Docs wary of murder charges

Physicians concerned pain-killer overdoses could lead to prosecution

After state officials filed murder charges against a doctor whose patient overdosed on pain medication she prescribed, California physicians are wary of prescribing pain medication, a report finds.

Rowland Heights physician Hsiu-Ying Tseng was charged with murder for prescribing medication to three patients who died from overdose, according to California Healthline. Physicians have expressed concern that potential prosecutions might make doctors wary of prescribing pain medication even when it is necessary, a problem compounded by the difficulty discerning when patients are lying about pain in order to get high.

Los Angeles Times analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data asserted that prescription-drug abuse is to blame for an increased drug-overdose rate, which has doubled over the last 10 years.