The New Mexico Medical Board has suspended the medical license of Deborah Aaron, reprimanding her for allegedly lying about an addiction and failing to enroll in a treatment program after she pleaded no contest to DWI in a fatal car accident almost a year ago.
Aaron was driving south on St. Francis Drive on Dec. 31, 2011, when her Land Rover crashed into the passenger side of a minivan driven by Karla Vasquez, who was turning from Siringo Road. The impact killed 4-year-old Yuliana Reyes Vasquez. Aaron told police she’d had a glass of wine several hours before the crash, and a blood sample showed Aaron with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08, the level legally considered too intoxicated to drive.
But prosecutors said police evidence was inconsistent about which driver had the green light, so a vehicular homicide charge was dropped, and Aaron entered a no-contest plea to DWI on Aug. 30 of this year. She was sentenced to a year of supervised probation, DWI school and community service.
Aaron — a board-certified general surgeon who graduated from medical school at the University of California, Los Angeles — also went before the state Medical Board, the regulatory panel that oversees physician licenses and certification. Aaron and the board entered into an agreement July 24 that she could keep her medical license if she enrolled in a monitored treatment plan and remained under Medical Board supervision. “Respondent [Aaron] is safe to practice medicine if under the care of a monitored treatment program,” the agreement states.
But in an Order of Immediate Suspension issued Nov. 9, the Medical Board concluded Aaron has failed to seek treatment.
Dr. Steven Weiner, board chairman, said Aaron has not only failed to comply with the treatment plan, but seemingly denies she needs help. “You violated the stipulation, you failed to enter into a treatment contract,” the November order states.
The state board also was required to report some discipline actions to a national database. It did so. Aaron then posted her response to the New Mexico findings by saying the criminal case against her was “resolved favorably” and that the New Mexico Medical Board’s finding of her impairment is “malicious and unfounded.”
In the Nov. 9 Order of Suspension, Weiner responded, “You claim that ‘virtually everything that the Board submitted in this report is untrue’ and ‘the allegation that I have a habitual substance abuse problem which prohibits me from practicing safely is malicious and unfounded.’ ”
Weiner contended, “In fact, the Board relied on an assessment by an impaired physician committee that determined to the contrary, and upon which the Board founded its allegations in the Report, and the Board did so without malice.”
In suspending Aaron’s license, the board stated that Aaron’s responses violated the state Medical Practices Act with “the use of a false, fraudulent or deceptive statement in a document connected with the practice of a licensee.”
Aaron was given 20 days to request a hearing on the suspension. It was not clear Thursday if she had done that.
The Santa Fe attorney who handled her criminal case, Dan Cron, had told state District Court Judge Michael Vigil that Aaron was planning to move to Arizona to be with family and that the Medical Board order was sent to an address in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Aaron could not be reached Friday, and a message left with Cron was not returned.
Contact Bruce Krasnow at 986-3024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.