A former U.S. Army doctor's medical license was revoked Friday, after army medical students testified that he used hypnotic drugs on them and performed dangerous procedures during battlefield-trauma training sessions. The decision, by the Virginia Board of Medicine, came after a day-long hearing involving accusations against the doctor, John Henry Hagmann.
Hagmann, 59, was said to have provided training in 2012 and 2013 in several places, including Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado and Great Britain. On Friday, army medical students testified that Hagmann subjected them to unsafe experiments and sexual exploitation as he instructed them to insert catheters into one another’s genitals, Reuters reported.
“This is so abhorrent and abnormal,” Reuters quoted John Prescott, chief academic officer at the Association of American Medical Colleges, as saying. “In a combat setting, I have a hard time -- I mean, there's no indication you would ever need a penile block, ever.”
Two male students testified that Hagmann performed rectal examinations on them, while two other students showed pictures of chest scars they received when Hagmann’s risky procedures went wrong. Some of the students were also said to begin hallucinating after the doctor gave them ketamine, a drug used before surgery to produce loss of consciousness.
Hagmann, who was not present at Friday's hearing, told Reuters that he did not violate any rules as nobody was harmed during the procedures.
“There were no 'patients' and no 'physician-patient relationships' involved -- only students undergoing training,” Hagmann reportedly said. “In 25 years no one has ever been harmed. What military training -- or even most sports -- can report that?”
U.S. military officials had reportedly been aware of Hagmann's methods, which were halted by an army general in 2005. However, the doctor later resumed working for the government.
“The evidence is so overwhelming and so bizarre as to almost shock the conscience of a prosecutor who's been doing this for 26 years,” Assistant Attorney General Frank Pedrotty told the board.