STATES CHRONICLE – On Friday, a doctor from Oklahoma was charged with second-degree murder after five of her patients suffered deadly overdoses from taking painkillers and other dangerous medicine. Investigators claimed the combination of these drugs proved deadly for the patients.
Increasing opioid epidemics in the US
This case is one of the state’s many attempts to solve the opioid crisis, so many other doctors and medical professionals were charged with murder and sentenced to prison after their patients overdosed. A judge from the County of Oklahoma issued a warrant for the arrest of Regan Nichols, after several of her patients died while she was working at a clinic in Midwest City.
In 2015, around 33,000 deaths in the United States were caused by opioids, mostly heroin and prescription painkillers. Since 2000, the number of these deaths increased greatly, and determined the authorities to do something to stop this opioid epidemic.
The doctor prescribed dangerous combinations of drugs
Mike Hunter, the Attorney General in Oklahoma, declared that Nichols prescribed way too many opioid drugs, which put the lives of her patients in danger. The investigation revealed that, between 2010 and 2014, she prescribed over 3 million doses of dangerous medicine.
For instance, in 2010, a 47-year-old patient received a prescription from Nichols for anti-anxiety drugs, muscle relaxants, and opioid painkillers. This combination is regarded as deadly by both investigators and other medical experts. As a result, the patient was dead after six days.
The same case occurred in 2012 but, this time, the patient hadn’t received a thorough examination since 2008. Surprisingly, this patient survived for one month, despite having taken a worrying amount of narcotics which should have worked as a red light for Nichols.
Investigators claim that Nichols prescribed the patients drugs they didn’t need. Also, she combined three dangerous types of medicine, which most often lead to deadly overdose. Therefore, she was charged with second-degree murder.
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