Casper Doctor’s License Suspended for Sexual Relation with Patient
The Wyoming Board of Medicine has suspended the license of a Casper doctor for sexual misconduct with a patient, improperly prescribing medicine, failing to keep proper medical records, and other violations of the state's Medical Practice Act.
"The Board is led to find that for all the reasons stated above, Dr. [Jason] Lovell's continued possession of a Wyoming physician license, and his ongoing practice of medicine in Wyoming using that license, poses an imminent and immediate threat to the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of Wyoming that imperatively requires an immediate summary suspension of his Wyoming physician license," according to the ruling last month.
Lovell, 43, is a doctor of osteopathy and received his Wyoming physician license in 2008, according to the Board's suspension order in February.
The Board ordered him to get an examination for substance abuse and a mental health evaluation because of his history of similar offenses. Following those evaluations, the board will act once Lovell files a formal petition requesting a contested case hearing.
Lovell told K2 Radio News on Tuesday that he will neither petition for a contested hearing nor apply for his license to be reinstated.
Regarding the Board's statement that he "... poses an imminent and immediate threat ..." Lovell responded, "No, I don't agree."
Kevin Bohnenblust, the Board's executive director, said Tuesday the "imminent and immediate threat" statement is language from the Wyoming Medical Practice Act about a suspension of a license.
This suspension was an extraordinary action by the Board, and the investigation may be ongoing, Bohnenblust said.
Sexual relationships between doctors and patients are prohibited, he said, because there is an inherent inequality of power even if someone supposedly agrees to the relationship. "In this compromised relationship, you don't always have the full ability to form true consent."
Bohnenblust compared a sexual relationship between a doctor and patient to a sexual relationship between a student and teacher, or between a minister and parishioner.
This case began in April 2018 when the board received a complaint that Lovell was in a sexual relationship with a 20-year-old female who had been job shadowing him and became his patient, according to the board.
That wasn't the first such complaint regarding Lovell.
A similar complaint arose in 2011, and the Board in April 2012 issued a consent decree for him to enroll in a course about sexual boundaries for physicians and be on probation for two years. Lovell said at the time, "'If I'm allowed to continue practicing medicine, I assure everyone this will never, ever happen again.'"
Less than three weeks after completing the course, he had sexual relations with a different female patient and prescribed her a controlled substance, according to the board.
In December 2012, Lovell submitted a request for the temporary voluntary suspension of his license. He then took an evaluation for his fitness to practice medicine, during which he admitted he had a sexual relationship with another patient earlier that year.
In 2014, he petitioned the Board for a reinstatement of his license.
The Board reinstated his license in November 2015 with a number of restrictions including a probationary period of five years during which he would provide treatment to females only in a setting with direct supervision, have his supervisor provide written reports to board during his probation, and submit to a polygraph examination twice a year.
In early 2016, Lovell went to work at a clinic in Lander. His supervisor wrote to the board saying he suspected Lovell was having a sexual relationship with an employee who also was in a physician-patient relationship. In December, the supervisor terminated his relationship with Lovell.
In February 2017, he applied to work at Cedars Health, 428 S. Durbin St., in Casper with supervision, where he had the relationship with job shadow.
The patient's father filed the complaint in April 2018.
In August 2017, the young woman was prescribed an anti-depressant and Lovell later wrote her another prescription with a 500 percent increase in the dosage. However, Lovell made little if any effort to monitor for possible side effects for increased risk of suicide or other behaviors, according to the Board.
Later in August, Lovell was to take a polygraph test and the female patient wrote to a friend about how she taught him to take a beta blocker and a blood pressure pill to enable him to lie.
Lovell later denied to the clinic's supervisor and the board that he was having the relationship.
During its investigation, the board noted the effort to defraud the polygraph examination means, "the Board cannot be assured that the public, and more particularly Dr. Lovell's female patients, are being protected."