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Settlement Reached in Medical Malpractice Suits Against Newburyport Psychiatrist

— July 4, 2019

Dr. Keith R. Ablow recently agreed to settle medical malpractice lawsuits against him that alleged he took advantage of patients while treating them for depression.

Dr. Keith R. Ablow, a psychiatrist in Newburyport recently agreed to settle a handful of medical malpractice lawsuits filed by three women over allegations that he coerced them into partaking in sexual relationships with him while he was “treating them for depression.” According to the suits, Ablow sought out and preyed on vulnerable patients.

Image of a Lawsuit Settlement Graphic
Lawsuit Settlement Graphic; image courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images via Pixabay,

So far, details of the settlement have not been disclosed. But what happened, exactly? Why were the suits filed in the first place? Well, according to the suits, the three anonymous women “traveled from out of state to be treated by Ablow, 57, in Newburyport, where their relationships eventually turned sexual.” According to the women, while they were being treated for depression, “they received infusions of the anesthetic Ketamine to treat depression.” Additionally, the women alleged in their suits that during some of the sexual encounters, “Ablow beat them with a belt with a skull-shaped buckle and told one words to the effect of ‘I own you,’ and ‘You are my slave.’”

Prior to the settlement agreements, Ablow was adamant about declaring his innocence and even published a tweet back in February that said he “categorically and completely denied the allegations in the lawsuits.”

Since the settlements were announced, Ablow’s attorney, Paul Cirel, said Ablow is now “focused on getting his medical license reinstated in Massachusetts where regulators barred him from practicing medicine last month after concluding he poses an immediate and serious threat to public health.” He added:

“We are pleased that the civil matters have been amicably resolved so that Dr. Ablow can now focus his attention and resources on overturning the Board of Medicine’s order of temporary suspension, so that he can restore his medical license and resume helping patients into the future, as he has countless times in the past.”

This isn’t the first time a medical malpractice suit has been filed against Ablow, though. In fact, back in 2016 one was filed against him by a 55-year-old Cape Cod antiques dealer. In that suit, the antiques dealer alleged Ablow “crossed clinical boundaries by e-mailing and texting her outside of therapy sessions, helped her open a store in Newburyport, prescribed medications for her family members, and suggested she have an affair with help from the online dating service Ashley Madison.” The suit even spotlighted Ashley Madison’s famous slogan, which is ‘Life is short. Have an affair.’

When questioned about his treatment methods at the time, Ablow’s lawyers pushed back and said his treatment of the antiques dealer was “within the standard of care and is to be viewed in the context of the development of communicative technology and that the patient’s ability to reach, check in, and otherwise contact her psychiatrist was valuable.”


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