Physician loses license over COVID-19 misinformation

A family medicine physician has lost his license for spreading misinformation related to COVID-19. Arthur LaTulippe, MD, who practiced in Dallas, Oregon, refused to wear a mask when seeing patients and also told his patients that wearing a mask was dangerous to their health.

LaTulippe admitted he did not wear a mask when treating patients from March 2020 through December 2020. LaTulippe treated a patient with COVID-19 and only had the patient wear a mask. For other patients, he only required them to wear masks if they were visibly sick. He also told patients that wearing masks did not prevent the spread of COVID-19 and that mask-wearing could cause more harm to their health than contracting COVID-19.

Additionally, LaTulippe did not follow proper COVID-19 patient screening protocols. He instructed staff to look at patients and determine if they appeared sick, instead of taking their temperatures and asking them if they had been in close contact with anyone who had tested positive for COVID-19.

The board’s investigation also found issues with LaTulippe’s treatment of patients for pain management, including opioid management. The board’s report states that LaTulippe engaged in 22 instances of negligence in the practice of medicine, five instances of gross negligence in the practice of medicine, and eight instances of unprofessional or dishonest conduct.

The Oregon Medical Board first suspended his license on December 4, 2020. LaTulippe said he would still refuse to abide by the state’s COVID-19 protocols in the future, stating that if he had to choose between following the protocols and giving up his medical license, he would “choose to sacrifice my medical license with no hesitation.” Along with revoking his license, the medical board also fined him $10,000.