Concierge physician, husband arrested in death of elderly patient

Concierge physician, husband arrested in death of elderly patient
Ellen Crowe and her husband, Paul McQuillan, were arrested on suspicion of providing morphine to an elderly patient who died. McQuillan is accused of practicing medicine without a license. (Ventura County Sheriff's Office)

A Ventura County concierge physician and her husband have been arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license following the death of one of their elderly patients, authorities said Thursday.

Paul McQuillan, the business manager of the Thousand Oaks-based concierge medical company he operates with his wife, Ellen Crowe, a board-certified doctor, is accused of injecting morphine into patient Polly Duntley even though he lacks formal medical training, according to the Ventura County Sheriff's Office.


Duntley, 88, lost consciousness after receiving the morphine during a July 31, 2014, treatment and died two days later, sheriff's officials said.

McQuillan, 61, and Crowe, 54, were arrested Wednesday and released the same day after posting bail, according to jail records.

Reached by telephone Thursday, McQuillan did not confirm whether he treated Duntley, asserting that he would not disclose confidential patient information. He said his wife was out of the country at the time of the incident under investigation.

"They have no concrete evidence," McQuillan told The Times. He referred additional questions to his attorney.

According to sheriff's investigators, McQuillan attended to Duntley at her Camarillo home and injected her with morphine before leaving to tend to another patient in the same neighborhood.

Sheriff's officials allege Crowe provided the morphine but that it was ordered by a different doctor who had tended to Duntley on the day before.

Duntley drifted into a deep sleep after receiving the narcotic, and during an ultrasound conducted later that day, McQuillan noticed that she lacked a pulse, sheriff's officials said.

In her obituary published by the Ventura County Star, Duntley was described as an energetic woman with three stepchildren who enjoyed entertaining and tending to her brood of cats and dogs.

Crowe has worked as an emergency room physician since 1990, according to the website of the couple's company, House Call Doctor Thousand Oaks Inc., whose website touts its availability to high-profile entertainers, executives and athletes in "a paparazzi-free zone."

McQuillan was arrested on suspicion of practicing medicine without a license and providing morphine. Crowe was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to practice medicine without a license and conspiracy to provide morphine.

Both are scheduled to be arraigned on May 27.

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