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3 N.J.A.R. 381

Medical Examiners, State Board of v. Kalko, M.D., Charles G
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Citation: 3 N.J.A.R. 381
Decision Date: 1980
Agency: BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS
Synopsis: Based on N.J.S.A. 45:9-16(h), the State Board of Medical Exam- iners brought charges of gross malpractice and/or gross neglect in the practice of medicine against Charles G. Kalko, M.D. which caused or contributed to the death of one of his patients. The Board charged that Dr. Kalko had prematurely or unnecessarily performed a high risk diagnostic neurosurgical procedure where the known risks of the procedure greatly outweighed the probable value of any additional diagnostic information and where alternative and medically indicated conservative testing was available. The Board also charged that Dr. Kalko had failed to obtain the informed consent of the patient or his parents. The administrative. law judge found that while it would have been the better practice to treat the patient conservatively, the physician's mistake in judgment, although a deviation from standard practice, did not amount to gross malpractice. This was especially true since the physician's conduct up until administering the neurosurgical pro- cedure was well within the reasonable standards of practice for neuro- surgeons in New Jersey. In addition, the judge found that while the physician had failed to fully inform the patient or his .parents of the procedures, risks, bene- fits and alternatives involve,, he patient's father did sign the consent and did not ask any questions of the physician. While this failure on the part of the physician was a deviation from the standard practice, the judge found that it was not such a broad deviation as to equal gross malpractice. Accordingly, the judge concluded that the physician had not vio- lated N.J.S.A. 45:9-16(h). Marc Arnold, Deputy Attorney General for Petitioner (John J. Degnan, Attorney General of New Jersey, Attorney) J. Roger Conant, Esq. for Respondent (Conant & McCreedy, At- torneys)
Statute(s) Cited: 45:9-16