Osteopath in Malpractice Case Removed From Panel

Times Staff Writer

A day before the state board that licenses osteopathic doctors is expected to re-open an ethics investigation involving its former president, Gov. George Deukmejian replaced him and another San Diego osteopath with two doctors from Orange County.

Bryn J. Henderson, 38, of Orange, and Kenneth C. Stahl, 43, of Irvine, were named Thursday to three-year terms on the state Board of Osteopathic Examiners.

They replace two appointees of former Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr., including one, Dr. S. Paul Sadick of La Jolla, who is under fire because of a 1980 breast-reduction operation on a San Diego woman that resulted in a large malpractice judgment.

Henderson was named to replace Sadick, 55, and Stahl was named to replace Michael Feinstein, 37, of La Costa.


Sadick, an Air Force colonel, is chief of surgery at the military hospital at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage, Alaska. He has recently been under attack regarding the 1980 operation, which resulted in a $660,000 malpractice judgment, because of news reports by a San Diego television station.

The television news series by KGTV (Channel 10) charged, among other things, that the board covered up the case involving Sadick. But Gareth J. Williams, the panel’s executive director, said the investigation had merely been suspended pending the outcome of a civil case brought by Sadick.

The ethics investigation will be resumed today, when the board will meet in Pomona, Williams said.

Although a governor’s office spokesman said the series did not influence the timing of the new appointments, Deukmejian’s legal affairs secretary, Vance Raye, said Thursday that his office questioned Williams about how the case against Sadick had been handled.


Raye said he has not “reached any conclusion” regarding the propriety of the board’s handling of the case against Sadick.

Since 1979, Henderson has managed the Bryn Jarald Henderson Medical Corporation of Huntington Beach. He has a law degree in addition to one in osteopathic medicine.

Stahl has an Irvine practice in osteopathic medicine and anesthesiology.

The terms of both men expire June 1, 1988.


Osteopaths, whose field emphasizes the relationship between muscles and the skeletal system, have to complete four years of post-graduate training, just like medical doctors. Fourteen other states, besides California, license osteopaths under separate boards than other medical doctors.