Part of a physician’s job is to treat a person’s illness and help them manage any painful symptoms while the illness is being targeted. For example, if a person breaks his arm, his doctor should treat the break, bandage the arm, and prescribe pain medication mild enough to help the man cope with the painful side effects of the bone break.
However, many narcotic pain medications are made from opium, a highly addictive natural ingredient in heroin. The main narcotic pain medications doctors prescribe are morphine, codeine, Dilaudid, Percocet, Vicodin, and oxycodone.
While these medications are effective at masking pain symptoms, they can become problematic when the patient becomes addicted and can’t stop taking it. A recent review of medical studies showed addiction to narcotic pain medication exists, but only in about 4.5% of patients treated.
Patients can only sue their doctors when they become addicted to opiates if the doctor was negligent in prescribing the pills. All doctors owe their patients a certain standard of care. If they fall below that standard, patients can be harmed or killed, and the doctor is liable for the outcome.
In one particular case, a woman in Philadelphia won $1.5 million for the wrongful death of her son. The son’s family doctor and a psychiatrist overprescribed a deadly mix of narcotic medications. The doctor claimed to be performing “pain management,” though he was not certified in that field, nor had he been trained in it.
Additionally, the client’s son began seeing a psychiatrist for depression caused by his pain. Despite the fact that the son told both doctors he suffered from asthma, they prescribed excessive amounts of narcotics known to suppress the respiratory system. The medication was increased in dosage, amount, strength, and frequency until the son died as a result. The psychiatrist did not order medical records of the patient, though he was told the son was in treatment with several other medical professionals.
If your loved one was fatally prescribed opioid medication, our skilled Sedalia wrongful death attorneys could help you hold the physician accountable for his or her negligence. Medical malpractice is a serious error and is subject to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death. Talk to us about your case today.
Call us at (660) 722-4115 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation today.