Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alleged "Inhumane" Euthanasia via Insulin Overdose - Florida Vet Jay Butan of Lake Worth -- "Marley" of "Marley and Me's" Former Vet

"Marley and Me" is all the rage, but in some circles, it's sparking debate (because bloat, the condition for which Marley's owner had him euthanized, is TREATABLE in most cases and because their dealings with Marley's supposedly bad behavior, in the view of many, leave something to be desired).

In Grogan's book, he apparently calls Butan, Marley's first vet, "the doctor of our dreams."

Well, it seems that for at least one cat, and for a former colleague, Butan was the vet of their NIGHTMARES. "Marley's" first vet, Jay Butan, may not be such a great guy after all, no matter what author John Grogan says.

As some readers may know, my own beloved Toonces was given an insulin overdose at his vets. I saw some of the aftermath of that insulin overdose, and it was horrible and heartbreaking -- nothing you would ever want to see a pet go through. Therefore, when I read about Florida Vet Jay Butan, I became convinced that he is a MONSTER right up there with the likes of Bill Baber. Let me describe to you what happens when an animal receives an insulin overdose -- before it dies, if it dies.

First, the animal would experience:

". . . headache, irregular heartbeat, increased heart rate or pulse, sweating, tremor, nausea, increased hunger and anxiety . . ."

With a massive overdose, this would progress to severe effects on the central nervous system, including hypokalemia, hypophospatemia, hypomagnesia, and hypothermia. As the brain is deprived of glucose it needs to function, the animal will experience seizures and coma. Death will not come quickly, easily, or even surely. However, "massive necrosis," to quote my Toonces' neurologist, may result. That means death of brain tissue.

Does this sound like a humane method of trying to kill -- or euphemistically, "euthanize" -- a pet to you?

In the words of his former business associate and vet, Archie Kleopfer, who reported Butan: " . . . an insulin overdose leads to a slow, cruel, cold death. I still don't know why he went to the clinic in the middle of the night to kill animals with insulin".

Well, according to the Florida Vet Board, this is exactly what Jay Butan did -- use an insulin overdose as a means of killing a patient. On purpose.

Actually, in this article, it appears Butan admits it. Where are the animal cruelty charges against this, "Marley's" former vet?

Oh, that, plus engage in fraud in his business dealings.

The following is taken from the Administrative Complaint filed by the vet board against Butan (the fraud allegations come first):

"[Butan] and another veterinarian, Dr. Archie Lee Kleopfer, shared clinic space, an office secretary, and account management services, including credit cared service and common accounts."

"The office secretary observed unusual shortages . . . in Dr. Kleopfer's account."

"[Butan] explained the inconsistencies as 'A trade secret' and 'a computer re-indexing error' respectively. The missing monies were credited to Dr. Kleopfer's account on each following day."

"An accounting audit revealed that [Butan] embezzled at or around $27,447.14 by adjusting the accounts of both clinic clients and Dr. Kleopfer's. The account adjustments went back ten (10) years."

"[Butan] used an overdose of insulin to kill Spencer, an ill cat who lived at the clinic."

"Overdosing a patient with insulin is not an approved method of euthanasia. It is considered inhumane for purposes of euthanasia."

Editorial comment: Er, uh, it should be considered inhumane for ANY purpose!

"[Butan] failed to record within Spencer's medical records the method he died."

"[Butan] failed to record within the medical records of 'Taffy,' a dog who also lived at the clinic, the method he was euthanized." [sic]

The Board then cites Chapters 61G18-18.002(3) and (4) of the Florida Administrative Code, which address requirements for medical record-keeping.

The Board charged Butan with three counts:

Count 1: A violation of Florida Statute section 474.214(l)(m), by "fraudulently increasing several accounts payable"

Count 2: A violation of Florida Statute section 474.214(l)(o), "fraud, deceit, negligence, incompetency, or misconduct, in or related to the practice of veterinary medicine"

Count 3: A violation of Florida Statute section 474.214(l)(ee), "failing to keep contemporaneously written medical records as required by the rule of the board.

As you may be aware, veterinarians charged by their state boards usually choose to sign what is called a "consent agreement" or "settlement" in lieu of contesting the charges. As a term of these agreements, the vet never has to admit guilt, nor are the charges ever heard in court, so they forever remain allegations, and such is the case with the charges brought by the Florida Board against Butan. Butan, in signing a settlement, merely admitted that "the facts set forth [in the charges] . . . if proven, would constitute a violation . . ."

Butan was fined $2,000 and ordered to take "six (6) hours of continuing education in the subject area of euthanasia, anesthesiology or ethics."

Don't you think this man's license should have been taken away? Don't you think he should have been brought up on cruelty charges? I certainly do.

But not only is he still practising . . .

According to the Canal Animal Hospital website, of which he is now "President", his peers allow him membership in the Palm Beach County Veterinary Society, The Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and the freakin Chamber of Commerce.

What a role model.

And the Florida Vet Board apparently thinks he should still be able to get his hands on your pet.


Summary of Disciplinary Action -- Florida Board Minutes

Article on how Butan was Marley's vet, citing his violations and his admission of the insulin overdose

Alaska Denies Butan Request for Courtesy License to be Iditarod Vet (oh, that's a humane event . . . NOT!!). Note that Alaska cites Butan's failure to disclose Florida's disciplinary action on his license (proving that ETHICS are still an issue . . . ) ". . . for failing to disclose [the Florida disciplinary action] on his application as required by the statement 'I am not omitting any information which might be of value to this board in determining my qualifications and character . . . "

WATCH OUT!!!! Where is he now??

Butan's Profile at Canal Animal Hospital. Scary stuff.

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