Ventura County – Going to the doctor can be such a hassle. Making the appointment, driving to the doctor’s office, finding a place to park, sitting in the waiting room…that can all be avoided when one is attended to by a “concierge” physician who will come to you at your home.
According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Sgt. Victor Fazio, Dr. Ellen Crowe, a 54-year old Thousand Oaks physician, operating “a business known as House Call Doctor Thousand Oaks” in partnership with her 61-year old husband Paul McQuillan, is just that kind of physician. McQuillan is not licensed to practice medicine and serves as the business manager for his wife’s practice. Therein lies a crucial legal distinction that led to the arrest of Crowe and McQuillan on May 14th, following the death of Polly Duntley, an 88-year old patient under Crowe’s care.
On July 31st, Duntley was visited at her home by McQuillan, who allegedly “injected Duntley with morphine provided by Dr. Crowe and ordered by another doctor,” Fazio reported. The injection was done in preparation for an ultrasound that was planned to follow shortly thereafter. McQuillan is reported to have then left the Duntley home to attend to another nearby patient, during which time the ultrasound technician arrived and performed those diagnostic services. When McQuillan returned to the Duntley bedside, he “realized Duntley no longer had a pulse,” called 911, and attempted to provide resuscitation to no avail.
Duntley died two days later, and the ensuing investigation by the Ventura County Interagency Pharmaceutical Crimes Unit and the Health Quality Investigation Unit of the California Division of Investigation produced enough evidence to support the May 13th arrest of McQuillan, who was booked into Ventura County Jail on charges of practicing medicine without a license and furnishing morphine. Crowe was arrested as well, and was booked into Ventura County Jail for conspiracy to practice medicine without a license and conspiracy to furnish morphine.
Photos: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking