The Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts detailed in a June 16 disciplinary decision that the physician and surgeon license of John Ure - a 72-year-old Deepwater, Missouri, doctor who was licensed in August 1983 - would be immediately revoked over an improper amputation, negligent prescriptions and poor record-keeping.
According to the board’s filing, Ure was on the back porch of his medical office on May 22, 2016, when he performed the amputation of the fifth digit of a patient’s foot that was afflicted with gangrene.
“The office also served as a machine shed and lacked running water, restrooms, and an examination table,” the board explained. The doctor also failed to report, in writing, the “non-sterile environment” within 30-days of the amputation.
Ure admitted that he had a “lapse in judgment” and that the amputation “was not done optimally,” noted the filing. Furthermore, the patient’s medical records did not show the administration of antibiotics, and the procedure itself did not appear on their medical records until January 27, 2017.
Ure did, however, prescribe the patient “medications without sufficient examination or adequate record-keeping,” according to the board.
While Ure appeared to admit to wrongdoing before the board, he seemed more defensive of his actions when recently contacted by the Associated Press for comment. “This toe amputation ... everything was absolutely perfectly sterile, out in the bright sunshine and fresh air," he said, also asserting the recent decision was “a travesty of justice.”
He went on to claim to the AP that the patient he treated was a friend who refused to go to a hospital, but needed the amputation due to the infection endangering his life.
In addition to his actions related to the May 2016 amputation, the filing noted that there were at least two patients who were improperly prescribed controlled substances by Ure between 2015 and 2016.
The drug prescribed to one patient was Pheneragan with codeine, a Schedule II drug used to treat symptoms of the common cold, despite the patient not having any documented claim of a cough or lung examination on their record.
Records detail that Ure failed to carry out proper procedures after the patient tested positive for illicit drugs, as well as when the patient informed him that his medicines were allegedly stolen. Instead, the doctor continued to regularly prescribe controlled substances to the individual, the board said.
It’s unclear what “excessive controlled substances” were prescribed to the other patient, who was treated by Ure for their chronic pain.
The board concluded that Ure was “repeatedly negligent, grossly negligent and incompetent when treating all three patients.”
Despite the revocation of his license, the terms of the order state the 72-year-old may apply for reinstatement after a two-year period.