Frankly, it's about damn time. A doctor in Southern California has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years to life in prison for over-prescribing drugs that caused the fatal overdose of three of her patients. It is the first murder conviction of its kind in the country.
We need some more of those. Killing people for fun and profit is not some namby-pamby white collar crime. It is time that medical professionals who abuse their positions are called to account for the epidemic of drug overdoses we are seeing.
46 Year old Dr. Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng ran a medical clinic in Rowland Heights, CA in the Los Angeles area. Authorities say that she made more than $5 million in less than a 3 year period from that clinic. They also attribute 9 deaths to her over-prescribing ways during that same period.
In the end the only difference between this doctor and a common street dealer was the white coat – and the social acceptance that comes along with it.
In addition to being found guilty on 3 counts of second degree murder, she was also found guilty of 19 counts of unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The drugs she prescribed included oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone, and sedatives like Xanax and Valium.
Prescription drug abuse, fueled by the Dopioid epidemic (called that because it is largely supported by idiot medical professionals) has been taking up to 20,000 lives a year in this nation. We will never get a handle on it until the people directly responsible are held to account – and 30 years to life in prison is a pretty good account.
I know many want to lay blame solely at the feet of big pharma, and there is some merit to those claims; yet big pharma could not be successful in pushing these products without willing distributors to write the prescriptions without a second thought. Doctors are the front line of defense on this, and it would be good for them to know that egregious behavior like seen in this case will be dealt with.
Let's hope they are paying attention.