Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Luis Castilla, Press Officer, Public Citizen’s Texas office
w. (512) 637-9467

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Nov. 16, 2007  

A Third of New York’s Worst Repeat Offender Doctors
Continue to Practice Without Licensing Consequences

Statement of Laura MacCleery, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

We are shocked – but not surprised – by recent revelations that a New York doctor risked exposing more than 600 people to deadly diseases due to a terrible hygiene practice.

While state health officials delayed public release of the information to patients, the state’s medical board also has let this avoidable public health disaster go utterly unaddressed, incredibly finding no evidence of wrongdoing by the anesthesiologist, Dr. Harvey Finkelstein of Plainview, N.Y.

We immediately took another look at the National Practitioner Data Bank, a record of medical malpractice payments. We found that from 1990 to 2007, only a scant third of doctors with 10 or more medical malpractice payouts had a reportable licensure disciplinary action.

That shoddy record of discipline for the worst offenders deserves a close look by state lawmakers. The “I’ll scratch your back” culture in medicine, in which doctors have claimed they are competent to police themselves, must end before more people are killed by criminal negligence.

To add this insult to patients’ injuries, rather than moving swiftly to address the problem with a subpoena, the state health department took months to negotiate a voluntary agreement from Finkelstein to release patients’ names. Health officials must change their lax attitude and adopt an enforcement mentality, particularly when lives are at stake.


Copyright © 2017 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


You can support the fight for greater government and corporate accountability through a donation to either Public Citizen, Inc., or Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.

Public Citizen lobbies Congress and federal agencies to advance Public Citizen’s mission of advancing government and corporate accountability. When you make a contribution to Public Citizen, you become a member of Public Citizen, showing your support and entitling you to benefits such as Public Citizen News. Contributions to Public Citizen are not tax-deductible.

Public Citizen Foundation focuses on research, public education, and litigation in support of our mission. By law, the Foundation can engage in only very limited lobbying. Contributions to Public Citizen Foundation are tax-deductible.