Alex Cameron, Oklahoma Impact Team
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Despite a personal plea from her husband, the wife of former Oklahoma County District Attorney Wes Lane was turned down Thursday by the State Medical Board.
Dr. Lori E. Hansen, a licensed plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City, petitioned the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to terminate the probation she's had to practice under, off an on, since 2002.
In what became a very public case, given her marriage to such a high-profile law enforcement official, Dr. Hansen battled painkiller and alcohol addiction in the early 2000s, culminating with the surrender of her medical license in 2006. In 2007, the Board reinstated her license, but placed her on "indefinite" probation, requiring regular drug-testing and counseling.
Thursday, September 15, Hansen told Board members that she has been completely free of alcohol and narcotics for six years and has fully embraced her recovery. At the same time, she said, the conditions of her probation make it difficult to operate a practice that's as customer-friendly and efficient as it could be. She explained that, because of her probationary status, hospitals will not grant her privileges, and many pharmacies will not fill her prescriptions.
Mr. Lane, recently appointed to the commission that oversees the state's Department of Human Services, also addressed the Board. He said his wife's recovery has taken her to "a wonderful place" and that's she again found joy in her life. Lane said, with his experience as a prosecutor, he understands the value and need for probation. But, he argued, in Hansen's case, formal probation no longer has any value, and that he and Hansen's recovery group would remain her de facto probation officers.
Assistant Attorney General Libby Scott argued against the request, citing the seriousness of Dr. Hansen's original violations. She reminded Board members that, although several of them were not on the Board in 2007, there was a reason that group felt Hansen's case warranted indefinite probation, as opposed to a lesser period of five years. Scott said, even if that Board had given her a term of five years, she would still be one year short of completing it.
Following a 20-minute executive session, the Board voted seven to one to deny Dr. Hansen's request. No explanation was given.