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Palm Beach Post
PSYCHIATRIST GETS YEAR FOR PATIENT’S PILL DEATH
By John Pacenti and Antigone Barton
February 1, 2003

Psychiatrist George Kubski

Psychiatrist George Kubski

He killed one of his patients by prescribing more than 20,000 pills in three months.

On Friday, facing 15 years in prison, Dr. George Kubski could offer no explanation.

But fellow physicians testified they had solved the mystery of how a respected psychiatrist with an unblemished record became a pill mill for at least one patient:

Brain damage.

And a judge agreed. In a hearing full of surprises, Circuit Judge Richard Wennet allowed attorney Patricia Woods Marin, who represents the child of the deceased, to offer up a sentence for Kubski:

One year in the county jail, 10 years probation, and $150,000 for a trust fund for the 11-year-old daughter of Jamie Lea Massey, who went to Kubski for pain management after two back surgeries. She died April 11 of drug toxicity.

Kubski, 55, pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter by culpable negligence. Under Friday’s deal, he also cannot practice medicine for at least 10 years. He will begin his sentence March 3.

Assistant State Attorney Mary Ann Duggan said she does not agree with the sentence, and told Wennet he should sentence Kubski to at least nine years in prison.

A scan of Kubski’s brain shows that it is shrinking, and that he has the onset of dementia associated with someone much older, doctors testified Friday.

His wife, also a doctor, sobbed on the stand, saying she knew her husband was having trouble remembering things but didn’t know he had become an incompetent doctor.

“I missed it. I completely missed it. I’m so sorry. I should have known,” Nayda Kubski testified. “His mind is not working.”

Kubski’s case got a boost from psychologist Stephen Alexander, who frequently testifies for the prosecution. Alexander said Kubski is almost infantile and suffers from depression.

On cross-examination, the state’s doctor, Dr. Neville Marks, agreed that brain damage is evident and that prison doctors would be hard-pressed to care for Kubski, who also has a circulatory problem that could be lethal.

After making his way uncertainly to the witness stand, Kubski said softly that he was “shocked and remorseful.”

“It was completely my actions that were responsible for the tragedy,” he said.

Kubski said he has suicidal thoughts and that even television commercials are too complex for him to understand.

Massey’s family said after the hearing they consented to the one-year sentence because that’s what they thought the judge was going to do.

“His only remorse,” Frankie Jo Lewis, the victim’s sister, said, “is that he got caught.”

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Psychiatrist George Kubski