The Oregon Medical Board revoked the license of a Dallas doctor earlier this month after he refused to follow COVID-19 guidelines in his office, spread misinformation about masks and over-prescribed opioids to his patients, according to medical board documents.
The board also fined Steven Arthur LaTulippe $10,000 on Sept. 2.
LaTulippe sued the medical board in January after his license was suspended the month before, when the board found his office was placing patients in danger by disregarding COVID-19 mandates and asking patients to remove their masks.
LaTulippe’s family practice, South View Medical Arts, did not properly screen patients and relied on the receptionist’s ability to visually gauge whether visitors were sick, according to the medical board documents.
“[LaTulippe] had trained his receptionist ‘to look at [the patient] and just take a look at them and see if they look sick,’ and, if the patient was ‘smiling and happy,’ the receptionist was instructed to ask how the patient was feeling,” medical board documents said.
At least 95% of patients did not use masks at the clinic, which is in the city of Dallas west of Salem, between March and December 2020, LaTulippe told medical board officials.
Patients did wear masks if they had tested positive for COVID-19 or were exhibiting extreme symptoms, according to the medical board. LaTulippe still would not wear a mask while meeting with those patients, however.
He told patients in person and through fliers in his office that masks were ineffective against COVID-19 and could even cause carbon dioxide poisoning, according to the medical board.
In one instance recounted in the medical board documents, a woman was removed as LaTulippe’s patient — and told her family and friends should not visit his clinic — after the patient inquired about the identity of LaTulippe’s wife, who assisted at the clinic and told the patient she didn’t need to get a COVID-19 test, isolate or wear a mask after potentially being exposed to the virus.
LaTulippe also made anti-mask comments during a “Stop the Steal” election rally in Salem on Nov. 7, 2020. The Multnomah County Republican Party posted footage of his comments to YouTube, which has since removed the video for violating its community guidelines.
The medical board also reviewed charts for LaTulippe’s patients who have addictions or mental illnesses and found that in at least eight cases, he prescribed high doses of opioids to patients who the board believed didn’t need the highly addictive medication, according to documents.
— Jack Forrest