The worst nightmare for doctors who perform high-risk operations became a frightening reality yesterday, as a surgeon in Boston’s Brigham and Women's Hospital was shot to death by a former patient's son who then turned the gun on himself, reports the Boston Herald. Stephen Pasceri, 55, entered the hospital shortly after 11 a.m. and asked to speak with Dr. Michael Davidson, 44, before shooting him twice. The doctor died last night. Pasceri's sister said Davidson had performed surgery on their mother, Marguerite, who died in November.
“There is a very real fear, and when things like this happen it becomes more real,” said Dr. Bimalangshu Dey, a cancer specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital who performs bone marrow transplants. “When you have patients who could be dying for any number of reasons, even if a procedure goes as well as possible,” Dey said, “it becomes a risky business.” Dr. James Moser, a surgeon at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said the fear of that type of retaliation is especially high among ER trauma surgeons. “They are often more at risk, partially because they treat victims of things like gang violence,” he said,.