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Medical State Board Permanently Revokes License of NJ Doctor for Alleged Conduct in Patient's Death


By: Najla Alexander

NJ AG authorities announced that the State Board of Medical Examiners (“the Board”) has permanently revoked the medical license of a North Jersey emergency room doctor for alleged conduct that resulted in a patient’s death at Overlook Medical Center in Summit in 2017. AdAttorney General Matthew J. Platkin said the Board became aware of the incident when the patient’s mother filed a complaint against the physician in 2022.

Officials stated that Shar Kennett, an emergency medicine specialist in Wayne, agreed to the permanent revocation of her license to resolve allegations she engaged in gross negligence, gross malpractice, and gross incompetence, which damaged the life, health, and welfare of a 20-year-old patient who died of respiratory arrest in the medical center’s emergency room.

According to the allegations against her, Kennett was on duty in the emergency room on June 29, 2017, when the young man, identified in Board documents as “Patient 1,” was brought in due to respiratory distress.

His condition was labeled as urgent. Kennett allegedly failed to examine Patient 1 and did not order any diagnostic testing, despite his parents’ urgent requests for assistance, and Patient 1 died that night, officials say. 

“This is a heartbreaking case involving the death of a young man under circumstances that should never occur in a New Jersey emergency room,” said Attorney General Platkin.

“As we extend our sympathies to this young man’s family, we are ensuring appropriate action is taken to hold this physician accountable and prevent this from ever happening again.”

“The alleged conduct of this physician demonstrates an appalling lack of professionalism and good judgment that pose a grave risk to those in her care,” said Cari Fais, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.

“I thank the Board for fulfilling its duty to protect the public by ensuring she will never again practice medicine in New Jersey.”

Authorities say in an appearance before a Board evaluation committee in March 2023, Kennett denied that she had failed to examine Patient 1 and testified that she saw Patient 1 twice that night.

Kennett acknowledged that she did not have any communication with Patient 1’s parents or any emergency room staff following her examination and that she documented her evaluation hours later after Patient 1 had died, officials stated.AdAccording to officials, although Kennett claimed to have been under the impression that she had ordered diagnostic tests, she later acknowledged that this impression was mistaken and that she failed to order any diagnostic testing.

Authorities say that in addition to the allegations of gross negligence, malpractice, and incompetence, the Board also found that Kennett engaged in dishonesty, fraud, or deception when she falsely documented that she had evaluated Patient 1 in a timely manner.

To resolve the allegations, Kennett entered into a consent order with the Board in which she agreed to retire her license to practice as a physician in New Jersey, with the retirement to be deemed a permanent revocation, officials said. 

Officials say the revocation is with prejudice, meaning Kennett is barred from applying for a license to practice medicine in New Jersey at any time in the future.

Additionally, officials stated that under the terms of the final consent order, which was filed by the Board on March 27, 2024, Kennett is prohibited from charging, receiving, or sharing in any fee for professional services rendered by others in this state and is precluded from managing, overseeing, supervising, or influencing the practice of medicine or the provision of healthcare activities here, including testifying as an expert witness or serving as an expert consultant.