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Liz Taylor's Doctors Accused of Over-Prescribing Drugs

September 07, 1990|JOHN H. LEE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

State prosecutors have filed a complaint with the Medical Board of California, alleging that three Los Angeles doctors over-prescribed addictive drugs to actress Elizabeth Taylor, the attorney general's office said today.

If the complaint is substantiated, the doctors' licenses may be suspended or revoked by the state medical board.

During a five-year period, Taylor's doctors wrote for her more than 1,000 prescriptions for 28 controlled substances--including sleeping pills, painkillers and tranquilizers, the complaint alleges.

The doctors named in the complaint are William F. Skinner, Michael S. Gottlieb and Michael J. Roth, all of whom are on the staff at St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, a spokeswoman for the attorney general's office said.

Skinner is the medical director of the chemical dependency center at St. John's. Gottlieb is the immunologist who is credited with diagnosing the nation's first AIDS case. Roth, also an AIDS specialist, is a former partner of Gottlieb's.

Taylor, 58, in the past has talked openly of her 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and painkillers, and she has been treated for alcohol and drug abuse.

A statement by the hospital acknowledged that the three doctors are under investigation and defended the medical standards practiced by Skinner, who was identified in the complaint as Taylor's primary physician.

"These are very important issues," the statement read. "It will be important that all the information be evaluated by the Medical Board of California and that the physicians have a fair opportunity to present their cases."

Regina Birdsell, press secretary for the attorney general's office, said the doctors "will continue to practice" while the board considers the charges.

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