Introduction


Presented in reverse chronology, this history stretches from the present back to the Fellowship's 1970 founding, and beyond.
(See "Blog Archive" in the sidebar below.) It draws from many sources, including The Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the former Fellowship of Friends wiki project, cult education and awareness sites, news archives, and from the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

The portrait that emerges stands in stark contrast to sanitized versions presented on the Fellowship's array of
alluring websites, and on derivative sites created by Burton's now-estranged
disciple, Asaf Braverman.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Fellowship of Friends doctor accused of excessive prescriptions in six deaths

[ed. - Fellowship of Friends member, Dr. Thomas Neuschatz is listed with the Mountain Health Associates Pain Management clinic in Marysville, and is President of the Lewis Carroll School Association, the Fellowship of Friends non-profit which rents their building to the YES Charter School in Oregon House. 

August 28, 2012 UPDATE: The Medical Board of California has scheduled hearings in the Neuschatz case for August 5, 2013 to September 13, 2013.

September 27, 2013 UPDATE: See Revocation of Physician's and Surgeon's Certificate.

May 1, 2014 UPDATE: See final post on this page.]


California Watch has reported on the Medical Board of California investigation of Dr. Thomas Neuschatz:
Doctor accused of excessive prescriptions in deaths
A Northern California doctor is being accused of gross negligence and prescribing excessive amounts of pain pills to six patients who died of overdoses under his care, according to the Medical Board of California. 
A 60-page report details the alleged conduct of Dr. Thomas Neuschatz, who has practiced in Chico, Marysville and rural Yuba County [Oregon House]. He's accused of prescribing escalating doses of narcotics to patients with addiction problems while taking few steps to substantiate their complaints of pain.
The complaint describes nine patients who died under his care. Six of them, including a 19-year-old who had twice been in residential drug rehabilitation, died of drug poisoning or overdoses of addictive sedatives and opiates that Neuschatz prescribed. The drugs included oxycodone, methadone and Soma.
(Continue reading at California Watch.)

[ed. - Article from Appeal-Democrat.com:]
Oregon House doctor accused of doling out pain pills

July 20, 2012 11:55:31 PM
By Ben van der Meer

A doctor with offices in Oregon House and Chico could lose his license to practice medicine after an investigation by the California Medical Board found repeated instances of improperly dispensing prescription medication.

Thomas Neuschatz, whose license lists his address as a post office box in Oregon House, was named in a May 23 accusation that runs 60 pages.

Neuschatz had no comment Friday.


According to the accusation, beginning in April 2008, Neuschatz treated a man identified as WG out of his Oregon House office, where the man told board investigators he had gone because he had heard it was easy to get medication from Neuschatz.

The patient told Neuschatz he had a sore back, but was never formally examined and had no pre-existing medical conditions, according to the accusation.

Neuschatz gave WG a prescription for painkillers Soma and Norco, then gave the man more Norco when he requested it later, the accusation states.

"WG admitted calling respondent's office and requesting a replacement for prescriptions he had 'lost,'" the accusation states. "These replacement prescriptions were called into the pharmacy without question. This continued for about two years."

Toward the end of his treatment with Neuschatz in May 2009, WG received a prescription for Percoset, another painkiller, and began taking eight pills of it every two hours, ultimately leading to him overdosing and waking up in a hospital two days later.

"Respondent failed to periodically review the progress of WG's treatment and make adjustments to treatment accordingly," the report states. "Instead, respondent simply increased dosages of opiate medications in spite of the evidence that WG was becoming socially and psychologically impaired due to the abuse of the medications."
Other portions of the accusation report suggest Neuschatz's prescriptions led to even worse outcomes.

In January 2010, according to the accusation, a man living in Chico died of an apparent overdose, and the only medications found near his body was a bottle of methadone prescribed by Neuschatz, who'd been prescribing the man several different medications over the previous year.

Neuschatz had a pain management clinic in Chico at the time, according to the accusation.

In all, the accusation lists 12 patients who either died or suffered adverse personal or medical effects as a result of Neuschatz's prescription practices.

It's not clear in all cases where the patients lived or where they received treatment from Neuschatz, though in several cases Butte County and Chico are described.

[ed. - Article from ChicoER.com:]
Doctor accused of over prescribing drugs

By BEN MULLIN-Staff Intern
Posted: 07/21/2012 12:58:27 AM PDT

CHICO — A Northern California doctor has been accused of proscribing excessive medication to a Chico State University student, who suffered a seizure attributed to Xanax withdrawal. The student is one of 12 patients who suffered negative health conditions or died as a result of over prescription by Thomas Neuschatz, according to a 60-page accusation released by the medical board in late May.

The accusation alleges Neuschatz steadily increased the amount of narcotics he proscribed the Chico State student over 17 visits from Oct. 28, 2008, to Feb. 16, 2010.

Over time, the list of drugs Neuschatz proscribed for the student's upper back and neck pain caused by an automobile accident grew to include Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Soma, Fentanyl, Dilaudid and Xanax.

By Nov. 9, 2009, the student was proscribed the equivalent of 1,700 mg of oral morphine per day, according to the accusation. For comparison, the report lists the average daily dosage of oral morphine prescribed for cancer patients with pain as between 100 and 250 mg.

Neuschatz wrote proscriptions for narcotics after the patient reported his medication stolen on four separate occasions, according to the accusation.

The patient's father called Neuschatz after his son suffered the seizure and pleaded with the doctor to stop prescribing more drugs to his son, according to the accusation. The doctor did not document the call in the patient's medical record.

Neuschatz declined to comment on the accusation from his Oregon House practice southeast of Oroville. The accusation lists Neuschatz as also having practiced at Chico Family Health clinic before opening his own private pain management practice in Chico.

Some of the patients listed in the accusation died from narcotics overdose within a month of seeing Neuchantz for treatment. A patient listed only as "C.R." was found dead on the floor of her bedroom in March 2010, where two nearly-full bottles of opiates proscribed by Neuschatz were sitting on the bedside table.

There were also bottles of tranquilizers prescribed by a different physician, according to the accusation.

Neuschatz is scheduled for a preliminary trial-setting conference on Aug. 1, where it may be determined if his case is ready to appear before an administrative law judge, said Chris Valine, a public information analyst with the Medical Board of California.

The ultimate hearing before the medical board will determine whether Neuschatz can keep his license, Valine said. The allegations filed do not prevent him from practicing medicine.

According to Neuschatz's listing on the board's website, he first received a license to practice medicine in August 1985. His license's expiration date is April 30, 2013.

Connect with staff intern Ben Mullin at 896-7761, bmullin@chicoer.com, or on Twitter @benmullin.

[ed. - In a possibly unrelated Federal investigation, it is reported that in May 2011, agents from the FBI and DEA searched Dr. Neuschatz's Oregon House home and medical office, carrying away boxes of evidence. It is worth noting that in the past, there have been many allegations of Fellowship doctors inappropriately prescribing and dispensing prescription drugs within the Fellowship of Friends headquarters at Apollo. Most, but not all, concern the "recreational use" of Viagra by Robert Burton and his inner circle of young men.]


[ed. - from the grapevine a year earlier:]

"More history needed" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 28, 2011:
Is this “gossip” true?

Th-m-s N–sch–z can not write prescriptions for narcotics due to over- prescribing in the OH [Oregon House] clinic?

"Opus 111" wrote on the Fellowship of Friends Discussion blog, May 1, 2014:
Some update on a FOF doctor, Dr. Neuschatz, who got in trouble for allegedly prescribing controlled substances, thereby having possibly contributed to the demise of several patients.

The DEA revoked his DEA license in Dec 13:
http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/fed_regs/actions/2013/fr1217.htm
Dr. Neuschatz had already voluntarily surrendered his medical license last summer.
http://www2.mbc.ca.gov/BreezePDL/default.aspx?licenseType=C&licenseNumber=41964
The good old Burton will have to find a different source for some of the goodies he does not mind taking.

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