- The Oregon Medical Board has revoked the license of a doctor who refused to wear a mask.
- Steven Arthur LaTulippe ran a family clinic and falsely told his patients mask-wearing could carbon monoxide poisoning.
- He told the board he would continue to refuse to follow COVID-19 guidelines like mask-wearing.
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An Oregon doctor who falsely claimed that wearing masks can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning has had his license revoked.
As of September 2, Steven Arthur LaTulippe is no longer allowed to practice, according to records from the Oregon Medical Board. LaTulippe also received a $10,000 fine.
An investigation conducted by the Oregon Medical Board found that LaTulippe engaged in “8 instances of unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, 22 instances of negligence in the practice of medicine, and 5 instances of gross negligence in the practice of medicine.”
LaTulippe’s family practice, South View Medical Arts, did not ask patients whether they had been in close contact with someone who exhibited COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the disease, records say. LaTulippe had also asked his receptionist to screen individuals for COVID-19 by looking at the patient’s facial expression rather than asking common screening questions.
He “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 records say. “If the patient indicated that they ‘felt fine’ and they were ‘not ill,’ the receptionist would direct the patient to sit in the waiting area” before heading to an examination room.
Neither LaTulippe nor his wife, who ran the clinic with him, wore a mask between March 2020 and December 2020 while treating patients, the investigation says. LaTulippe also told patients they didn’t have to wear a mask in the clinic unless they were “actively ill, coughing, [or] congested,” the investigation says.
Masks have been show to dramatically reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Additionally, LaTulippe told elderly and pediatric patients that mask-wearing was “very dangerous” for them because they can exacerbate asthma or “cause or contribute to multiple serious health conditions” like strokes, collapsed lungs, and pneumonia. He also claimed that mask-wearing would lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
LaTulippe believes he’s been “a strong asset to the public in educating them on the real facts about this pandemic,” according to the investigation.
The board originally suspended his license in December 2020. When investigators asked whether he planned to follow COVID-19 protocols like mask-wearing, LaTulippe said no.
“In a choice between losing his medical license versus wearing a mask in his clinic and requiring his patients and staff to wear a mask in his clinic, he will, ‘choose to sacrifice my medical license with no hesitation,'” the investigative report reads.
His decision to flout COVID-19 guidelines like mask-wearing was irresponsible and “actively promoted transmission of the COVID-19 virus within the extended community,” investigators wrote.