Warren Metzler, M.D.
Charged with Negligence

Stephen Barrett, M.D.


In 1992, the New York State Board of Professional Medical Conduct revoked the license of Warren Metzler, M.D. based on his management of four patients, one of whom died as a result of lack of appropriate treatment. Metzler testified that he practiced "constitutional homeopathy" using homeopathic remedies to "treat the entire person" rather than treating diseases. He also testified that illness is the result of a restricted spirit, there is no such thing as an incurable illness, and that it was necessary to do standard diagnostic testing or repeated physical examinations. The board sustained charges of gross negligence, negligence on more than one occasion, and failure to maintain records. Metzler requested an administrative review in which he asserted that practicing a field of medicine that differs from the weight of medical authority does not constitute negligence. The review board said there was no separate standard for homeopathic medicine.


STATE OF NEW YORK       :       DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
STATE BOARD FOR PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL CONDUCT

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IN THE MATTER

OF

WARREN METZLER, M.D.

:

:

:

STATEMENT

         OF

CHARGES

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WARREN METZLER, M.D., the Respondent, was authorized to practice medicine in New York State on December 27, 1973 by the issuance of license number 137028 by the New York State Education Department. The' Respondent is currently registered with the New York State Education Department to practice medicine for the period January 1, 1991 through December 31, 1992.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

A. Between in and about December, 1985 and in and about June, 1986, Respondent treated Patient A for "chronic inflammation" and other conditions in his medical office at 435 West 44th Street, New York, New York. (This patient and all other patients are identified in the Appendix, attached hereto and made a part hereof).

1. Respondent failed throughout the period to obtain and note an adequate history.

2. Respondent failed throughout the period to perform and note an adequate physical examination.

3. At the time Patient A first visited Respondent, he had already tested positive for the HIV virus. From the first visit in December, 1985, through March, 1986, he complained to the Respondent of swollen glands, a chronic productive cough, tiredness and a worsening condition of health. Nevertheless, Respondent failed to order, perform or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic tests or to take indicated x-rays and failed to treat the condition appropriately.

4. On Patient A's last visit to Respondent, he complained of dyspnea, chest pain, a purulent cough, exhaustion, and high fever. Nevertheless, Respondent still failed to order, perform or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic tests and failed to appropriately treat the conditions. Patient A died five days later from complications due to AIDS.

B. Between in or about May, 1988 and October, 1988, Respondent treated Patient B for pulmonary embolism and other conditions in his medical office at 435 West 44th Street, New York City.

1. Respondent failed throughout the period to obtain and note an adequate history.

2. Respondent failed throughout the period to perform and note an adequate physical examination.

3. As reflected in Respondent's notes, Patient B suffered from phlebitis and pulmonary embolism and was being treated with anti-coagulants by another physician. Nevertheless, Respondent failed to order, perform or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic notes, failed to treat the conditions appropriately and inappropriately advised Patient B to stop taking the anti-coagulant medication.

4. Despite the medical problems of Patient B, Respondent did not develop a plan of treatment, follow-up such plan or refer Patient B to a physician for specialized care, and failed to note such plan, follow-up or referral, if any.

C. Between in or about August, 1983 and March, 1987, Respondent treated Patient C, a 7-year-old boy, for gastrointestinal distress and other conditions in his office at 435 West 44th Street, New York City.

1. Respondent failed throughout the period to obtain and note an adequate history.

2. Respondent failed throughout the period to obtain and note an adequate physical examination.

3. Respondent's notes reflect that Patient C had a history of pneumonia, asthma and possibly cystic fibrosis. Respondent failed to order, perform or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic tests.

4. Throughout the period, Patient C complained of cough and other respiratory problems, gastrointestinal distress and pain. Nevertheless, Respondent failed to order, perform or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic tests and failed to treat the conditions appropriately.

5. Despite the medical problems of Patient C, Respondent did not develop a plan of treatment, follow-up such plan or refer Patient C to a physician for specialized care and failed to note 'such plan, follow-up or referral, if any.

D. Between in or about June, 1985, and March, 1987, Respondent treated Patient D for pain and other conditions in his medical office at 435 West 44th street, New York City.

1. Respondent failed throughout the period to obtain and note an adequate history.

2. Respondent failed throughout the period to perform and note an adequate physical examination.

3. Respondent's records reflect that Patient D had a proven breast carcinoma. Nevertheless, when Patient D complained of exertional chest pain, Respondent failed to order, perform or note appropriate diagnostic and laboratory tests and failed to treat the condition appropriately.

4. Patient D complained of continual exhaustion, but Respondent failed to perform, order or note indicated diagnostic and laboratory tests or treat the condition appropriately.

5. Patient D complained of dyspnea on exertion. Nevertheless, Respondent failed to perform, order or note indicated laboratory and diagnostic tests and failed to treat the condition appropriately.

6. Despite the medical problems of Patient D, Respondent did not develop a plan of treatment, follow-up such plan or refer Patient D to a physician for specialized treatment and failed to note such plan, follow-up or referral, if any.

SPECIFICATION OF CHARGES

FIRST SPECIFICATION

PRACTICING WITH GROSS NEGLIGENCE

Respondent is charged with practicing the profession with gross negligence on a particular occasion under N.Y. Educ. Law section 6530(4), (McKinney Supp. 1992), in that Petitioner charges:

1. The facts in Paragraphs A and A1-4.

SECOND SPECIFICATION

PRACTICING WITH NEGLIGENCE ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION

Respondent is charged with practicing the profession with negligence on more than one occasion under N.Y. Educ. Law Section 6530(3), (McKinney Supp. 1992), in that Petitioner charges:

2. The facts in Paragraphs A and A1-4; B and B1-4; C and C1-5; and/or D and D1-6

THIRD THROUGH SIXTH SPECIFICATIONS

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN RECORDS

Respondent is charged with professional misconduct under N.Y. Educ. Law section 6530(32), (McKinney Supp. 1992) I that he failed to maintain a record for each patient which accurately reflects the evaluation and treatment of the patient. Specifically, Petitioner charges:

1. The facts in Paragraphs A and A1-4;

2. The facts in Paragraphs Band B1-4;

3. The facts in Paragraphs C and C1-5; and

4. The facts in Paragraphs D and D1-6.

DATED: New York, New York
March 5, 1992

_________________________________
Chris Stern Hyman
Counsel
Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct

This page was revised on January 30, 2009.

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