Ex-VA doctor who misdiagnosed patient sentenced to prison

A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient he’d misdiagnosed

Impaired Pathologist
Impaired Pathologist

A former pathologist at an Arkansas veterans hospital has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient he misdiagnosed.

Robert Morris Levy, 54, of Fayetteville was sentenced Friday in federal court.

Prosecutors said Levy diagnosed a patient with lymphoma when the patient actually had a small-cell carcinoma. Levy falsified the patient’s medical record to state that a second pathologist agreed with his diagnosis, according to the plea agreement. The patient later died.

In a statement to the court, Levy apologized for his actions.

“I’m angry with myself, and it just penetrates the surface of how I became this man. My plan going forward is to continue in the alcohol rehabilitation community to get the best long-term therapeutic strategy,” the statement said.

Levy also pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud for receiving 2-methyl-2-butanol, a chemical that he used to intoxicate himself but that standard drug and alcohol screenings don’t test for, prosecutors said.

Levy was fired from the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville in April 2018.

VA officials have said that outside pathologists reviewed nearly 34,000 cases handled by Levy and found more than 3,000 errors or missed diagnoses dating back to 2005. Levy has acknowledged that he once showed up to work at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks drunk in 2016, but he denied that he had worked while impaired. He entered an in-patient treatment program following that incident and returned to work in October 2016 after agreeing to remain sober and submitting to random drug testing.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in