An Illinois pediatrician who took his life wrote a suicide note saying he regretted falsifying vaccination records for children in his practice, according to several media reports.
Van Koinis, MD, 58, who was leading a practice in Evergreen Park, Illinois, was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in September, but authorities published this week information about the suicide note.
Koinis was a well-known advocate of homeopathic medicine, and researchers believe that parents may have specifically searched for false documentation that shows that their children had been immunized against communicable diseases when they had not done so, reports the Chicago Tribune.
"He was known to be someone who was engaged in homeopathic medicine and, from what we have determined, it was well known that people who opposed vaccination could go to him," Cook County Sheriff Tom told the newspaper. Dart.
Dart said no evidence has been found to indicate that Koinis has not taken into account parents' wishes for their children to be vaccinated, but their former patients should be checked to make sure they received the appropriate vaccines. Koinis had been licensed to practice in Illinois since 1991, according to state records cited by the Tribune.
While it is not clear how many children may have been affected, the note that Koinis left suggests that he modified the records or administered fake vaccines over a period of 10 years.
"The time he mentioned and the fact that he was so focused on this as a regret of something he did, and the fact that he killed himself, led us to believe that it was quite serious on many levels," Dart told the Tribune.
"The content of the note he left was very broad and very specific about vaccination problems and the falsification of records. He was incredibly sorry for what he did and was the only thing he mentioned in the suicide note," Dart said in an interview. with WBBM-TV CBS 2 Chicago.
Dart told the station that no one has been charged in connection with the alleged conspiracy of the pediatrician to falsify vaccination records, but that an active investigation was under way to determine if anyone else could have been involved.
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