Physician Charged with Murder for Patients’ Fatal Overdoses

March 7, 2012 | Risk Management News

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A California physician has been charged with murder in connection with three fatal overdoses among her patients, states a March 1, 2012, Los Angeles Times article. According to the article, the action represents a rare attempt to hold a physician criminally liable for patients' deaths; however, this physician had been under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for years, even as her patients continued to be injured by overdoses. In addition to the deaths, the physician is being charged with 20 counts of prescribing painkillers and antianxiety drugs, such as oxycodone and alprazolam, to people who had no legitimate need for the medications.

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