2007_9_health_drnik.gifA self-appointed soldier in the war against aging and natural shortcomings, plastic surgeon Brad Jacobs reportedly tossed a few malpractice and neglect-filled grenades into the trenches of the Upper East Side over the years. And this week, the New York Department of Health had had enough of his friendly fire. According to the Village Voice, after collecting a record 26 malpractice judgments or settlements over an eight year period, the doctor finally handed over his medical license for good (his appeal over a recent suspension having been declined).

Some of the charges leveled at Mr Jacobs include giving a patient breast implants that were far too big for her frame, leaving a surgical sponge inside the breast of another, and even smoking crystal meth with a patient shortly before operating on her. And these cartoonish acts of neglect pale in comparison to more serious charges such as removing normal breast tissue during the course of a lumpectomy, leaving the cancerous cells behind.

Instead of going on battling the barrage of seemingly endless legal challenges before him, Mr Jacobs has decided to raise the white flag. His lawyer says, "Dr. Jacobs came to realize that he could not get a fair hearing from the Department of Health. Under increasingly dire financial circumstances.... Dr. Jacobs [has] made the painful decision to end his nightmare and to begin the process of moving on with his life."

Mr Jacobs will likely be busy in retirement with at least five malpractice cases still pending against him.