous occasions obtained controlled substances and legend drugs, namely, prosom, ambien, lasix, and potassium from a member of his office staff and others, and that he has unlawfully obtained these controlled substances for his own use, and has, in fact, used these medications. The Respondent has admitted this conduct in sworn statements dated February 23, 1995 and March 1995, copies of which were incorporated into the Memorandum of Agreement and Stipulations.
3. Although the Respondent may have been under the care of a physician, the Respondent admitted that he has from time to time engaged in the personal use of controlled substances and other drugs outside of a bona fide physician-patient relationship. The Respondent has admitted that, because of Respondent’s medical condition of chronic fatigue immune dysregulation syndrome (CFIDS), at times he has been physically impaired and has been unable to practice medicine.
4. The Respondent admitted that he issued a prescription for a controlled substance to an individual with whom he had no bona fide physician-patient relationship.
5. The Respondent admitted that he has, from time to time, authorized nurses in his office to sign his name to prescriptions for patients.
6. The Respondent admitted that the aforementioned acts of the Respondent present grounds that constitute misconduct under S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(Supp. 1994).
CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
Based on careful consideration of the facts in this matter, the Board unanimously finds and concludes as a matter of law that:
1. The Board has jurisdiction in this matter and, upon finding that a licensee has violated any of the provisions of S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200, supra, has the authority to order the revocation or suspension of as license to practice medicine or osteopathy, publicly or privately reprimand the holder of a license, or take other reasonable action short of revocation or suspension, such as requiring the licensee to undertake additional professional training subject to the direction and supervision of the Board or imposing restraint upon the medical or osteopathic practice of the licensee as circumstances warrant until the licensee demonstrates to the board adequate professional competence. Additionally, the Board may require the licensee to pay a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars to the Board and costs of the disciplinary action.
2. The Respondent has violated S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(6), (7), (8), and (12)(Supp 1994) and Regulations 81-60(C)(Supp 1994) of the Rules and Regulations of the Board, in the following particulars:
A. The Respondent has violated S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(6), in that he has sustained a physical or mental disability which render further practice dangerous to the public, as evidenced by the Respondent’s medical condition of chronic fatigue immune dysregulation syndrome (CFIDS) which, at times, physically impairs the Respondent such that he is unable o practice medicine.
B. The Respondent has violated S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(7), in that he has violated the following Principles of Medical Ethics adopted by the Board:
(1) Regulation 81-60(C) in that he has not shown respect for the law as evidenced by his unlawfully obtaining controlled substances; and issuing prescriptions for controlled substances for a person with whom he has had no bona fide physician-patient relationship.
C. The Respondent has violated S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(8) in that he is guilty of engaging in dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct that is likely to deceive, defraud, or harm the public as evidenced by his unlawfully obtaining controlled substances; treating himself with medications outside of a bona fide physician-patient relationship; and issuing prescriptions for controlled substances for a person with whom he has had no bona fide physician-patient relationship.
D. The Respondent has violated S.C. Code Ann. 40-47-200(F)(12) in that he has been found by the Board to lack the ethical or professional competence to practice medicine as evidenced by his unlawfully obtaining controlled substances; treating himself with medications outside of a bona fide physician-patient relationship; and issuing prescriptions for controlled substances for a person with whom he has had no bona fide physician-patient relationship.
3. The sanction imposed is consistent with the purpose of these proceedings and has been made after weighting the public interest and the need for the continuing services of qualified medical doctors against the countervailing concern that society be protected from professional ineptitude.
4. The sanction imposed is designed not to punish the physician, but to protect the life, health, and welfare of the people at large.
1. The Respondent’s license to practice medicine in this State is hereby indefinitely suspended. This suspension shall be stayed and the respondent’s license reinstated in a probationary status only after the Respondent has satisfied the following specified pre-conditions for reinstatement:
A. The Respondent shall pay a fine of Ten Thousand and No/100 Dollars. This fine shall not be deemed paid until received by the Board.
B. The Respondent shall permanently surrender his controlled substances registration in all schedules. Compliance with this requirement shall not be deemed compete until the Respondent provides the Board with satisfactory evidence that he has surrendered his registration.
C. The Respondent shall submit to an examination by a neuropsychiatrist chosen by the Board who will report to the Board his findings and opinion regarding the Respondent’s fitness to practice medicine safely.
2. Thereafter, the Respondent’s license shall be continued in a probationary status for an indefinite period of time upon the following terms and conditions of probation, which shall remain in effect until further order of the Board:
A. The Respondent shall secure a treating physician’s approved by the Board who will submit quarterly reports to the Board regarding the Respondent’s medical condition.
B. The Respondent shall not be authorized to prescribe, dispense, or administer any medications. This restriction shall include controlled substances and legend drugs of any kind.
C. The Respondent’s medical records (office, hospital, and surgical activity) shall be subject to periodic review by Board representatives. The cost of such reviews shall be borne by the Respondent.
D. The Respondent shall appear and report to the Board as requested by the Board.
E. The Respondent shall comply with the terms of this final order and all state and federal statutes and regulations concerning the practice of medicine.
F. The Respondent shall promptly advise this Board in writing of any changes in address, practice, hospital privileges, professional status, or compliance with this final order. Correspondence and copies of reports and notices mentioned herein shall be directed to:
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
Board of Medical Examiners
P.O. Box 212269
Columbia, S.C. 29221-2269
3. Failure by Respondent to abide by any of the aforementioned conditions of probation during the period of probation shall warrant the immediate revocation of probation and the immediate imposition of the aforementioned indefinite suspension of his license to practice medicine in this state pending hearing into the matter and until further order of the Board.
4. The Respondent shall cooperate with the Board, its attorneys, investigators, and other representatives in the investigation of Respondent’s practices and compliance with the provisions of this final order. It is the Respondent’s responsibility to demonstrate compliance with each and every provision of this final order. The Respondent may be required to furnish the Board with additional information as may be deemed necessary ny the Board or its representatives. In addition to such requests, the Board, in its discretion, may require the Respondent to submit further documentation regarding the Respondent’s practice, and it is the Respondent’s responsibility to fully comply with all such requests in a timely fashion. Failure to satisfactorily comply with such requests will be deemed a violation of this final order.
5. This final order shall take effect ten (10) days from the date of receipt of this order by the Respondent or his counsel.
AND IT IS SO ORDERED.
STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
BEN C. PENDARVIS, JR., M.D.
President of the Board
This page was posted on April 20, 2005.