Doctor at Jewish general guilty of taking bribe
The Quebec College of Medecine has found Doctor Mark Jeffrey Eisenberg guilty of taking $1,500 from his patient, Valery Fabrikant.
Fabrikant is in prison for killing four people at Concordia university.
"The contravention is serious because it undermines the obligation of fairness and independence from members of our profession," the College of Medicine wrote in its decision, released today.
For treatment "if and when needed"
According the college of medicine's disciplinary board, Dr. Eisenberg received the cheques through the mail from Fabrikant's wife in 2010. According to Fabrikant, the money was to ensure that he would get an angioplasty "if and when needed."
The doctor, though, says he was surprised to get the cheques and assumed it was a gift. "I did not ask for them. I did not agree to provide any services in return for them," Eisenberg wrote to the college.
But the board said in its ruling that is perplexed by how quickly Eisenberg cashed the cheques.
I had no idea who I was dealing with
Fabrikant later began insisting that he receive an angioplasty, even though the cardiologist said the procedure was not necessary.
The dispute kicked off what Dr. Eisenberg told the board was the worst clinical interaction he had experienced in his 26 years as a physician. He speaks of "increasingly harassing and threatening emails" from Frabrikant's wife, and possibly Frabrikant himself.
"Unfortunately, I really had no idea who I was dealing with until it became an impossible situation," the doctor wrote.
The college notes that Fabrikant also attempted to sue both Eisenberg and another doctor, André Pasternac.
However, the courts have already declared Frabrikant a "vexatious litigant," for his attempts to sue the doctor treating him in prison, and the case against Eisenberg was thrown out.
In the recent court ruling, the judge said Fabrikant believed the doctors were trying to deceive him about his health, with the goal of causing his death.
The college's disciplinary board says the fact that Dr. Eisenberg considered the cheques a gift does not excuse the doctor's actions, but instead makes them more serious.
"The board wonders how the doctor could have so easily considered such an important sum to be a gift," it writes.
Dr. Eisenberg pled guilty to receiving the money and both sides mutually agreed to the punishment: a one week suspension and a $1,500 fine.
Photo: Dave Sidaway (THE GAZETTE)