Can I take the medical practice of which I am a patient to court for giving me too much pain medicine causing my addiction and unbearable withdrawal?

For almost 10 years I have had the same doctor treating me for a severe spinal injury. I have been prescribed the following every month: 80mg. Oxycontin ie 8 tabs 3x’s a day. 10 mg. Methadone ie 13 tabs 3x’s a day. 30mg. Oxycodone 1-2 tabs 3x’s a day. My Dr. suddenly went on medical leave and a series of Dr’s within the practice have nervously passed me around not wanting to sign their name to the monthly scripts. This is the 3rd month and I was told the day my meds were due I would not be prescribed these meds because these Dr’s feel it’s wrong and an irresponsible liablity to the new doctor. Can I take the practice to court for giving me this much medicine monthly causing my addiction and unbearable withdrawals currently?

Asked on June 13, 2014 under Malpractice Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You may be able to sue the prescribing doctor and the practice if the amount of pain medicine prescribed you was inappropriate--that is, it went beyond generally accepted medical standnards for the treatment of your condition. If that's the case, this may be malpractice. On the hand, since there generally are a range of treatment options and no single "right" treatment, if the amount, type, etc. of pain medicine prescribed you falls within the accepted parameters for treatment of your condition, then the doctor and practice most likely did nothing wrong and there would be no liability.


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