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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dr. Mark Blotcky: Divorce is My Business and Business is Good

As far as divorces go, Dr. Susan Diamond's divorce beginning in February of 1999 with her husband, Rick San Soucie, got rather nasty. Diamond was (and continues to be) a successful doctor specializing in patients with the HIV virus. San Soucie found his own financial success in business. Beyond that, Diamond already had four children with San Soucie and a fifth on the way when the divorce started.

Their second child, "Daniel" (name changed to protect a minor patient), had become a source of not only great stress but also disagreement. Daniel was a troubled child for years and yet at the time of the divorce had never been treated. When the divorce began it landed in the court of family court judge Frances Harris. Since there was a dispute over the treatment over Daniel, Harris appointed psychiatrist, Dr. Mark Blotcky, as the court appointed psychiatrist to treat and evaluate Daniel. Dr. Blotcky began treating Daniel in the summer of 1999.

As it turns out, being a court appointed psychiatrist is rather lucrative business. That's because, unlike in private practice, a doctor like Blotcky can charge whatever he chooses and both sides have no choice but to pay the bill. In Dr. Blotcky's case, he performed two functions. The first function was forensic psychiatric consultations.

In custody disputes they may be called upon to assess how autonomous and authentic the expressed wishes of a child of a certain age can be. They evaluate and testify in cases of alleged emotional harm and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Here it is necessary to reach a deep understanding of the person's life history, so as to identify prior experiences that may have created a special vulnerability to trauma (as opposed to prior impaired functioning), as well as to distinguish genuine trauma from faking, malingering, exaggerating, or misattributing.

Because this is a somewhat nebulous term, Dr. Blotcky often charged for these consultations when he called lawyers for either side with updates, often times updates that the lawyers never necessarily asked for. For this role, Dr. Blotcky charged $375 per hour.

In his other role, he treated Daniel. For this, he charged $180-$240 per hour. He initially diagnosed Daniel with Bipolar Disoroder and prescribed Depakote, a drug primarily used as a mood stabilizer in seizures and in Bipolar Disorder. Besides Depakote, Dr. Blotcky also prescribed RisperdalBipolar, another anti psychotic used commonly in Bipolar Disorder.

The diagnosis was not a surprise to Dr. Diamond because her husband's mother was also diagnosed with bi polar, and she suspected that her husband also suffered from the disorder. Her husband had never been evaluated though so that was always just a suspicion. That said, the prescription of Depakote was peculiar and surprising. That's because in the case of her husband's mother she used Lithium effectively to control her moods. Normally, a psychiatrist would conduct a family history and would prescribe drugs that had worked effectively for other members of the family. In this case, Dr. Blotcky ignored the effectiveness of lithium in treating Daniel's grandmother and instead prescribed a drug with no history of success in the family.

By May of 2000, Dr. Diamond watched Daniel, who was then living with her, deteriorate and the drug was only marginally effective. In a move that was not only desperate but dangerous, Dr. Diamond prescribed Daniel with lithium herself.
At the same time Dr. Blotcky had Daniel on this combination of drugs, he failed to perform any blood work on the child which is the standard of care. When Dr. Diamond prescribed Lithium for Daniel she also did blood work. That is the first time Daniel had ever had any blood work done (his pediatrician at the time did not do blood work with his physical exams). The blood work revealed that Daniel had developed hyperglycemia (an elevated blood glucose or sugar that is the precursor to Diabetes) as a side effect of the drug cocktail Dr. Blotcky prescribed. Diabetes and hyperglycemia are known side effects of Risperdal and that's just one reason why blood work is mandatory in conjuction with prescribing it. Fortunately, the elevated blood sugars did resolve once the medication was withdrawn, but in other cases the damage has been know to be permanent. Also, by doing the blood work it was discooverd that Daniel had hypothyroid (his thyroid function was low and did not function adequately). In monitoring Daniel Dr. Blotcky should have discovered this as well. He is a psychiatrist, which is an MD and he did go to medical school for 4 years. Certainly, the rather large fees he charged for treating Daniel warranted such a level of care.

In the fall of 2000, Daniel had a violent psychotic episode. His father had come to pick him up for a scheduled visit. He picked up a knife and ran outside with it toward his father. Unfortunately, this was not the first of his episodes. Normally, these episodes would exhaust him and eventually he would pass out in exhaustion. That's exactly what happened in this episode as well and fortunately no one was hurt as a result.

By August of 2001, Dr. Blotcky wrote up a report in evaluating Daniel. Among his many findings, Dr. Blotcky evaluated Dr. Diamond as having Munchausen by proxy. This was another curious medical diagnosis. That's because Dr. Diamond was never Dr. Blotcky's patient. He had no business offering any diagnosis of her. He was treating her son, Daniel, and that was the only person he should have diagnosed. Yet, for whatever reason he offered this diagnosis of Dr. Diamond.

By this point, she had butted heads with Dr. Blotcky over several issues. She had already complained multiple times that the drugs he prescribed were ineffective. So much so that she illegally prescribed lithium herself out of desperation. Furthermore, Dr. Blotcky had charged the family about $70,000 in the first two years of treating Daniel. In fact, Dr. Diamond had already made a formal complaint over his billing practices to the Texas Medical Board. The TMB claimed that because this was part of court proceedings they had no jurisdiction. (of course based on that logic Dr. Blotcky, or any doctor, could lie, make up evaluations, or do just about anything in their role as an expert witness with impunity since the TMB was claiming that they had no jurisdiction to oversee doctor's behavior if it is part of court proceedings) Dr. Diamond would wind up complaining to the TMB three times about the behavior of Dr. Blotcky, and each time the TMB refused to investigate citing a lack of jurisdiction. (if you've read my work before, you should not be surprised at all to find the surprised to find the Texas Medical Board caught up in corruption)

Then, ironically enough, on September 11th, 2001, the family court heard testimony in the child custody dispute between Dr. Diamond and her husband. By this point Frances Harris had recused herself due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Judge Ruth Blake, a visiting family court judge. Blake should never even have heard any evidence. That's because Texas is what is known as a one strike state. That means that either side can ask that one judge be removed for any reason. That's exactly what Dr. Diamond's attorneys asked of Blake but Blake refused the order.

Not only did Dr. Blotcky testify in court that in his "expert opinion" Dr. Diamond had Munchausen by Proxy, but Dr. Diamond's maid, Margarita, testified that during the incident in the fall of 2000, Dr. Diamond encouraged Daniel to attack his father with a knife and even handed one to him. Dr. Blotcky confirmed that this is the way Daniel described the story as well. Furthermore, Dr. Blotcky also testified that Dr. Diamond prescribed lithium for Daniel against his wishes. (according to documents that Dr. Diamond discovered later, within weeks Margarita quit her duties as maid and went to work for her ex husband at a salary of $3000 per month. You can do the math on what that means)

Of course, it should be noted that for whatever reason these explosive accusations weren't repeated to any other body. If, in fact, Dr. Diamond had attempted to use her son to murder her ex husband, that would be a serious crime. Furthermore, such an unbalanced person has no business practicing medicine. Neither the appropriate D.A. nor the Texas Medical Board were ever contacted regarding this incident.

By August of 2002, on the strength of Dr. Blotcky's findings as well as the accusation of Margarita, Dr. Diamond lost custody of her children. Because Blake had not recused herself despite a legally binding request, the verdict was immediately appealed to the Appellate Court in the Fifth District in Texas. By 2005, nearly three years later, the court finally rendered their decision and agreed with Dr. Diamond and her attorneys that Blake had her the case unconstitutionally.

By 2006, the case was back in Dallas County Family Courts this time in front of Judge Craig Fowler. The second trial was however a near exact replica of the first. Once again, Dr. Blotcky repeated his charges that Dr. Diamond had Munchausen by Proxy and the incident was introduced again. Once again, Dr. Diamond lost custody of her children and this time for good.

By this point, the divorce had cost her nearly $1,000,000 in total fees. Fortunately, she was well enough off to absorb it. Dr. Blotcky had charged about a quarter of those fees to her. All of this was paid in order to watch her kids wind up with her husband.

Epilogue and Conclusion: I firmly believe that Dr. Blotcky is serially corrupting the Dallas County Family Court System in order to benefit himself financially. I have identified three other cases so far in which others were similarly targeted like Dr. Diamond. As you can see, being an expert in the Dallas County Family Court System is quite financially fruitful for Dr. Blotcky. Furthermore, the entire family court system is open to corruption. There is rarely a Constitutional issue in child custody cases. As such, family court decisions are final, and unlike a regular court case, they are always decided by a judge. Furthermore, all the players judges, lawyers, and experts, are more naturally beholden to the system than their own side. That's because they will spend their entire careers within the confines of the system. Most of the players know each other very well, whereas individual clients come and go. They can count on referrals and other business from everyone else in the system. In fact, experts like Dr. Blotcky are recommended into the system by judges and lawyers that work in it. This natural tendency toward corruption can easily be exploited.

Furthermore, there is plenty to exploit. In this trial, the total bill was well within the millions. Since most get paid for their time, each player has every incentive to extend the trial as long as possible. For instance, visiting judges like Judge Ruth Blake get paid by the case. Had she recused herself as the defense asked, that would have cost Judge Blake financially. While it certainly can't be proven, a cynic might hypothesis that the whole affair took seven years only to bleed Dr. Diamond of even more money. Keep in mind that as the losing party she ultimately paid for both sides of the legal fees.

Furthermore, the only other media that picked up this story is this piece from the Dallas Observer and much of that has to do with the media's lack of interest in any story that has as its nexus a divorce. Because of the sheer magnitude of the emotions involved in any divorce, the media is apt not to believe any story that comes out of it. More times than not any accusation is chalked up to jilted spouse looking for revenge. As such, much of the corruption that infects the system goes uncovered by a media that has no interest in most stories that originate from a divorce. So, folks like Dr. Blotcky can continue corrupting the system with little media attention.
Also, please take a look at this case of bank fraud discovered in researching this case.


Anonymous said...

I have had a similar experience with Dr Blotcky when he was hired by my ex-wife's attorrneys in 5-2007 to testify at Judge David Hantschen's court in Dallas that she had "Battered Woman's Syndrome" during our divorce case involving the custody of our 3 children. He pulled this diagnosis out of a hat even though none of the 4 accepted diagnostic crietria were not met. His supportive evidence came from very brieg interviews of the elder children (ages 10 and 11)and her, and reports of the psychologist and psychiatrist that her attorneys had encouraged her to see, without ever corroborating the veracity of such information. The younger child has a learning difference and he can be made to say whatever an adult tells him to say. Daniel, the older one told him he loved me and wanted to spend more time with me. Dr Blotcky would get angry with him or ignore him if he said anything kind about me. The children were very upset that they were being taken to see this guy. He came across in court as an arrogant buffoon and I do not believe the Judge took him seriously. However, earlier in the case he also participated in a hearing against me at Judge Nicholson's Court(the associate Judge, for the purpose of gaining a protective order against me, which was granted, causing untold pain for both the kids and myself as well as grossly elevating all fees (my case lasted 1.5 years and cost us approximately 2.5 million in legaql fees).
The court appointed psychologist in our custody case was Dr Ray McClung, another "Blotckey"! He is an elderly gentleman whose ethics, negligence, incompetence, bias and greed I would be happy to expose. His prejudicial findings and recommendations were so far out there that he also came across as out of tune with the reality of the situation. Another paid "expert", charging whatever he wanted without the Judge making him accountable. In the end he also contributed to increasing the duration of the case and unnecessary pain to the kids and myself. His incestuous relationship with her attorneys (McCurley Law Firm) is hideous.I can tell you so much about what I call "The Sherry Lane Racket".
We ended up with shared custody and I have extended standard possesion on weekends 2,4 and 5 of each month as well as every tuesday night for dinner. I love my children , I am a Cardiologist and like Dr Diamond, a huge target for this broken system!
I am considering filing a complaint with the Texas State Board of Psychologists and perhaps a lawsuit. Would this board react differently than the TSBME? What would you recommend? Has this Dr McClung been under the radar before? Thanks for any input, Dr Fred Maese MD FACC.

Anonymous said...

I was a patient of Dr. Diamond's for almost 6 months, towards the end of this saga. Despite what many of her patients and friends may claim, I believe she is quite unstable and unfit to be practicing medicine. During the time that I was her patient, I was hospitalized for a suicide attempt in the hospital that is adjoined to the building where she practices. She flat out refused to come to see me, despite repeated requests, even though it would have taken her two minutes. She is often lauded for her personalized approach to medicine that sometimes include house calls and giving out her cell phone number, and yet she couldn't be bothered with me. I suffer from chronic pain, and require prescription pain medication to manage it. Dr. Diamond refused to prescribe them after my hospitalization, on the grounds that she "couldn't justify the risk, given my psychiatric history." 3 years later, I've seen 3 other doctors who have been fully aware of my entire medical history, and none have expressed similar reservations or refused to prescribe medications that I required to function. If you read the article from 3/3/05 in the Dallas Observer, you won't have to spend much time putting two and two together. I believe she has serious issues dealing with anybody with psychiatric problems, even ordinary depression. Her HIV/AIDS credentials may be impressive, and she may have a "successful practice," but I wonder how many people she is endangering, too. Dr. Blotcky may have indeed taken advantage of her, and perhaps even inflated the degree of her psychiatric problems, but other professionals involved with this case agreed that she has problems, perhaps serious ones. I have no other axe to grind with her, nor have I had any other association with her or her husband. These are simply my observations.

mike volpe said...

Given the laws as they are, Dr. Diamond is an easy target for an attack. Whatever someone says about her treatment she is bound by law to keep things confidential.

What is curious about this anonymous attack is that Dr. Diamond has never been complained to to any medical board or professional group. If, infact, she is unfit to practice medicine, the proper place to complain is one of the governing boards not anonymously on a blog. Since this poster chose the latter, that frankly speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

I have had the misfortune of also being at the mercy of Dr. Blotcky and he is everything Ms. Diamond says and more. My soon to be ex husband "shopped" for a psychiatrist here in Dallas, by taking my children to see these doctors without my knowledge or consent, and when the first two did not agree with him, he found what can only be termed as Dallas's premier court "wXXXX" in that you pay him the bucks and he will deliver whatever sounds good.

Blotckey knowlingly saw my daughter for a month without my consent or knowledge, and I could not work out what she was talking about when she kept telling me "Daddy is taking me to see that awful man". My daughter is so badly scarred by Dr. Blotcky breaking her confidentiality by dicussing what she was saying to him to her father and then my soon to be ex husband would start bullying my daughter. And the fees he charges - what a thief - another fine tuned skill he has developed!

Dr Blotckey can only be referred to as scum of the earth - a person who preys on children and families in crisis for financial gain. And the medical board of Texas is a huge joke.....A HUGE JOKE in that they cannot police a quabble between two year olds, let alone police the ethics of people such as Blotcky. Actually, they are held to NO ethics, adn are not made to tell the truth on the stand - there is no sanction for them openly lying ont he stand, even when there is ard eveidence they have lied - no one cares NO ONE! They are spineless, greedy people.....indicitative of the profession. The system is corrupt - the whole system, and it starts with having to vote in Judges - they should be appointed based on competancy (perhaps we would then not have enough???). They all refer friends into the case for a piece of the divorce pie and it is sickening - the best interest of the child comes last .... the almightly green back is god. Our children are disposable - they all talk a good talk, but it is all cheap - our children's lives are disposable to them as they are not their children, they are statistics.

Anonymous said...

As a result of my "psychiatric evaluation" by Dr Blotky, (in the course of a nasty divorce) I have been labeled as "incompetent", all my legal rights have been handed to a guardian. I do mean ALL MY RIGHTS. Oh there was one exception. I did request during my hearing, that I be allowed to retain my right to vote. I was able to convince the judge that I was a person who had been very active in researching candidates for election and that I felt this right to vote should not be removed. So the lady-me- crazy and totally incompetent in all matters, financial and personal would be allowed to vote. It has always struck me as odd that when I now deemed incapable of making correct decisions for my own health and medical treatment, and also incapable of making appropriate decisions regarding my finances, would still be deemed capable of making correct decisions at the polls. Loss of all my rights has proven to be even more cumbersome than I had anticipated. I can't sign a check. Can't secure a credit card. Can't give permission to take an x-ray or do routine lab work Can't even touch any of my money without my guardian's direct permission. Well, since all my money is tied up in his name and not within my reach, that's not too surprising.

And all of this comes from one interview with Dr. Blotcky. I could not imagine being so completely stripped of all my legal and human rights at the word of one person. Yet that is what this person makes himself so very available to do, and not cheaply either. And, I have no legal recourse either!

Just wanted to let you know!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Diamond is currently my doctor and is far more competent than the system of medicine she works in. Her compassion is remarkable and her service to her patients is of the highest quality. What a waste of time and money this has all been, accept of course for the other players - judges, lawyers, and psych's. As for the patient with a history of mental illness and suicidal thoughts - forgive me if I find his credablilty questionable. FYI, I suffer from depression myself and have nothing against other patients with mental illness, but I believe if Dr. Diamond did not go to see the patient in the hospital next door, there must be something else to it.


Anonymous said...

All these stories about Dr. Blotcky really concern me. I investigate psychiatric abuse of human rights. I work out of Austin, TX and we are a non-profit so we help people with stories like these file complaints with the TMB (pretty ineffective bunch) and other agencies.

With the upcoming legislative session here in TX, there are some things that can be done in that area and I would be willing to help anyone with that. I can be reached at my aol account.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add to my comment from yesterday about helping people navigate the different venues for getting something done about Dr. Blotcky and others of that ilk.

Lauren DeWitt aka laurenpharm@aol

Anonymous said...

I became a patient of Dr. Diamond’s in 2004 while most of her ordeal was occurring. Just today I came across the Dallas Observer article from 2005 which outlined everything. At the time I thought it odd that a doctor would bring up such personal conversations with a patient of hers but now I can see why. I'm sure all she wanted at the time was for someone to listen to her and not criticize her every action. I happen to be good at listening to what others have to say and not interject my opinions, so I was happy to oblige. Until now I didn't understand the gravity of her situation. Being in her position would be like living in the Twilight Zone where you know you're sane but everyone around you thinks otherwise. That’s not to mention she was probably a basket case from everything going on and I’m sure it didn’t help her demeanor at times.

My brother and I were pawns in a nasty divorce between our parents when we were very young and I know the toll it took both of us. Especially me being the eldest and somewhat understanding what was taking place. In any event, Dr. Diamond does come off strong at times and she has a dry personality/sense of humor combination. However, the aforementioned doesn’t make her a bad person or someone who is an unfit parent. If that were the case, far fewer people in this country would be allowed to even conceive children let alone raise them. Adults can be cruel to one another and far worse than any kid could ever be to another adolescent. This is seen time and time again in divorce proceedings. There are also lawyers and other so-called “professionals” who have nothing more than personal gain and greed to think about thereby clouding and ruining the legal process.

Dr. Diamond’s personal touch with her patients, as I have personally experienced and observed, is far from the norm of today’s physicians which speaks volumes to her credit.

Overall, I’m happy that she came out the victor in this charade. Although easy to start, no one ever said that a war is easy to win.

Anonymous said...

I find it very odd that I posted three statements about Dr. Blotcky and all have been removed

mike volpe said...

That's just not accurate. There were three comments by someone calling themselves Go Green posted today. If someone posted something that was removed, it must have been a while ago because nothing has been removed today.

If, however, you swore or engaged in personal attacks, then those comments would not be accepted.

I, frankly, don't remember any such comments coming across on this story.

Anonymous said...

Judge Ruth Blake is the visiting judge in my case, having been appointed by the ruthless Howard Tygrett. Ruth Blake has done nothing but follow Tygrett's completely unjust rulings.

Anonymous said...

Dr Blotcky almost ruined my father financially. A simple plea for help for someone with schizophrenia (off their meds)needing a guardianship assignment cost him most of his retirement savings. Dr B did not seem concerned with patient care but with adding on more and more fees until the money ran out. I was afraid my elderly father was going to have a heartattack from the stress of what he was unneccessarily put through.Someone seriously needs to investigate past cases with this "doctor". Would make a great Lifetime movie...ending with a few key people wearing orange living behind bars.

Steph said...

I am being forced to see this doctor. Can you please reach out to me? I am scared.