Malpractice in the medical field is a dangerous, but unfortunately uncommon, occurrence in the medical field. In an overdose case, a doctor or pharmacist can even receive charges of murder if they purposefully gave a patient more of a substance than they needed. That’s what happened with Dr. Hsiu-Ying Tseng in this recent overdose case.
Dr. Tseng’s Overdose Case
On Friday, Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng received a sentence to serve 30 years to life in prison in an overdose case on counts of second-degree murder, 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing controlled substances, and one count of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance. Last year, a jury found Tseng guilty of second-degree murder, which marks the first time a doctor has been convicted of murder for overprescribing in the United States.
“She made attempts to put the blame on pharmacists and patients for what happened and did little to take responsibility for her own actions,” said the Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli.
Tseng was a general practitioner and between 2007, when she joined the Rowland Heights clinic. In 2010, sources reported that her office made $5 million. The doctor reportedly received notification that numerous patients of hers had overdosed and died, yet her prescribing habits didn’t change. District Attorney Jackie Lacey states Tseng “stole the lives of three young people in her misguided effort to get rich quick” and her conviction sent an unyielding message to the rest of the medical community.
One of the victims, Joey Romero, died from mixing alcohol with Xanax and Oxycontin that Tseng prescribed for him. Afterwards his mother, April Romero, founded the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse after his death. She stated that “justice has been served”.
Prescription Drug Abuse In the United States
Tseng’s reckless prescribing habits are part of a much larger problem that the United States has been facing over the last decade. The prescription drug epidemic kills more people than all other illegal drugs combined. Additionally, morally-questionable doctors across the United States fuel this epidemic and contribute to the major heroin problem our country is facing. It spawned the implementation of new prescription drug monitoring programs in 49 of 50 states and led to many crackdowns on pain clinics across the US.
The final decision in this monumental case sent chills through the medical community and could in fact, change the way doctors prescribe controlled substances across the country.
Morningside Recovery is among the leading addiction treatment providers in the country and offers a variety of treatment options to patients dealing with prescription drug addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction and in need of help, please don’t hesitate to call. You may reach us anytime at 855-631-2135 to learn more about the drug detox and drug addiction treatment recovery process.