A Biddeford physician was censured and his license was put on probation by the Maine physician licensing board Friday in a case in which a 47-year-old woman became the second patient under his care to die of an accidental drug overdose.

The woman died on May 19, 2012, of accidental oxycodone and cyclobenzaprine intoxication, according to the licensing board that sanctioned Dr. Stephen H. Doane.

On May 18, 2012, Doane entered into a consent agreement with the licensing board in a case in which one of his patients had died in January 2011 from a narcotics overdose.

Under that consent agreement, the board restricted Doane’s ability to prescribe opiates, saying he could no longer prescribe narcotics outside a nursing home, hospice care or other narrow exceptions.

Tim Terranova, assistant executive director of the licensing board, said the board on Friday permitted Doane to keep his license despite the two deaths because he was already operating with restrictions and had “completely changed his practice” since 2012. The board concluded that he is no longer a threat to patients, Terranova said.

“He is not on his own anymore,” said Terranova. He will be monitored by another physician for a year and be on probation for the rest of the time he has a license in Maine. Doane got his Maine license in 1985 and practiced internal medicine, specializing in geriatrics.


The board found Friday that Doane had “demonstrated incompetence in his treatment and record keeping by not being aware of the hazards” of the narcotics he prescribed, including oxycodone and Percocet, to the patient who died in 2012.

Doane now works for Genesis HealthCare, which operates nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Maine, according to board records.

Other new restrictions the board imposed on Doane include needing another physician to sign off on any prescriptions for narcotics that last more than seven days. Doane also is restricted to supervising one mid-level practitioner, and he cannot oversee more than 200 beds between two facilities.

For at least two years before the 47-year-old woman died in 2012, Doane had been prescribing her opiates to control pain from injuries and long-term conditions.

The woman was taken to the emergency room at Southern Maine Medical Center in Biddeford in September 2010 because her daughter reported that she was “not acting right” and “fell asleep standing up while smoking a cigarette.”

An emergency room doctor reported that the woman had an “altered mental status, was hard to wake, and was too sleepy” and concluded that she was “overmedicated.”


The doctor’s instructions in her discharge from the hospital said that the medications she was taking “would kill her” and that she should take only half of her current doses and stop taking one of her medications.

Doane continued to prescribe the patient the same medications at the same dosages, the board’s report said. Doane told the board that he spoke to an emergency room doctor, but had forgotten about it by the time he next saw the patient. He also told the board that he did not see the discharge papers recommending the reduced dosages.

Doane also dismissed calls from an acquaintance of the woman, who notified Doane’s office that she was selling some of her narcotics on the street, according to the report.

The woman continued to experience problems with opiates until she died in 2012, the report said.

Joe Lawlor can be contacted at 791-6376 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @joelawlorph

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