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Lawsuit: Over-medication killed Massachusetts man

Medication can be helpful and even life-saving when used appropriately. It can regulate blood pressure, bring hormones into balance or simply relieve pain for Massachusetts residents who need it. A medication error, however, can have the opposite effect. A problem with the dosage or prescription can do major harm to a patient, causing them illness and even death.

A 44-year-old man had been experiencing chronic pain when he went to a Plymouth doctor for help in 2005. Weighing roughly 350 pounds, the man had pain issues throughout his body, including in his neck, shoulder, back and spine. He also had several other conditions, including chest pains, a urinary tract infection and diabetes. The physician prescribed him opioid painkillers for a year and a half. The man ended up dying from a heart attack, which his family claims was a result of an excessive amount of medication.

The man’s widow has filed a suit against the physician, claiming he acted negligently by not meeting the standard of care. According to the suit, the decedent had several side effects often associated with the opioid medications. He began to lose mobility, gained weight and suffered from itchy skin. While the physician argues that the dosages were accurate, the widow states that he should have sent her husband to specialists based on the side effects.

A jury will decide the outcome of the case, which could result in a costly verdict against the physician. An individual who experiences a worsened condition as a result of doctor negligence should immediately contact an attorney. Survivors should also get in touch with a lawyer if a loved one passes away due to a medical error.

Source: Wicked Local Plymouth, “Plymouth doctor’s malpractice trial begins,” Jake Saltzman, May 23, 2014

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