March 31st, 2008
09:15 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/31/08

Anderson is back in New York tonight.

We're going to launch a new way to take part in the 360° live blog. Tonight we'll debut a live web camera from the 360° studio. The shot features Anderson and Erica behind the scenes on the set. We'll turn the camera on at 945p ET and turn it off at 11p ET. 

LINK TO THE BLOG CAMERA (sorry – no audio – talk to the lawyers)

As for the live blog, we'll start posting comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. una donna

    Really Concerned American, I totally agree with you

    March 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  2. Lesli


    This is one of the sincerely sorriest stories you've had on it quite a while, along with the Walmart story. It makes me feel absolutely sick.

    Can you please cover how people can find out what we need to about doctor's.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  3. Jordan Butler

    Whats there to debate about revoking the doctors license?? The doctor practiced medical treatment under the influence and when he did that he took other peoples lives into risk, while it is his choice to drink or whatever other drugs he may participate in, it is not his right to do so when taking care of patients, it is absurd he still has his license and is still practicing and should be revoked immediatley

    March 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  4. Saera El Paso, TX

    i understand the necessity for a program like this... doctors are people too... but shouldn't they put in place more precautions? like a way to stop a surgeon from operationg while he/she is under the influence?

    March 31, 2008 at 10:53 pm |
  5. Kayle

    Why did they think that hiding doctors addictions would help the patients in the first place. Plastic surgery scares me, some of the tings that happen seem like they came out of a horror movie. Plus I've gotten to the point where I dont trust doctors, this is something that shows why. Its sad really.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  6. Judy Stage Brooklyn MI

    Anderson, As an RN in the operating rooms of three hospitals for 40 years I find it unbelievable that any doctor could get away with performing surgery under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any RN, or scrub tech that I know would have blown the whistle at the time of the procedure. As RN's we are the patients advocate in the OR and in all hospitals there are mechanisms to handle these situations.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  7. Shannon Starkweather Burke

    Mandated disclosure would be a breach of privacy... Why should it matter unless it interferes with one's work, especially if it's all in the past?
    It would be good to sign a contract with individual practices saying that you'll stay clean, though.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  8. Sebbe - Mystic, Connecticut

    I would hate to see what Dr. West pays for insurance with all of these suits.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  9. Corinne

    Took a quick check – apparently to respond to this story (Addict Surgeons), the California medical board website has linked to their Diversion Audit documents.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  10. Tyne from Colorado

    ugh...Anderson, this is the most disturbing story I've heard. I love CNN for investigating this. It sickens me to think that despite all of the pain these doctors have caused, not much is being done

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  11. Bess

    Whether addiction is a disease or not, why are medical professionals not held to random drug tests like others to whom we entrust our lives? airline pilots, commercial drivers etc. What makes a doctor different from me is that MY line of work and what I do does not involve the life and death of others

    March 31, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  12. Dave Syracuse, NY

    Anderson, I know the monitoring program in NY is fantastic. It is called the committee for physicians health. It ensures patient safety, confidentially, and protects the public. I can tell you all about it, but it involves RANDOM drug screening (trust me, truly random) collected by monitors, therapy, and involvement in the program lasts 5 years

    March 31, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  13. Shay - Texas

    Doctors have WAY too much influence over others lives to be allowes privacy when it comes to substance abuse. By no means should it be neccessary to scream to the world that they are abusing, but there is absolutely no reason they should be allowed to operate. This is ridiculous!

    March 31, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  14. Kathy, Chicago

    It is really scary to hear that he is still practicing medicine.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  15. Rick

    Shannon, you're right true conservatives won't but independents and Obamaicans will vote for Obama but not Clinton, she will bring out the GOP like nobody can.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  16. Patricia

    Erica, it's not about a trip back in time to the playground it's like Barry said early on in the blog. "A party that is trying to silence the vote is not a party I want to belong to." Let me add that a candidate that doesn't want a re-vote is not a candidate that I trust and it's definitely not a party that I trust.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  17. Kim

    @Daniel: isn't it a private thing if you are being treated for some kind of substance abuse? It means you are willing to get help and fight the addiction and most people wouldn't want their employers to know... that is as long as their performance does not endanger anyone...

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  18. Tony


    I don't understand your reasoning. If the republicans created the mess in Michigan and Florida, why would that make you vote for them?

    As far as I can tell, both democratic candidates agreed not to count and seat the delegates for Michigan and Florida after they decided to move up their primaries.

    My feeling is, once you agree to the rules, it's not fair to change the rules in the middle of the game.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  19. Terri - Canada

    WOW...how many doctors are out there treating people?

    BTW, if I smelled alcohol on my docs breath, I'd write to the College of Physicians and Surgeons and get them suspended, or at least try to stop them from practicing.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  20. Maureen T

    I'm horried that Dr. West can still practice. Alcohol on his breath? Unforgiveable!

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  21. Dave Syracuse, NY

    It is a real problem, and a common one. But so is the bus driver who is an alcoholic, the school teacher who is a drug addict. PLEASE look at this topic as a medical condition that requires treatment. Yes, I know many doctors who are just like me, doctors who became addicted to drugs or alcohol and are now in recovery, sober for years and years. Our anonymity is important to our recovery. Keep up the good debate, this is helpful for everyone

    March 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm |
  22. Really Concerned American

    Hey folks Airline Pilots don't fly if they are drunk so how should doctors be allowed to operate on a human being.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  23. Morgan

    The fact that doctors have addictions is not the main problem everyone should look at. They are human and humans sometimes get addictions. What should get people mad is the fact that they are operating while under the influence. BTW i love the live cam. I am hoping to become a broadcast journalist when i graduate and im like a kid in a candy shop right now!

    March 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  24. Julia Glennville, Ga.

    Hal: great ?

    Rick: you need to get with the program. The issue of electability is what will matter in the general election, hense the electoral college will, in the end matter far more than these primary votes. The general election (the electoral college) will determine who is going to be the leader of this country. Go Hillary!!

    March 31, 2008 at 10:49 pm |
  25. Chuck in Alabama

    Anderson, Thanks for exposing these doctors. Imagine living in a small town where you get what you get because doctors generally don't make much. The horror stories I hear in this town make me afraid to be treated locally.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  26. Sarah, Atlanta, GA

    The doctor is quite disturbing. I think one has the right to know if their doctor is being treated for an addiction.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  27. anderson cooper

    I guess one of the issues is – how well run are these oversight programs for doctors?

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  28. Kimberly

    Hillary Clinton and her supporters keep talking about needing to win in the big battle ground states and the disenfranchised voters in Michigan and Florida. But let us not forget that they knew before they voted the rules and consequences of moving up their primary. They disenfranchised themselves. However as a resident of the west, not a resident of a large "battle ground state" it is a hard pill to swallow to hear that my vote is not to count because I live in the west where supposedly Democrats can't win. Why then is the convention being held in Denver, why is there now a Democratic senator from Montana? I think the Democrats should stop shooting themselves in the foot, and not give an inch. Try and win the west as Obama has done, don't concede it then you do loose it. Her argument is simply ridiculous and it is a desperate attempt to grasp at straws. I'm surprised Cafferty isn't having a field day with this one every day.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  29. Casey

    This doctor segment is so disturbing. As a patient, your medical records are an open book to doctor's and health insurance companies to decide whether or not you get affordable coverage – yet there are actual "programs" out there that let doctor's do this to you without knowledge? What happened to patients rights? How come the people of California don't know anything about this program? And our state medical board goes along with it? Unbelievable.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  30. EJ - Ohio

    I think this doctor addiction story is pretty sensationalist. I sounded off on the other blog, but there is something this story is missing.

    Obviously no one wants to see those horrible things happen to anyone but I think the emotion this segment stirs up overrides real perspective & reality.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:48 pm |
  31. Kathleen, NC

    the scary thing is, if I heard correctly, there could be as many as 8000 of these types of dangerous doctors on the loss at any given time. And again if I heard correctly, that was in CA alone. WOW. I wish there were better laws to protect innocent people.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  32. Saera El Paso, TX

    what if these doctors are addicted to something else? do they still get that protection?

    March 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  33. TOM-TOM

    that DOC should be thrown in the SLAMMER
    the Fuzzzz should get him.
    and that pooor women who's dying of cancer depressing really.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  34. Terri - Canada

    I notice most people stating comments for Hillary ARE women...what percentage of her voters are women vs men?

    March 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  35. Daniel, Germany

    I'm wondering why doctors should get a special treatment than other people, and why should their treatment being kept secret???

    March 31, 2008 at 10:47 pm |
  36. Glen Up North

    Well, Renee, that's an interesting comment to "put it in perspective". I wish I could just keep track of everything being said here!

    March 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  37. Lesli

    Question to Dr. Dave

    How do you suggest we make sure this type of horror story does not happen to us, or anyone else? Do we not, as a patient have the right to know that our doctor is suffering from medical condition that could comprimise our care from our doctors?

    I understand your points, but this seems to be a real problem.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  38. Carly,AL

    this is so scary.....im about to go under the knife myself for something i need done....i guess i will do a massive background check now of some sort.....and yeah i would love to know if my docter had a problem with drugs .......

    March 31, 2008 at 10:46 pm |
  39. Charles

    I am looking @ you on the CAM now...please can you say hello to my wife here. She's is always glued to AC 360 when you are on the air !

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  40. Shannon Starkweather Burke

    I have neither seen nor read anything that would disprove the notion that Obama is politics as usual.
    He makes great speeches. He's no different than any other politician, for better or worse.
    The difference is Hillary is proven and can beat McCain.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  41. Jolene

    Ok, I'm glad I'm not eating during the show, that poor woman with the pouch being her intestines is terrible....this segment is definitely an eye opener.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  42. Yen

    I can't believe this guy was allowed to practice....this is very disturbing.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  43. Krisse Gannon

    So your new web cam. My new obsession.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  44. Dave Syracuse, NY

    thanks rosie, we need to have more education on the disease of alcoholism among our future physicians. This disease is so prevalent, but we do not teach it in medical school. We, as physicians, do not know how to treat addiction or even identify it! Education is the key to protecting patients from doctors who are in active addiction.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  45. Marie Rose

    I agree w/ Dave. My fellow medical students and I are concerned about the perceptions of the public toward doctors. Doctors should not operate or treat patients if they are incapacitated, but they should be given a way to get better, not automatically fired. Most programs have very strict oversight by other physicians and by psychiatrists that assess the ability of that doctor to perform. It is a culture that expects doctors to be more than human that prevents them from seeking treatment, and that is the most dangerous scenario.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  46. MaryBeth

    OMG!!! What is that??? Those poor people!!! I hope they sued for malpractice! That poor woman! How could he just leave her like that and think it's ok?

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  47. Brandi in the Swamps of Louisiana

    I love the new web cam!! AC, are you cold? haha

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  48. propstanne

    The story on healthcare physicians with issues are a product of a poor Credentials and Executive Committee at the hospitals they serve. I an a healthcare executive and this is an issue that should b handled within the peer review committees of hospitals. Even if confidential addiction issues, physicians should have no surgical privileges while in any treatment. Hospitals are at fault as well as the medical boards. I can assure the public that this is not something that I have seen in my 30 years of service to hospitals. Most know better than this.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  49. S, Minneapolis

    Forget the alcohol addiction–this doctor should lose his license for good from sheer incompetance.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
  50. Don

    My mother and sister are Florida voters who are extremely upset that their voices are not being heard during this primary. They have let it be known to me loud and clear, there will be a price to pay for the DNC's actions.

    March 31, 2008 at 10:45 pm |
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