The Seattle Times
By Christy Scattarella
June 25, 1993

The license of a prominent Seattle psychiatrist has been suspended after he allegedly provided weapons to a suicidal 15-year-old boy in a Bellevue hotel.

A hearing on the administrative charges against Dr. Donald Dudley, 56, is expected within the next four weeks by the state Medical Disciplinary Board. Dudley has been in private practice as a neuro-psychiatrist, treating mental problems that arise from brain injuries.

Board investigators, working in conjunction with Bellevue police, allege that Dudley’s conduct was unprofessional because he abused a client.

“The board felt the charges were necessary to protect the public,” said program manager Traci Trouttman. Trouttman would not comment specifically on the case except to describe it as “unusual.”

In February, Dudley took the son of one of his employees to the Bellevue Hilton for the weekend, with the employee’s permission. Dudley said in an earlier interview the boy was suicidal and had threatened to kill his stepfather.

Dudley took five firearms to the hotel, including a .44 caliber Magnum semi-automatic pistol, along with ammunition, according to Bellevue police.

According to the board’s report, a bottle of wine and three beers were consumed, either by Dudley, or Dudley and his patient. The doctor also gave the boy sodium amytal, a hypnotic sedative, and DMH, an ingredient in cough medicine. Neither drug should be taken with alcohol, Troutmann said.

The doctor also allowed the boy “unsupervised access to the firearm(s) and ammunition,” the report stated.

The boy allegedly took the Magnum down to the hotel lobby where he allegedly threatened to kill a hotel clerk.

When police arrived, Dudley reportedly threatened the officers and refused to put his hands up until the fifth time he was asked. An officer had to physically force him to his knees, after he refused repeated orders to do so.

Dudley, charged in Bellevue District Court with obstructing a police officer, was scheduled for trial this month, but the case has been postponed. Dudley was not available for comment.

Sources, who asked not to be identified, said Dudley was practicing a controversial form of treatment known as aversion therapy, inundating the boy with weapons so he would become sick of them.

The 14-member medical board, which monitors doctors’ behavior, has issued six suspensions this year. At Dudley’s upcoming hearing, possibilities range from reinstatement to revoking his license. Revocations are rare, with only two in the past 18 months.

Dudley served 25 years as a professor at the University of Washington until 1991, was a physician at Harborview Medical Center and co-authored a popular book on stress.

Five other complaints against Dudley are pending with the medical board.

Some patients and their families speak highly of Dudley, saying he took patients on fishing trips to get better acquainted with them. Gayle Bullington said Dudley cured her son’s brain injury when no one else could.

“I’d walk through fire for Dr. Dudley,” she said.

Donald Dudley

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