Oncologist Indicted for Poisoning Coffee of Lover, Colleague

Trial to Follow

Nick Mulcahy

September 27, 2013

An oncologist accused of poisoning the coffee of her colleague and lover at a top cancer center has been indicted on a felony charge of aggravated assault by a grand jury, according to a news report in the Houston Chronicle.

Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, MD, a principal investigator in a major breast cancer clinical trial and section head at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, will now have an opportunity to tell her side of the story.

To date, only her accuser, George Blumenschein, MD, a thoracic/head and neck oncologist at the same center, has spoken publicly about their relationship and the alleged crime.

Dr. Blumenschein's account was detailed in an affidavit filed in the case on May 29 in Harris County, Texas.

Dr. Blumenschein said that Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo poisoned his coffee with ethylene glycol, a common lab chemical that is an ingredient in antifreeze and can be fatal.

He also said the pair had a "casual sexual relationship."

According to Dr. Blumenschein, the couple were at her place on January 27, when Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo served him a cup of coffee that had an "odd taste."

Dr. Blumenschein, who prefers his coffee black, questioned Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo about the brew because it tasted "sweet."

She replied that it contained Splenda, an artificial sweetener, and later provided him with a second cup — but only after instructing him to "finish the first cup first."

Dr. Blumenschein drank both cups.

Over the subsequent 20-hour period, Dr. Blumenschein reportedly experienced slurred speech, poor balance, and loss of fine motor skills. He was admitted to a hospital emergency department and was diagnosed with central nervous system depression, cardiopulmonary complications, and renal failure. He is reportedly under continued care for kidney problems.

These allegations and profiles of the pair were reported by Medscape Medical News when the original charges were filed.

"We feel very strongly that she's innocent, and we trust that a jury will agree with us," said attorney Derek Hollingsworth yesterday. He is representing Dr. Gonzalez-Angulo. The prosecutors made no comment.

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