Methadone Overdose Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Drug addiction is a community-wide problems that takes the lives of many residents–both old and young–every single day. When most think of drug deaths, the mind usually jumps to intentional abuse of recreational drugs that take the lives of those with addiction problems. Yet, more and more information continues to pour out about one situation where a prescription drug used to treat addiction may itself cause serious harm. Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers know that all medical facilities must be very careful about their use of this prescription drug to ensure those receiving the medication are hurt as a result.

The Dangers of Methadone
This problems is helpfully summarized in a recent comprehensive story from the Superior Telegram. The story shares the heartbreak of a family who lost their 32-year old son to an overdose of the prescription drug methadone. It is a drug used to help those who have other drug addictions.

The 32-year old man in this case was born in Sterling, Illinois before eventually moving with parents to Wisconsin as an adolescent. The man had challenges as a child–he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder. The family notes that the man lived in Illinois in his 20s where he developed an addiction to oxycodone.

A few years ago, hoping to turn his life around, the man decided to try to break his oxycodone addiction. As is common in these cases, he was prescribed methadone to kick the habit. Methadone is a synthetic drug which mimics the effects of the actual opiods. Sadly, in this case the man then developed an addiction to methadone which eventually caused him to hallucinate and show symptoms of schizophrenia.

At one point, he seemed to have finally broke free of all addictions. However, not long before his death he had a small relapse before immediately receiving support from various treatment centers. He went back to methadone treatment. Soon afterward his parents noticed something was wrong–he showed signs of deyhdration, constipation, and insomnia. He had heartburn and was sweating profusely.

A few days later the 32-year old was found dead in his room at his parents home after receiving another methadone treatment.

The family demanded answers, but they were slow in coming. It wasn’t until a year later that the death certificate was finally updated with details about the exact cause of death which was connected to methadone poisoning. A toxicology test showed the only drugs in the man’s system were those he had been prescribed in proper doses. In other words, something was wrong with what he was given by medical professionals.

Legal Roadblocks
Besides sharing information about the dangers of the drug, the Telegram article also notes that the family of the man in this case were unable to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek accountability. That is because of an old case in the state that prevents parents from filing suits for loss of society and companionship of their adult children as a result of medical malpractice. This is different than the rules that apply to minor children in the state

Issues of standing are quite complex, and so it is important for all local families to visit with a Chicago medical malpractice attorney to share their story and get tailored advice. There is nothing to lose in these cases, as the legal professional should take your case on a contingency basis, meaning no costs are required to simply seek information on your available legal options.

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