It seems as if more and more celebrity deaths are being attributed to prescription
drugs, a prime illustration of the nation’s rising drug epidemic.
Why do these types of preventable deaths continue to occur, and who is
being held responsible for them?

Dr. Winson Chung, a medical doctor, teacher, and psychiatrist, explores
physicians’ roles in celebrity medication-related deaths in a San
Francisco Chronicle
article, and poses an important question for the public and the medical community:
Why isn’t more scrutiny being placed on the doctors prescribing
the medications that lead to celebrity deaths?

Recent celebrity deaths in which prescription medications were a major
factor include:

  • Whitney Houston (Xanax, mixed with alcohol and other prescription drugs);
  • Michael Jackson (Propofol and Demerol); and
  • Heath Ledger (multiple sedatives including oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam,
    alprazolam, and doxylamine).

Dr. Chung attributes the prescription drug epidemic, the elephant in the
room, to a number of complex issues. To begin with, some physicians are
compensated or bullied into prescribing treatments.

Additionally, mental health is an abstract, often subjective area of medicine,
and it can be difficult for doctors to discern when a patient is truly
in need of a psychiatric drug. Chung explains that “most people
don’t have the time or motivation for therapy, [which] contributes
to the prescribing of anti-anxiety medications, like Xanax, as the path
of least resistance.”

There is no simple solution to this crisis, but it’s painfully obvious
that the medical protocol is in need of an overhaul.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to medical malpractice or medical
negligence,
contact the medical malpractice attorneys at Mellino Law Firm today!