The Slatest

“Penile Nerve Block” Doctor Inflicted Bizarre Abuse on Military Medical Trainees, Report Says

John Henry Hagmann in 1980.

Handout/Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences/Reuters

Reuters has what is undoubtedly Tuesday’s strangest story, a summary of a Virginia Board of Medicine report alleging that a doctor named John Henry Hagmann dosed military trainees with drugs including ketamine and “penile nerve block,” drew their blood unnecessarily, and took one into a warehouse to drink beer and discuss circumsision. Hagmann, whose license has been suspended pending a hearing, worked for the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, which Reuters describes as “a government-run medical school that trains and prepares health professionals to support the military.”

From the piece:

The Virginia medical board report also says Hagmann conducted what board investigators described as “ketamine labs,” “alcohol labs,” and “cognition labs.” The labs, officials wrote, “involved the dosing of ketamine and consumption of alcohol, at times in combination or in quick succession, so that he (Hagmann) could assess the effects of these substances on their cognition.”

During a July 2013 course in North Carolina, authorities say, participants were provided eight shots of rum in 10 minutes. About an hour later, they were allegedly injected with ketamine. Officials allege that one intoxicated participant received a penile nerve block, a type of anesthesia.

Reuters also describes so-called “shock labs” in which trainees’ blood was drawn and then put back into their bodies, a procedure a quoted Harvard Medical School doctor calls “wildly unheard of and perhaps unsafe.”

And then there’s this:

In one case detailed by investigators, Virginia authorities allege that Hagmann boasted to a student “about his proficiency with rectal exams” and took the student to a warehouse on his property. There, the report claims, the two “continued to consume beer” and Hagmann asked the student “about the effect (the student’s) uncircumcised penis had on masturbation and sexual intercourse.” The student told investigators “that he was inebriated and felt that he could not refuse Dr. Hagmann’s request … to examine, manipulate and photograph his penis.”

Hagmann—who has in the past been criticized by animal rights activists for using live, intentionally wounded pigs as training subjects—says his teaching techniques followed approved, standard practice and denies that he took any action described in the report for the purpose of sexual gratification.