Delaware pediatrician Dr. Melvin Morse and his wife, Pauline Morse, were arrested on Tuesday after he was accused of waterboarding his daughter several times. They were officially arrested on charges of endangering child welfare, reckless endangerment and conspiracy according, to the Guardian.
Morse, who has done extensive research on near-death experiences over the years, especially of children, had his license suspended in light of the charges on Thursday. The pediatrician has appeared on several television shows, including Oprah and Larry King, and conducts seminars on the research of near-death experiences.
The scandal erupted after an incident in July in which Morse grabbed his 11-year-old daughter by the leg and dragged her across a gravel driveway before spanking her. The younger daughter, aged 6 years old, watched from the side. Investigators interviewed the 11-year-old and she told officials that she had been waterboarded several times as a form of punishment, sometimes inhaling water that surged into her nose.
She told investigators that Morse called the punishment “waterboarding” and that it occurred four times since 2009. Dr. Morse’s wife, Pauline, was aware of and saw some of the torture but did nothing to stop the occurrences, the Washington Post reports.
Morse remained in custody on $14,500 bail after he was charged with misdemeanors on Tuesday. The figure of Morse presents a scandalous and unsettling picture of professional demeanor and possible personal issues. The Washington Post notes that last month he was charged with terroristic threatening after saying he wanted to kill a 65-year-old man in May.
This newest scandal puts his research and viewpoints under clear scrutiny. His website gives a small glimpse into Morse’s approaches and beliefs on mortality, God and human experience. In early July, he was to host an event called “Saints and Sages” that would look at “The Wisdom of the Child’s Near Death Experience and how it led to the first scientific theory of consciousness that explains the near death experience and energetic healing!”
If the allegations of torture and maltreatment of his two children prove true, then Morse’s particular interests will have an eerie undertone that will be difficult to ignore. His record shows no previous malpractice charges since he earned his medical degree back in 1980. Since his license has already been suspended by officials, it is unlikely he will be able to practice for some time to come. Both Melvin and Pauline Morse face a preliminary hearing on the charges on August 16.
Photo Credit: Carlos Latuff