The American Bar Association notes several recent cases where children were able to recover wrongful death damages even when their parents were killed before the child was born. The case cited involved a doctor who worked at a pain management clinic. The doctor allegedly prescribed a deadly dose of painkillers resulting in the death of a father shortly before his child was born.
The American Bar Association’s report comes in the wake of the highly publicized Prince death, with People reporting that the superstar had an appointment to meet with a doctor for addiction treatment. Law enforcement officials have told the press that Prince’s death may be investigated as being a potential drug overdose. Police are investigating whether Prince had been prescribed drugs before he died.
For patients who take prescription painkillers and their families, prescription drug abuse can be confusing and frightening. For instance, doctors define a difference between physical dependence and addiction. Anyone can become physically dependent on pain killers. However, not everyone becomes addicted. Some signs of drug addiction include seeking out multiple prescriptions from several doctors to raise your dosage or raising your daily dosage without speaking to your physician. Of course, it can be a fine line between addiction and physical dependence and family and friends may not always be able to tell the difference.
According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, doctors can lead the fight against drug addiction. Dr. Gupta explained to CNN that users often display visible symptoms and doctors need to take action when they see someone on the verge of overdose. According to CNN, every 19 minutes a person dies from opioid addiction. Many of these deaths are the result of prescription drugs, such as Percocet, hydrocodone, and OxyContin.
Many people begin to take the drugs to treat back pain or arthritis, but become addicted. Some doctors don’t realize the harm the drugs can cause, and many buy into the drug manufacturer’s promises that the drugs offer a comprehensive long-term solution to chronic pain.
Current research and recommendations are against prescribing opioid medication. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that doctors not prescribe this kind of pain medicine. For individuals who are already addicted, the road to recovery can be long and difficult. With long-term opioid addiction, individuals require more medication to treat escalating pain caused by the drug treatment itself.
If you or a loved one is suffering from opioid addiction, or if you have lost a loved one due to a drug overdose, you may have the right to seek a recovery from the prescribing doctor. Doctors have a responsibility to ensure that their patients are not being prescribed fatal overdoses. With opioid drugs, overdoses can happen, and when they do, the results are tragic.
The Law Office of Johnson & Lundgreen works closely with families who have suffered wrongful death losses in Boise and Nampa, Idaho. The effects of wrongful death can impact families for years—in terms of medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of companionship. Nothing can replace your family member, but the law offers important protections to individuals who have suffered due to another person’s negligence.