Doctors push St. Luke’s to forgo $25 million gift

In the "I cannot believe they’d even consider it" category: – Doctors push St. Luke’s to forgo $25 million gift.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital’s famed medical tower will soon be renamed for a Houston lawyer who has made millions taking the health care industry to trial.

The plan to rename the edifice after John O’Quinn in recognition of a $25 million donation by his foundation has infuriated many St. Luke’s doctors, who last week began circulating a petition against it and Monday night convened an emergency meeting of the medical executive committee.

"Perhaps you are unaware of the intensity of feelings held by many physicians about Mr. John O’Quinn," says the petition, which is addressed to the Rev. Don Wimberly, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and chairman of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System board of directors. "The primary source of his financial success has been representing plaintiffs in medical liability and products liability cases, many of them groundless."

But Lee Hogan, executive chairman of the St. Luke’s System board, said after the medical executive committee met Monday that the matter is closed. He said the board already had considered the sort of concerns the medical staff is raising and "isn’t inclined to reconsider."

Hogan said the focus should be on two things: "the generosity of the gift," the largest in St. Luke’s 50-year history; and what the money will be able to do for St. Luke’s, such as upgrade and increase the size of its emergency room, operating rooms, intensive care unit and private patient rooms.

So, Mr. Hogan, how much would, say, Dr. Kevorkian, or the American Nazi Party have to pony up to get this tower named after them?  If it’s really just about the bucks, you have no principles, period.  Well, none outside the almighty dollar.

And at least one lawyer agrees the shouldn’t be sold, so it’s not just docs against it.


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  1. Giving back?

    A group of physicians at St. Luke’s Hospital in Houston are asking the hospital to decline a $25 million gift made by a foundation established by John O’Quinn, a plaintiff’s lawyer who has made millions pursuing silicosis cases and breast