CONROE, Texas – Nearly 100 patients of an embattled Montgomery County doctor packed the courthouse halls Monday as he made his first court appearance.
Dr. Emad Bishai is one of four doctors arrested earlier this month, accused of improperly prescribing controlled substances to patients, some of whom later died of drug overdoses.
What happened at the hearing?
Dr. Bishai entered a plea of not guilty to four counts of committing unprofessional or dishonorable conduct by prescribing to a person who prosecutors say knew or should have known was an abuser of controlled substances and four counts of prescribing without a valid medical purpose. These counts are related to four overdose deaths.
“These medications were not given by me, they were taking medication and patches that are not prescribed by me,” Bishai told Channel 2 News after the hearing.
Dr. Bishai is also charged with improperly delegating professional medical responsibility that stems from his practice of pre-signing Schedule II prescription forms.
Who showed up to the hearing?
Almost 100 people gathered in the hall outside the courtroom before the hearing. They prayed and then applauded as Dr. Bishai made his way through the crowd.
Most were current patients who say Bishai changed their lives for the better and was not a “drug pusher”.
“Prior to me coming to Dr. Bishai, I was on a lot of medication and he got me off of the medication," said Erica Engstrom.
As part of his bond, Dr. Bishai cannot prescribe Schedule II controlled substances. He is due back in court in February.