Doctor Faces Life Sentence for Prescribing Painkillers

It was a case that had doctors and legal experts alike watching very closely, a doctor recently convicted of murder could face life in prison for her actions. This case was so closely watched because of its historic nature. It is almost unheard of for a doctor to be charged with a serious crime like murder because of the way she practices medicine.

Typically, when a doctor negligently practices medicine and causes injury to a patient, the doctor will be held liable under civil law, but will not face criminal charges. There are cases when a doctor intentionally hurts a patient, and in those situations they will of course be prosecuted for crimes, but that was not the situation here.

What Happened

What happened in this case was truly tragic. According to reports, at least a dozen of this doctor’s patients died after being prescribed copious amounts of painkillers. Once the prosecutors in this area became aware of this trend, an investigation was opened to discover whether this doctor should be held criminally liable for the way she prescribed medicines to her patients.

After their investigation, the state decided to bring a case against the doctor for prescribing what they described as outrageous amounts of painkillers and other medications. As part of their case, the state argued that the doctor ignored signs that her patients should not be taking painkillers, and that she only sought to make money off her practice.

This case was unusual because to be convicted of murder a person has to act in a way to kill a person, and intend to kill them. While the prosecutors in this case did not argue that this doctor intended to kill her patients, they argued that her willful and wanton disregard for her patients’ welfare amounted to a depraved heart. The jury in the case agreed, and the doctor was convicted. Now she may face a sentence of life for her actions.

Medical Malpractice Cases

While this case is unusual, medical malpractice is not. Seemingly every day a doctor, nurse, or hospital employee will act negligently and cause a patient to suffer as a result. This is the very definition of medical malpractice, and Florida law is designed to protect victims of this negligent behavior. This could include criminal laws, but more often than not it comes down to a civil case for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice laws in Florida are very complex. There are numerous rules, regulations, case laws, and other considerations that go into every case. That is why any victim of medical malpractice should choose their attorney wisely. When it comes to choosing an attorney, experience, passion for a client’s case, and knowledge should be the characteristics that your attorney should have.

At The Pittman Firm, our team of dedicated professionals works with victims of medical malpractice to ensure they are justly compensated for their injuries. If you or someone you love has been hurt or injured because of medical malpractice, contact us. We will go over your case with you and give you the legal counsel and help your case deserves.


See related blog posts: Court Ruling Challenges Florida's Damages Cap; 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules on Doctor Gun Law.
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