A doctor from Oregon who said mask-wearing could lead to carbon-dioxide poisoning got his medical license revoked

·3 min read
Mask sign
AP Photo/John Minchillo
  • The Oregon Medical Board has revoked the license of a doctor who refused to wear a mask.

  • Steven Arthur LaTulippe ran a family clinic and was found to give false info about mask-wearing.

  • He told the board he would continue to refuse to follow COVID-19 guidelines like wearing masks.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

An Oregon doctor who falsely described carbon-dioxide poisoning as a risk of wearing face masks has had his license revoked.

As of September 2, Steven Arthur LaTulippe was no longer allowed to practice, according to records from the Oregon Medical Board. LaTulippe also received a $10,000 fine.

An investigation conducted by the Oregon Medical Board found that LaTulippe engaged in "8 instances of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, 22 instances of negligence in the practice of medicine, and 5 instances of gross negligence in the practice of medicine."

A report relaying the investigation's findings said LaTulippe's family practice, South View Medical Arts, did not ask patients whether they had been in close contact with someone who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the disease. The report said LaTulippe had also asked his receptionist to screen people for COVID-19 by looking at their facial expressions rather than asking common screening questions.

"If the patient was 'smiling and happy,' the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling," the report said, adding: "If the patient indicated that they 'felt fine' and they were 'not ill,' the receptionist would direct the patient to sit in the waiting area" before heading to an examination room.

Neither LaTulippe nor his wife, who ran the clinic with him, wore a mask from March to December of last year while treating patients, the investigation found. LaTulippe was also found to have told patients they didn't have to wear a mask in the clinic unless they were "acutely ill," "coughing," or "congested."

Masks have been shown to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, the report said LaTulippe told older and pediatric patients that mask-wearing was "very dangerous" for them and could exacerbate asthma or "cause or contribute to multiple serious health conditions" including strokes, collapsed lungs, and pneumonia. He also was said to have claimed mask-wearing could lead to carbon-dioxide poisoning, a falsehood debunked in the report.

The report said LaTulippe believed he'd been "a strong asset to the public in educating them on the real facts about this pandemic."

The board originally suspended his license in December. When investigators asked whether he planned to follow COVID-19 protocols like mask-wearing, LaTulippe said no.

"In a choice between losing his medical license versus wearing a mask in his clinic and requiring his patients and staff to wear a mask in his clinic, he will, 'choose to sacrifice my medical license with no hesitation,'" the report said.

Investigators wrote that his decision to flout COVID-19 guidelines like mask-wearing was irresponsible and "actively promoted transmission of the COVID-19 virus within the extended community."

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