Jury Verdicts Split on Medical Malpractice Claims of Negligent Administration of Pain­ Relief Medicine by Psychiatrists

Estate of Feury v. Member (Spotsylvania Co. Circ. Ct. 2004)

The family of a woman who died of an overdose of a strong pain-relief medicine given to her by a psychiatrist was awarded $1.4 million by a Virginia jury. The woman, who suffered from menstrual cramping and endometriosis, obtained four Fentanyl patches from the psychiatrist, allegedly without proper instructions, warning, medical exam, or a prescription. At the time she obtained the patches, the woman was an administrative clerk at the psychiatrist's clinic and in the process of obtaining a divorce from him. The woman was apparently unaware of the strength and potency of Fentanyl, a Schedule II drug, and applied all four patches simultaneously plus a heating pad, which increased the circulation of the medication. Criminal charges were subsequently brought against the psychiatrist and he was found guilty of prescribing a Schedule II narcotic without a written prescription...

Found in DMHL Volume 24 Issue 1