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Doctor facing medical malpractice charges relating to 11 patient deaths

Texas doctors are held to a professional standard that requires them to treat patients with reasonable care. When they do not meet this standard, they often face charges of medical malpractice. In addition, a medical professional may be liable for negligent prescription of medication if he prescribed an incorrect dosage or did not follow the manufacturer's instructions and if a patient suffered an injury because of this negligence.

A doctor who has been linked to 11 patient deaths is now being federally charged for overprescribing drugs, such as strong painkillers, like OxyContin. The doctor has already faced four medical malpractice and wrongful death suits over the past year.

According to a U.S. Attorney's Office's affidavit, some of the doctors' patients had to go to the emergency room after visiting the doctor. Ten months after his arrest, the state medical board revoked his license. Unfortunately by then, the damage had already been done. One lawsuit was filed by parents of a college athlete, who died shortly after being prescribed around 63 pills a day.

Another family's children filed a suit after the loss of their father. That lawsuit stated that the father received a combination of highly addictive and powerful drugs, and that no reasonable doctor following the proper standard of care would have prescribed. The doctor also failed to monitor the patient properly or discuss the options with the patient. The family believes that this medical professional negligence was a proximate cause of their father's death. The doctor's attorney, however, says that the doctor acted within medical discretion.

The doctor is currently out on bail. The criminal case will likely go to trial in May, and criminal charges will have to be dealt with before the civil cases go to court.

Source: Noozhawk, "Doctor Accused of Overprescribing Sued 4 Times for Malpractice, Wrongful Death," Giana Magnoli, Jan. 29, 2013.

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Brian Jensen

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