sábado, 6 de febrero de 2016

BioEdge: LA doctor gets 30 years for prescribing pain killers to addicts

BioEdge: LA doctor gets 30 years for prescribing pain killers to addicts

LA doctor gets 30 years for prescribing pain killers to addicts
Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng   
A Los Angeles doctor has been sentenced to 30 years in jail for prescribing painkillers to drug addicts. Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng, 46, was convicted last year of the deaths of three people.

At the trial the prosecutor declared that Tseng had ignored warnings from police and the coroner and failed to change her prescribing habits even after the deaths of her patients. Her motivation was said to be money.

The larger issue is whether this case will have a deterrent effect upon how American doctors treat pain. According to the Los Angeles Times, some experts fear that Tseng’s conviction make doctors fearful of prosecution and hesitant to prescribe potent but necessary painkillers.

"The doctors are scared out of their minds," Tseng’s attorney told the LA Times. "The pendulum has swung so far. The people who need [pain medication] can't get it now."

In a statement to the judge before she was sentenced, Tseng wrote

“I terribly regret that even after learning of the overdoses, I did not investigate my prescribing practices to see if they played a role … I know that being remorseful for my failures as a doctor and as a person does not reverse time or does not help the families heal their grief.... No words can properly describe the sadness.”
- See more at: http://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/la-doctor-gets-30-years-for-prescribing-pain-killers-to-addicts/11742#sthash.vNWzFNhW.dpuf


I’m sure it’s just randomness and not something in the water, but often our newsletters seem devoted to a theme, be it euthanasia, or IVF, or stem cell research. This time, unfortunately, it’s skulduggery.
Below you can read about a Los Angeles doctor who has just been sentenced to 30 years in jail for prescribing powerful pain-killer to drug addicts, some of whom ended up dead. Then there’s another euthanasia scandal in Belgium in which a 37-year-old woman died at the hands of an incompetent doctorafter being diagnosed with autism. (Autism? Are you kidding?)
The most colourful, however, is the on-going controversy surrounding trachea surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who made headlines for creating artificial windpipes with stem cells. It turns out that his research, his CV and his romantic life all involve a fair bit of unsubstantiated creativity. Some of his patients died, too.
No surprises here. Human nature being what it is, there are bound to be a few bad apples in the medical barrel.
But it should lead us to reflect that governments need to take the possibility of misconduct very seriously when they are crafting legislation for the new genetic technologies. An English academic recently wrote in The Guardian that “playing God with our genes … is a good thing because God, nature or whatever we want to call the agencies that have made us, often get it wrong and it’s up to us to correct those mistakes.”
But if it is people like the doctors above who are playing God, it’s very likely that they will make irreparable mistakes. If scientists want to sack God, they should think very carefully about the CVs of the persons who will be moving into his office. 

Michael Cook



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