VA doctor still practicing after botched dog surgeries

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — There is new information regarding those deadly dog experiments at McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond.

8News has learned that the doctor behind those botched surgeries is still a practicing physician at the veteran’s hospital.

McGuire confirms to 8News that doctor is still treating and performing surgeries on veterans at the hospital.

Doctor Alex Tan is currently listed as being board certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease at McGuire Veterans hospital. However, he is banned from performing surgeries on dogs in connection with McGuire’s animal research projects.

Research, the VA says is to help better treat veterans with lung infections, diabetes and PTSD.

According to hospital incident reports obtained by the animal rights group, White Coat Waste Project through a freedom of information act request and shared with 8News, Tan was involved in three surgical mishaps dating back to December of 2015.

In that December case, a dog was given a sedative overdose, not provided with fluids for hours and “left in a state that could have led to death.”

In another incident, the doctor severed the cardiac nerves of two dogs leading to fatal heart attacks.

In November of 2016 report, Tan mistakenly sliced into the lung of dog killing the canine. A review committee called it “reckless” and Tan was removed from the research project.

The VA tells 8News research work is very different than treating patients in a hospital.

In a statement, the VA says in part:

“Providing the best care and services to the nation’s veterans is paramount to the Department of Veterans Affairs … VA takes seriously any reports of not adhering to standards and will immediately review and correct processes if and when those issues arise.”

8News reached out to speak with Dr. Tan, but McGuire tells us he declined to comment.

An investigative arm of Congress has announced it will be doing an audit on the animal research projects at McGuire and other federal agencies.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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