Dr. Waldo Ellison

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Waldo Ellison and Richard Fee’s parents settle case out of court

Former Virginia Beach psychiatrist Waldo Ellison had a lawsuit pending against him, but it has been settled outside court. This comes from a lawyer who represents the parents of Richard Fee. The man had committed suicide after being prescribed escalating doses of Adderall in November 2011. Robert Moreland, who represents Kathy and Rick Fee (residents of Virginia Beach) said he could not reveal the terms because of a clause in the resolution made with Waldo Ellison.
Richard Fee was 24 when he died in a Norfolk apartment. Ellison and another psychiatrist were treating him in the year leading up to the suicide. The other psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Parker, had been dismissed from the $2 million suit. The suit was filed in August 2013 in Norfolk Circuit Court.
The New York Times used Fee’s story to draw attention to prescription drug abuse, which was when his death gained national attention. Adderall is a medication that is used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Fee started using in when he was in college, and Ellison provided him the drug when he came back to Virginia Beach after he graduated. Rick and Kathy Fee said that their son did not show any signs on ADHD as a kid. They questioned Ellison’s diagnosis, as well as the drugs that he prescribed for their son. It was between February 2010 and October 2011 that Fee asked and received increasing amounts of Adderall from him. His parents reportedly told Ellison that he had never showed any signs of ADHD. They also insisted that he had become dangerously addicted to the stimulant.
Even after he experience hallucinations, Fee continued to have access to the drug. He also experienced paranoia and showed violent tendencies that resulted in both hospitalizations and the police being called. He wasn’t weaned off the drugs. Instead, it came to an abrupt end. He committed suicide on the 7th of November 2011. It had been many weeks since his medication ran out.
Both Ellison and Parker were investigated regarding Fee’s case by the Virginia Board of Medicine. Ellison was accused of not getting enough supporting data from other sources and relying too heavily on the word of his patients when he made diagnoses. The board declared that he gave out prescriptions to patients who were clearly drug abusers. His medical license was suspended on November 1st by the board, for improper diagnosing and monitoring practices. This incidentally coincided with his retirement.
Parker received a reprimand from the board’s side. He is required to take a class on proper prescription and medical record keeping practices.
Kathy and Rick fee confirmed in an email that the case had been resolved. They outlined their next steps. They said that as to what the future will bring, they would continue to share their concerns about what they felt was the over-diagnosis and in some cases, the misdiagnosis of ADD and ADHD, and the overprescribing of medication to children. The couple also said that they would be working with parent advocates and health professionals in a group that’s called “Project for the Kids”. The group would provide information to others about the well-being and mental health of youths. This was the report on the 7th of July 2015.
28th October 2014: Dr. Waldo Ellison, who played a key role in the treatment of a man from Virginia Beach who committed suicide in 2011, will have his license suspended on Saturday by the Virginia Board of Medicine. The psychiatrist told the board that he was also retiring on that very day. He was present at an informal hearing on allegations that he violated his duty as a professional in September, when he failed to properly diagnose ADD. He also did not adequately monitor his patient’s use of Adderall. Adderall is a stimulant that can become addictive if it’s misused.
An informal committee of the board had passed his case to the full board. It was considered for suspension or revocation. Instead, Ellison came forward and agreed to sign an order on October 20th to end his practice on Saturday. He has been informing his patients that he is retiring. The board of medicine will consider his license suspended on that date, indefinitely. He will have to wait at least eighteen months if he wants to return to practice. He will also have to appear in front of the board in order to prove his competence to practice medicine.
Dr. Charles Parker also went before a 3-member panel in September. The psychiatrist of Virginia Beach was also involved in treating Fee.
Michael Goodman, Ellison’s attorney said that he had thought long and hard about his options. He apparently concluded that it would not be healthy or productive to continue his medical career while fighting the fallout from the actions of the board.

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