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Can a Prescription Painkiller Addiction be Caused by Medical Malpractice?
When most people think about medical malpractice cases, they believe that the only circumstance in which they could file one is if they were left with a physical injury as the result of a physician’s negligence. While this is true, and physical injuries can be a common result of medical malpractice, this is not the only type of harm a doctor’s carelessness could cause you. Increasingly, national attention has been focused on the risks associated with prescription painkillers and how addiction to these drugs is ruining peoples’ lives. But can an addiction to prescription painkillers really be caused by medical malpractice? Read on to find out more.
Oftentimes after a major surgery or other type of medical procedure, you will be in pain during your recovery time. To combat this, most physicians will prescribe you with a narcotic, such as OxyContin or Vicodin, that delivers a higher dose of pain relief that your standard over-the-counter medicines. When used properly, these drugs are effective and beneficial to patients. But because of the addictive nature of narcotics, it can be all-too easy to slip into a pattern of drug dependency and abuse, at the expense of your health or even your life. The latest statistics show that 46 people die every day from prescription drug overdoses- that’s nearly 17,000 people per year. And the number of people who have medical complications from prescription painkillers far exceeds even that staggering amount.
What Role Does Your Physician Play?
The types of drugs used to relieve pain, in these cases, are not illegal drugs; they are lawfully obtained from your doctor. But just because they are lawfully obtained does not mean that your doctor has necessarily followed the letter of the law in prescribing them. One commitment that physicians make is to ensure that their patients give “informed consent” before proceeding with any type of medical procedure, including the prescription of painkillers. It is the responsibility of your physician to explain all of the risks associated with prescription painkillers and to ensure that you know how to go about using them in the proper manner. If your physician neglects to inform you about the potentially addictive nature of these drugs, than this may form the basis of a medical malpractice case. To learn more about informed consent and filing a medical malpractice claim, get it touch with Jenkins Block & Associates today.
We have four offices across Maryland and Virginia with trained legal professionals ready to assist you. Please CALL US at 1-800-243-2439 to be directed to the closest Jenkins Block & Associates location to you.