U.S. News

U.S. government bars troop training doctor accused of misconduct

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has barred a former Army doctor from government contracts after two state medical boards found he performed dangerous and improper procedures on students during taxpayer-funded battlefield trauma training.

The doctor, John Henry Hagmann, gave trainees liquor and the hypnotic drug, ketamine, subjected some to penile nerve block procedures and induced shock in others by withdrawing blood, according to participants in the training his company provided to thousands of soldiers and medical personnel.

In addition, the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has criticized Hagmann’s use of live pigs to simulate combat injuries in training.

Hagmann retired from the Army in 2000. His company, Deployment Medicine International, received more than $10.5 million in business from the U.S. government since 2007, records show.

In June, Hagmann was suspended from securing government contracts.

His suspension was changed to a full debarment on Nov. 12, preventing him from getting government contracts or federal assistance until 2030, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Jackie Pau said.

The debarment notice published on a government website did not detail the findings by the Navy department that reviewed the case. The 15-year ban it imposed represents an unusually long sanction. Debarments usually do not exceed three years, Pau said.

In an email to Reuters on Wednesday, Hagmann defended his practices, saying the training he provided to soldiers and medical personnel “saves lives and improves outcomes.” In previous correspondence, he has said he did nothing wrong.

Virginia revoked Hagmann’s state medical license earlier this year. A Washington state board suspended his license in August.

Military officials had long known about Hagmann’s methods.

Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Sandra Maler