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Medical malpractice may involve prescribing addictive medicines

Some medical negligence claims are based on improper or excessive medications being prescribed by a treating physician. Sometimes, a doctor's actions go beyond mere negligence and are alleged to be criminal. Drug enforcement authorities regularly investigate physicians in Louisiana and elsewhere for overprescribing addictive medications without medical justification. In those cases, a patient or his or her surviving family members may have a medical malpractice claim against the doctor.

Legitimate malpractice claims do not usually exist where there are credible accusations of peddling pills for profit. In those cases, the patient is often accused of being complicit in the scheme along with the doctor. Nonetheless, even where those accusations are made, some patients may be innocent of complicity or knowledge of such practices.

Those persons may have a legitimate claim based on the negligent or even reckless overprescribing of addictive medications. They may suffer with an obvious debilitating addiction that the doctor does not attempt to treat or cure. Recently, a psychiatrist in another state was arrested by authorities on accusations of running a pill mill that caused the deaths of more than 30 patients.

The Georgia physician was allegedly linked to the death of 36 of his patients, with 12 of them purportedly dying from overdoses of pills provided by him. The allegations apparently do not charge that he gained any profit or had ulterior motives in overprescribing the medications. If true, then many of his patients or surviving family members may have monetary claims for damages.

Prescriptions must be based on the legitimate medical needs of a patient, as reflected in the documented clinical history. Appropriate physical tests must be given and recorded, and the medical justification for each prescription must be documented in the doctor's office notes and charts. A resident of Louisiana who may be the victim of this kind of medical malpractice can obtain a knowledgeable legal opinion from  an experienced attorney who regularly handles medical negligence claims.

Source: upi.com, "Georgia psychiatrist linked to 36 deaths, arrested after DEA raid", Daniel Uria, Jan. 16, 2016

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