Doctor Cleared of Misconduct After Drawing on Patient's Sex Organs
CINCINNATI - A surgeon who used a marker to draw "happy faces" on the genital areas of two patients said Wednesday a surgeon's group investigation has cleared him of misconduct.
Dr. Glenn D. Warden, chief surgeon at the Shriners Burns Institute, said hospital officials declined to show him the report but told him it found no problems with the care he had given patients.
"All I know is that they told me there was no reprimand," he said.
The Ohio Surgical Panel Inc., an arm of the American College of Surgeons, investigated Warden's actions at the request of Ronald Hitzler, administrator of the Shriners hospital.
Hitzler said Wednesday he hadn't seen the report and referred questions to Theodore Corsones, general counsel for the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, which operates 22 hospitals nationwide.
Corsone, in a telephone interview from Rutland, Vt., said Ohio law forbids him from discussing the report, which was received about a month ago.
But he said the hospital was proud of Warden had considered him a world-class surgeon.
Warden acknowledged using a marking pen to draw a "happy face" on a man's genitals and a woman's lower abdomen, saying it was an attempt to ease their tension over the surgery. He said the patients and their families had consented to the drawings.
The incidents occurred within the past four years, officials said.
Andrew Ellis, 26, of Iva, S.C., who was operated on by Warden four years ago, attended a news conference in March to defend Warden's actions.
Warden, the hospital's chief of staff since 1985, earlier this year became president of the American Burn Association, an organization of health care professionals who treat burn patients.
In 1991, Warden was forced to publicly apologize to hospital staff after he scratched his initials into the skull of a 9-month-old boy during surgery.
Dr. Newton C. McCollough III, the Shriner's director of medical affairs, said the scratches were part of a procedure to improve blood flow and help the skin grow better over the bone damaged by injuries.
The child had been burned over 80 percent of his body and later died.