The number of people in Providence and throughout the rest of the U.S. who’ve struggled with addiction to prescription drugs has grown steadily in recent years. This alarming trend is well-known by many, with some even arguing that patients and/or their family members have a moral responsibility to safeguard themselves and their loved ones from such abuse. Yet it can’t be overlooked that without a willing healthcare provider to prescribe the drugs, the abuse cannot happen. While a doctor’s priority should be to address the needs of his or her patients, he or she also should be able to spot situations of abuse. A failure to see such abuse, or worse yet, an indifference towards it, could certainly be classified as negligence.
A doctor in Illinois is currently facing criminal penalties for contributing to such abuse in his patients. He stands accused of running a “pill mill” out of his practice, rampantly prescribing powerful drugs such as hydrocodone to patients despite being warned by fellow doctors of these patients’ abuse. In some cases, patients experienced dangerous side effects, with some even dying after having taken the drugs combination with others. While he hasn’t yet faced charges in conjunction with those deaths, he was sentenced to a year in prison for his practices in top of having his license suspended.
The fact that the doctor has had to answer to the law for his actions does not make him immune from civil litigation from patients who may have suffered as a result of his negligent practices. Those victims who’ve been subject to similar practices by a negligent physician may wish to initiate legal action against him or her with the help of a personal injury attorney.
Source: Alton Telegraph “Former Alton doctor get one year for running ‘pill mill’” Sanford Schmidt, Apr. 03, 2014