Harvard Doctor Alleges Abuse

A member of the medical school faculty, indicted last year on several counts of embezzlement, has distributed a lengthy letter charging that Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Children's Hospital are pursuing a personal vendetta against him.

Dr. Bernardo Nadal-Ginard said in an interview last week that the Medical School and Children's Hospital are mistreating him, denying him due process and unfairly persecuting all those affiliated with him.

The doctor's 14-page letter, which lists his grievances against the Medical School, cites a new lawsuit in which Children's Hospital seeks to claim possession of all Nadal-Ginard's assets as repayment for alleged overcompensation.

Nadal-Ginard had served as cardiologist-in-chief at Children's Hospital since 1982, as well as director of the Medical School's M.D.-Ph.D. program and president of the Boston Children's Heart Foundation (BCHF).

In October 1993, Nadal-Ginard took a medical leave of absence from all his positions. Several weeks later, he came under investigation for alleged financial improprieties in his group cardiology practice at Children's Hospital, a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital.


He was accused of diverting proceeds from his cardiology practice to build up his world class art collection.

Last January, Nadal-Ginard was indicted for embezzling $130,000 from the BCHF. Six months later, he was indicted again for stealing $257,000 from two other group practices at the hospital.

Then, in October, Judge Robert E. Keeton ruled that Nadal-Ginard had abused his position as president of the BCHF in establishing an unapproved benefits package giving himself millions of dollars in severance from a job he never left. That decision is under appeal.

The Letter

In the protracted letter, which Nadal-Ginard said was distributed to all M.D.-Ph.D. students as well as various faculty and clients, the doctor levels an array of charges.

The doctor charged that Dean of the Medical School Daniel C. Tosteson '46 and Children's Hospital's new Chief Cardiologist James E. Lock had been particularly aggressive in their attempts to push him out.

Repeated attempts to reach the offices of Tosteson and Lock, as well as the Medical School's Public Affairs Office, were unsuccessful.

In a court deposition last spring, Tosteson said he had suggested to Nadal-Ginard that the latter resign.

"As I became fully familiar with the facts of the case,...I came to the conclusion that it would not be possible for him to continue to serve constructively on this faculty," the dean said, according to a transcript.

What most upset him, Nadal-Ginard wrote, were the administration's attempts to drive from the Medical School all those to whom he had any kind of ties.