I am a Pain Physician and Defendant in a Wrongful Death Medical Malpractice Case where a patient was found dead in her home. She was stable on her dose of Opioid Pain medicine, never inappropriate, slurred speech, imbalance and was our patient for many years. The death is ruled "accidental overdose". The husband files a law suit. But here is what has never been investigated. The husband on deposition admits to giving her alcohol the night before she was found dead the next morning and he admits to taking her pain medicines and hiding them and giving them to her at his discretion for an extensive amount of time. This was Percocet and Opana ER. As a doctor, I believe these actions are the cause of her death and he illegally tampered with her Rx's: His taking the pain meds from her and giving them out based only on his naive' medical opinion lowered her tolerance and giving her doses at which he did not know when he did so could have caused an overdose because she lost her former tolerance. And giving her alcohol the night she dies is obviously dangerous. He never told her doctors he was doing this. Does this not fit the definition of Manslaughter, intentional or not? Should that be formally investigated? I mean what about my Civil Rights for an appropriate and unbiased investigation and Due Process, since the husband is now accusing his doctors for her death?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Doctor- When it comes to criminal charges, the local prosecutor has great discretion. Although the husband's actions may meet the textbook definition of "manslaughter," that does not mean it is something that would be pursued by law enforcement and/or the prosecutor's office. The prosecutor's office may be interested in the information you have obtained while defending yourself, but they may also decide not to pursue it for a variety of reasons.
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