A Florida teen will not face charges after posing as a doctor in a hospital — for an entire month. According to CBS Miami, the 17-year-old pretended to be an anesthesiologist at St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
According to the incident report, the teen wore a white coat with the St. Mary’s logo on it and a stethoscope around his neck.
What’s really alarming about the incident is that is points to a weakness in hospital security — and to the potential for dangerous consequences for patients and the hospital. If the teen had caused any injuries, there may have been the potential for a medical malpractice lawsuit — the median damage award of which is $600,000.
“If there are no damages it is hard to say that there is actual negligence,” says an Attorney from Tapella & Eberspacher. “No patient was actually treated by this child. Medical malpractice generally assumes that there is a medically trained person involved and in this case there is not.”
St. Mary’s Medical Center said in a statement: “The individual never had contact with any hospital patients and did not gain access to any patient care areas of the hospital at any time. The hospital immediately notified local authorities, who took the individual into custody, and we are cooperating with their ongoing investigation.”
Police will not charge the teen since no crimes were committed. The teen’s mother told police that he was suffering from an illness and had not been taking his medication.