Psychiatrist Alan T. Lloyd, 51, of San Antonio, had his license pulled by the Texas medical board last month after it discovered he had opened a joint checking account with one of his patients. Lloyd had also prescribed opiates and other dangerous drugs to the patient who had a history of drug abuse, the board found. In 2009, Lloyd was reprimanded for having sex with a woman he was treating.
“We are deeply concerned that it took the Medical Board this long to revoke a license,” said Lee Spiller, Policy Director for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights. “It seems that more often than not, a license is revoked only after a psychiatrist has been disciplined time after time in cases that can profoundly affect the well-being of patients.”
In the earlier case, the board found the woman was seeing Lloyd for psychotherapy twice a week when he began having sex with her. Although Lloyd denied that the relationship began while the woman was his patient, he agreed to a board order in 2009 that required him to pay a $10,000 fine and complete a course on “professional boundaries.”
In Texas, having sex with a patient can be a felony crime. Despite that, Bexar County prosecutors said they hadn’t received any referrals about the cases involving Lloyd from the medical board.
“The board felt that here was somebody who with the right sanction could be remediated,” Hopper said to the Houston Chronicle. “The public reprimand is a red flag to any health care facility where he might want to have credentials.”
“The District Attorney, not the Medical Board, should be making the decisions as to whether sexual abuse allegations against psychiatrists get prosecuted,” said Spiller. “In our view, the Medical Board acted unilaterally in this case, avoiding a potential prosecution and exposing patients to potential harm. This is indicative of a captured agency that does more to protect doctors than it does to protect patients.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, Lloyd’s treatment of the patient with whom he opened the joint checking account began before he arrived in San Antonio in 2009, when he moved here from Houston with the woman he was accused of having a sexual relationship with while counseling for suicidal thoughts and depression.
The Texas Medical Board has been mum about the most recent case. Citing privacy rules, agency spokeswoman Leigh Hopper declined to answer questions to the Houston Chronicle about the second patient’s gender, the circumstances surrounding the joint checking account or how the allegations surfaced.