Obituary: Bad Medicine. Speaking ill


Obituary: Bad Medicine. Speaking ill

Dr Wynne Lieberthal, in recent years a much-loved Sabie GP, died at his home in that town of a heart attack, on 5 June. He was 61. Dr Lieberthal featured in a 2004 Noseweek story that exposed his drug addiction, his physically debilitated patients, and a set of highly-questionable dread-disease insurance claims for his friends and family. (His twin brother Hugh collaborated in the dread-disease fraud.)

Lieberthal was suspended from practising medicine in 1991, but managed to get reinstated soon after coming out of rehab. After qualifying as an orthopaedic surgeon, he was again struck off the roll, in July 2004, when the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) found him guilty on seven charges of unprofessional conduct relating to botched spine operations (Nose57). One of the botched procedures resulted in a teenage girl being rendered paraplegic, after he accidentally severed her spinal cord.

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