Doctor indicted for manslaughter in connection with patients’ deaths

Disturbing news out of New York has many people in Pennsylvania wondering how much their doctors are really looking out for their patients’ well-beings. This comes in light of the arrest of a New York City doctor police say is responsible for prescribing “highly addictive painkillers” to individuals, several of whom died from overdoses.

According to police, the 58-year-old physician was indicted following a two-year- investigation into the possibility that he had been prescribing pain medications such as oxycodone to people who had addictions to these drugs. Seven of the patients were pronounced dead a short time after being prescribed these painkillers all suffering from a fatal overdose. The doctor is only being charged with the wrongful deaths of two of the deaths however while charges of reckless endangerment accompany the remaining.

Between January 2009 and November 2011, the physician saw 70 to 100 patients a day, many of whom were known to have addictions of some sort or could have developed harmful addictions after taking the prescribed medications.

Recently, the 58-year-old doctor appeared in a New Jersey court where he faced 219 counts, including two counts of second-degree manslaughter, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, four counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, and 180 counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Many people across the state of Pennsylvania and beyond feel that this case highlights the growing need for hospitals to be held responsible for policing the physicians who have a responsibility to protect the health of patients everywhere. Without consequence, many fear that physicians such as this could further the growth of dangerous addictions that can lead to serious injury or even death.

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