State revokes license of Wilmington chiropractor

Published: 2010-07-21 17:16:27
Author: Antonio Prado | Sussex Countian | April 22, 2010

The Delaware Board of Chiropractic has revoked the license of a Wilmington chiropractor after the board determined he went beyond his chiropractic duties in examining a female patient’s breasts, pubic bone and buttocks during a 2009 exam.

The Board found that Dr. Joseph F. Rooney Jr.’s physical examination of this adult female patient was “unprofessional, dishonorable and unethical,” Delaware Department of State spokesman Christopher Portante said Thursday, April 22. The board determined that revocation of Dr. Rooney’s license was “the only appropriate discipline that will protect the public.”

A call to Rooney’s Kirkwood Highway office, which has the same telephone book listing for his home number, was not returned.

Rooney’s Wilmington attorney, Elizabeth Saurman of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin, was out of the office Thursday, April 22. Her office said she would not be returning until Monday, April 26.

Revocation is the most severe form of discipline available to the Board of Chiropractic and is imposed by the board only when warranted, Portante said. Disciplinary decisions of the board may be appealed to the Superior Court within 30 days of the day the notice of the decision was mailed.

“To date, we have not received notice that Dr. Rooney has appealed,” he said.

The victim filed the original complaint against Rooney on April 14, 2009, Portante said. The Department of State’s Division of Professional Regulation investigated the complaint, forwarded it to the Attorney General's Office, which in turn filed a complaint with the Board of Chiropractic on Jan. 6.

Rooney graduated in 1974 from the Columbia Institute of Chiropractic, which became the New York School of Chiropractic. He was licensed in Delaware in April 1975. He testified to the board during his hearing that he had also obtained an M.D. in the early 1980s, but no mention was made in court documents on where he obtained a medical doctor degree.

The woman, identified as “K.O.,” testified in the hearing before the board that she was instructed by a New York insurance company, Transcion Medical, to report to Rooney’s office as part of a claim she had filed following an automobile accident in August 2008. After the accident, she reported pain in her neck, shoulder blades and lower back. The Transcion letter indicated her benefits could be jeopardized if she did not report to Rooney’s office.

Full story