A doctor in Tennessee pleaded guilty Wednesday to prescribing dangerous drugs that killed a patient he was having sex with, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
Thomas K. Ballard III, 63, “engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with several female patients” who used him to prescribe “dangerous” and “addictive” pharmaceutical drugs to feed their addictive habits, according to the DOJ.
The doctor prescribed hydrocodone to a female patient in 2015 who was believed to abuse medication, fabricate personal trauma and tamper with drug screens, according to Ballard himself. The woman fatally overdosed on the drugs.
Tennessee Doctor Pleads Guilty to Hydrocodone Distribution Resulting in Death https://t.co/TOE9SzPo5K
— Justice Department (@TheJusticeDept) June 23, 2021
“Ballard has proven himself to be nothing more than a predator in a white lab coat, and he should expect to be punished accordingly,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott of the DEA’s Louisville Division, according to the DOJ. “Doctors take an oath to first do no harm, and instead, Ballard chose to put his own licentious interests above his patients’ well-being.”
The doctor pleaded guilty to a count of illegal drug distribution resulting in death and will likely serve 20 years in prison if the plea agreement is accepted. (RELATED: ‘Political Cowardice’: Activists Berate Biden’s Lack Of Action On Eliminating The Death Penalty)
“Today’s plea is a somber reminder of the human cost of illegal prescribing,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Above all, physicians are trusted not to harm their patients. When opioid addictions are fueled at the hands of predatory prescribers, death is all too often the result. The Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to hold such prescribers accountable.”