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Mother seeks answers after overdose-related death

A mother is seeking answers after her daughter was found dead with almost 20 bottles of prescription pills surrounding her. According to reports, the woman committed suicide and did leave a note. She had a history of chemical dependency and was being treated by multiple physicians for numerous diagnoses.

Reports indicate that the woman was seeing a specific physician that prescribed many medications during his first month treating her. He also reportedly increased the doses on medications she was already on. Her mother raised questions about how a doctor who just started treating a patient could prescribe so many medications.

Records showed that the doctor had been in trouble for such issues before. He has a long history of disciplinary issues with various medical boards. In the past, his license was suspended for prescribing errors and over-prescribing, and one report indicated that in the past he left blank and signed prescription forms at he front desk of his office, allowing unqualified administrative staff to fill them out as needed. Reportedly, the doctor also had a history of chemical dependency himself.

The woman's mother entered complaints with the medical board governing the physician, and an investigation did occur. The board ultimately decided that some issues did occur with the physician's behavior, but they could not conclusively show that he overprescribed medication to the woman. They ended up putting him on supervised probation for six months. The doctor has a history of being put on such probation.

The woman's mother remains upset and wishes the board would do more. She doesn't believe the doctor should practice at all. In some cases, bringing a medical malpractice suit against a physician is one way to bring these types of issues to light, especially if medical boards are tied by their own rules.

Source: CBS Boston, "I-Team: Patient’s Death Raises Questions About Doctor’s Care, Medical Board Oversight," Ryan Kath, April 28, 2016

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