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Pain Was Real for Doctor’s Patients

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A Hazleton, Pa., anesthesiologist stole narcotics from people on the operating table to feed his own drug habit, leaving the patients with dosages so diluted they could feel scalpels slicing into their flesh, authorities said. Dr. Frank Ruhl Peterson, 45, could get up to 54 years in prison at his sentencing Feb. 25. He pleaded guilty to assault and other offenses for his role in 12 operations at the Hazleton-St. Joseph Medical Center. A woman undergoing spinal surgery suffered pain so severe she “prayed for a happy death,” court papers said.


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