Archive for Monday, August 21, 2006

Doctor charged with killing patient

August 21, 2006


— A doctor's use of an unapproved treatment caused a Topeka woman's lingering death from heart and kidney failure, prosecutors said after the physician's indictment on a charge of reckless second-degree murder.

The indictment, handed down last week by a Shawnee County grand jury, also charges Dr. John Roy Toth, 56, with reckless aggravated battery involving great bodily harm.

Beverly A. Wunder, 47, died April 20 in a care center in Overland Park, one year and two days after she collapsed at Toth's office in Topeka and had to be revived by emergency workers.

In the eight days leading up to that, the indictment alleges, Wunder was given intravenous infusions of the metallic element bismuth.

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved bismuth, an ingredient in such over-the-counter stomach remedies as Pepto-Bismol, for intravenous use.

In a statement, Dist. Atty. Robert Hecht called Toth's actions "unauthorized, inappropriate and professionally unrecognized by the medical profession."

The aggravated battery charge was filed because another woman, also Toth's patient, had to be hospitalized in serious condition with kidney failure after receiving a similar treatment, Hecht said.

That patient had been scheduled to receive another infusion on the day after Wunder's collapse, according to the indictment.

Toth, whose office was searched by county and federal investigators in May, was booked Thursday afternoon into the Shawnee County Jail and released after posting $100,000 bond. That later was lowered to $50,000, although District Judge Jan Leuenberger imposed several conditions.

Toth may not apply for a passport or leave the United States, and is not allowed to travel outside Kansas without permission of a court services officer. His arraignment was set for today.

Toth's medical license was made inactive in December by the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.