Doctor Prescribes Spanking for 5-Year-Old

Mom files complaint with Texas Medical Board

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Commentary
    by Bruce Felps

    This is one of those stories that just leaves you shaking your head and frowning a bit.

    According to an article published to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram website, an emergency room doctor at Huguley Memorial Medical Center prescribed a “large paddle to bottom of child anytime he needs it" for a 5-year-old boy brought in for an infected finger.

    Headshake No. 1: What kind of prescription is that?

    The event, according to the article, occurred “earlier this year.” The mom filed a complaint with the Texas Medical Board last week. That’s a combined headshake No. 2 — when, exactly, earlier this year and why wait so long to file the complaint if it happened in January, or why use the nebulous “earlier this year” if it took place during June when “last month” would do nicely?

    A hospital spokesman said, “Appropriate action was taken,” and what does that mean? The spokesman spoke again and said the doctor no longer practices at the hospital but that may or may not be a related development. OK.

    The doctor, Dr. Carl W. Gossett, who could not be reached for comment, commented through his wife, who asked not to be named in the article — head shaking has ceased and aching has commenced — said he and the mom were joking around during the examination and the prescription reflected the jovial mood in the exam room.

    Man, unless this mom and kid are part of a longtime family friendship with the Gossett clan you just don’t go making jokes like that, and even if they were family friends it’s in questionable propriety because it’s a professional setting and a prescription pad is a legal document, according to a quoted medical ethics expert.

    Then there’s a whole different issue of the doctor asking about the boy’s racial background … because of an infected finger? Aspirin, please.


    Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. His parents didn’t need a doctor’s prescription.