February 23rd, 2014
04:08 PM ET
7 months ago

Senate candidate regrets gruesome X-ray postings

Updated 11:25 a.m. ET, 2/24/2014

(CNN) - Milton Wolf, a radiologist and GOP primary challenger against incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, issued a statement Sunday admitting he made "insensitive" comments about X-ray images he posted online, including an image of a person decapitated by gunfire.

"Several years ago, I made some comments about these images that were insensitive to the seriousness of what the images revealed. Soon thereafter, I removed those images and comments, again several years ago," he said in a statement.

The story was first reported by the Topeka Capital-Journal, which got the images but did not show them to the public. The Capital-Journal's Tim Carpenter asked Wolf about the images in a tense, eight-minute video posted online alongside the article.

The candidate argued he was legally allowed to post those images online because he was not revealing the patients' identities and he was doing so for educational purposes. He also did not answer questions about whether he still posts such photos.

In Kansas, new ad questions Senator's residency

In his statement Sunday, Wolf put the blame on Roberts, accusing his "political adversary" for bringing the images to the public.

"However, my mistakes are my own, and I take full responsibility for them," he said.

A diagnostic radiologist, Wolf graduated from the University of Kansas and attended the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed his residency at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

In the statement Sunday, Wolf said he has long published educational material on medical imaging and said he has "taken care to maintain patient privacy."

The Capital-Journal interviewed multiple medical professionals in Kansas who panned Wolf's use of the particular images referenced in the article, as they reportedly seemed to poke fun at the patients. For example, the image of the patient whose head was decapitated was posted on Facebook with Wolf describing it as "one of my all-time favorites."

"From my residency days there was a pretty active 'knife and gun club' at Truman Medical Center. What kind of gun blows somebody's head completely off? I've got to get one of those," he wrote, according to the Capital-Journal.

The newspaper describes the image as "a skull broken apart like a smashed pumpkin. Chunks of skull remain attached by tissue with vertebra exposed at the neck."

A second cousin (once removed) of President Barack Obama, Wolf paints himself as a conservative activist with the guts to stand up to the GOP establishment. As a doctor, he frequently campaigns against the Affordable Care Act and proposes his own plan that he calls "PatientCare."

In the article, Leroy Towns, a spokesman for Roberts, said the postings raise questions about Wolf's responsibilities to maintain privacy of patient medical information as well as questions about his viability as a candidate.

"For any doctor to make patient records public and then use the records for public discussion and entertainment is just unthinkable," Towns told the Capital-Journal. "Allegations of such lack of judgment demand extensive scrutiny and investigation."

Wolf said Roberts' response was "character assassination."

"Pat Roberts has not been able to identify a single issue on which he thinks I am wrong and so he's doing things the Washington way: character assassination," Wolf said in the statement. "Kansans should know that I will not be intimidated by their bullying."


Filed under: 2014 • Kansas • Pat Roberts
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. connie Sue

    Tho it was wrong..... I`m willing to vote Roberts OUT of office!!!!!!! He only cares about his rich friends! It's been reported that he really doesn't have a home in Kansas. He rents a room from a buddy to stay legal.

    February 23, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  2. Dorothy

    This guy make Roberts look like a commie. I don't agree with Roberts on much of anything, but this guy is a jerk. I'm glad I never had him for a doctor. Great bedside manner, huh. Hey, doc, are you going to make fun of my X-rays when we're gone? He should go to work at TSA.

    February 23, 2014 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. Jack

    Anyone realize he's shifting the blame onto his past self? Well, this human puppet with all the hands stuck up his posterior would make a funny x-ray. This comment would be the best caption in the world. Only difference is, I'm too smart to run for office.

    February 23, 2014 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  4. 1alien1

    just a typical republican candidate, nothingf to get excited about

    February 23, 2014 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Uncle Sam

    please let there be candidates with integrity. And people wonder why some people do not bother to vote.

    February 23, 2014 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  6. oops

    I guess you could say he shot himself in the foot.

    February 23, 2014 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  7. underwaterops

    'Wolf said Roberts' response was "character assassination." '
    .
    Since the accusations are clearly true, perhaps Wolf meant to say, "Definition of Character".

    February 23, 2014 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. jeff

    "What kind of gun blows somebody's head completely off? I've got to get one of those..." – just another right-to-life, Christian Republican espousing those sacred morals we all want to raise our children by.

    February 23, 2014 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  9. Chris-E...al

    ITS strange yep ! But its n0t perjury like the left nut gaga's do all the time !

    February 23, 2014 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  10. Radgast

    I think most people at one time or another have a sense of humor regarding their profession. I wonder what politicians joke about.

    February 23, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  11. AceGirlshusband

    I still do not understand why he posted the images in the first place. What was the reason?

    February 23, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  12. Mike

    My goodness, how hypocritical. And convenient.

    Lets talk about the constitutional criminal in the white house currently. Lets talk about how often he has looked the American people right in the proverbial eyes and lied through his teeth. Lets talk about how he has put our childrens childrens children in debt. Lets talk about the illegal alien family of his in this country drawing the full package of social service benefits with absolutely no risk of deportation.

    Na. I know. WAY better to talk about unidentifiable xrays posted years ago that have been long since removed.

    I think I may have made a mistake by omission. I should have added "And dumb" to: "My goodness, how hypocritical. And convenient."

    February 23, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. Fatman

    Sick! This sorry excuse for a human being is a doctor?

    February 23, 2014 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. Zeke2112

    This is radiologists doing what they've always done. Radiographs are often interesting and unique. If you're sad because a radiologist said that a picture of some poor soul's malady was fun and interesting, you're in for quite a shock for what the rest of the world says about you.

    More thinned-skinned, PC whining. Toughen up – you are not a princess.

    February 23, 2014 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  15. dave

    I am a Republican, and THIS IS DISGUSTING!

    February 23, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  16. Pat in il

    I don't know why Kansas has such creepy politicians....just look at it's governor! Maybe they are too close to Texas.

    February 23, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  17. Merle McClung

    Please, don't put another GOP nut job in Congress! The whole country has to live with your mistakes.

    February 23, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  18. jake

    add it to the mountain of evidence that all tea partiers are sociopaths

    February 23, 2014 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  19. RickFromTexas

    The good news is, only his fellow Kansans might vote for this weirdo, he'll certainly never have a political career anywhere else.

    February 24, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  20. John

    that's all they got? As long as he knows how to pass a balanced budget, that's all I care about.

    February 24, 2014 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  21. James

    people pay for medical care in one form or another and their X-rays or medical records should not be published without their permission

    February 24, 2014 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  22. Sophie Meyer

    What an idiot. How stupid do you have to be to do something like this?

    February 24, 2014 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  23. koreel

    In this case, Wolf assassinated his own character. Anyone would question the ethics of a medical professional who would post his patients' records online and joke about them. It's downright disrespectful, unethical and outrageous, and given that behavior, I wouldn't care one bit about what his views were on the issues.

    February 24, 2014 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  24. D

    @rs

    "A Republican being insensitive about the plights of people? Say it ain’t so." I can name a few Democrats that fit the bill. Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Michael Bloomberg, Martin O'Malley, Senator Rangle. You see where this is heading. Don’t throw rocks unless you can take some in return

    February 24, 2014 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  25. jarjar

    It states that he is a radiologist first, then a doctor later. Which is it? Because a 2 year radiology degree dos not constitute being a doctor.

    February 24, 2014 02:11 am at 2:11 am |
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