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Coalinga dentist sentenced for son's dentist chair overdose

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Coalinga dentist is speaking for the first time about his son's death in his own dental chair. Action News broke the story of the police investigation into Patrick Clare's death two years ago.

Dr. Allen Clare has given up his dentist's license. He's suffered a nervous breakdown and a stroke. Now he'll serve three years of probation, but even when his punishment is complete, he says the pain will always be with him.

Behind the blinds of his Coalinga dental office, Dr. Allen Clare committed a crime, and it led to the death of his son, Patrick. The doctor's license didn't allow him to administer sedatives, but as his son writhed in agony awaiting a tooth extraction, Clare gave him what turned out to be a deadly dose of morphine and other drugs.

"[I've] gone over every procedure that I did, trying to figure out what could've gone wrong or what did go wrong," Dr. Clare said.

Coalinga police called it manslaughter or even murder. They say Clare had purchased the morphine shortly before the April 2011 incident.

Action News uncovered statements from staff members who said he never used the drug on any patient other than his son. But dozens of community members paint a different picture of the dentist. They describe a caring man who always nurtured his mentally challenged and epileptic 35-year-old son.

"He would hold him, literally, as he shook with seizures until they calmed down," said his attorney, Mark Broughton.

Coalinga police believe that was part of the reason why he might've done this intentionally.

"And that was proven to be false," Broughton said.

Prosecutors say they don't believe the drug overdose was intentional, but it was illegal for Dr. Clare to administer it. His son will rest in peace. Clare will have to live with what he did.

"Every day for the last two years and probably for the rest of my life, this is going to haunt me," Dr. Clare said.

The state dental board also accused Dr. Clare of illegally administering Valium and Demerol to nine other patients. He did not contest the charges and gave up his license last year.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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