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Be glad you weren't on the operating table

The weekend is truly for the unhinged news of the week, though somehow I don’t think I can top the Vernon “black Jesse Helms” Robinson Twilight Zone ad from yesterday. This story, does provide a level of insanity that does qualify for weekend nuttery. From the San Francisco Chronicle: Drunken altercation reported in hospital’s operating room. The The top neurosurgeon at Highland Hospital was blitzed and going apesh*t.


Deputies believe Dr. Federico Castro-Moure, 45, was intoxicated during the scuffle and prosecutors may charge him with public drunkenness and interfering with a peace officer.

“The deputies felt that he was behaving in an aggressive manner,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Capt. William Eskridge said. “He was yelling and put a fist in the face of a deputy in a threatening manner.”

The incident began about 8:30 p.m. Monday when Castro-Moure argued with nurses recommending that he wait several hours for sterile equipment to arrive before operating on a spinal patient. Although Castro-Moure wanted to operate immediately, other hospital personnel believed the surgery could be delayed because the patient was stable enough to wait, said Dr. David Altman, the hospital’s chief medical officer.

In such cases, it is the hospital’s policy to wait. But Castro-Moure became angry and physically and verbally abusive, officials said. A nurse summoned deputies to the foyer outside the fifth-floor operating room. When deputies attempted to intervene, Castro-Moure allegedly shouted obscenities and used his arm and clenched fist to keep them at bay, officials said.

Although the deputies arrested Castro-Moure on suspicion of public intoxication — based upon both his behavior and the smell of alcohol on his breath — Eskridge said the doctor was so uncooperative that deputies could not adequately test him for intoxication.

He has been suspended without pay and is barred indefinitely from practicing at the hospital while an investigation is performed.

Hat tip, Paul.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding