Fate of suspended doctor up to hearing officer

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A state administrative hearing officer will decide whether to uphold the license suspension of Anchorage Dr. Jay D. Van Houten.

The Alaska State Medical Board said Van Houten was a danger to patients and suspended his license in August. The Anchorage doctor disputed the decision and has fought for the return of his license during a hearing that began early last month.

In closing arguments Monday, assistant attorney general Roger Rom called Van Houten's care substandard and outrageous.

Defense attorney Paul Stockler countered that the Van Houten, a family practice and osteopathic doctor, should have retained his license while his actions were reviewed.

Van Houten was barred from practicing after investigators with the state Division of Occupational Licensing said irresponsible and erratic behavior by Van Houten led to the deaths of two patients from drug overdoses.

Hearing officer David Stebing will recommend to the board whether it should uphold the suspension. A decision is expected by next week.

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