The Daily

Surgeon’s Recorded OR Conversation About His Suboxone Prescription Is Admissible

It isn’t easy to develop evidence that your surgeon was under the influence. I know. I’ve done it.

In a 49-page opinion comparing the saga to both a traditional opera and a TV soap opera, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Philip J. Ignelzi said that while rival doctors Jonathan D’Cunha and Lara Schaheen may have surreptitiously recorded Dr. James Luketich as he discussed his suboxone prescription with his doctor in a surgical observation room in February 2018, he could not have expected the conversation to be secret and protected from disclosure under Pennsylvania’s law against wiretapping. Suboxone is a combination of a narcotic pain medication with an opioid blocker and is used to treat opiate addiction.

“As established by additional circumstantial evidence and inference, the backdoor to room G212 was open to some degree during the entirety of the conversation,” Judge Ignelzi said in his opinion. Finding that Luketich did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy, Judge Ignelzi concluded that “there was no violation of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act.”

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