Utah Physician Faces Medical Malpractice Claims for Allegedly Prescribing Painkillers

Utah Physician Faces Medical Malpractice Claims for Allegedly Prescribing PainkillersA medical malpractice suit against a Brigham City, Utah doctor is now in the hands of a jury, The Associated Press reports. The doctor is charged with running a massive pill operation and illegally prescribing painkillers to thousands of patients without any evaluation of their conditions.

Dewey C. MacKay was charged with 130 felonies last year, but 45 counts have since been dropped. He allegedly saw nearly 120 patients per day, spending only around three minutes with each person. Records showed that MacKay issued more than 37,000 prescriptions for highly addictive and dangerous medications such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. According to the National Library of Medicine, these painkillers are often abused by people trying to hurt themselves or get high.

MacKay's defense attorneys argued, however, that the case was flimsy and that only a few of the worst patients were taken into account to try to increase the state's criminal indictment.

A hospital in Salt Lake City is also facing a medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuit, according to the Deseret News.

The family of Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran Chris Anglesey has filed suit against the George E. Whalen Veterans Administration Hospital after Anglesey allegedly went to the facility after falling over some toys in his home. He was diagnosed with a broken right tibial plateau and was sent home the next day with crutches, painkillers and promise of an upcoming surgery date.

However, the suit claims that Anglesey returned to the hospital after stumbling on his crutches and complaining of respiratory problems. He remained over night again, but two days later he was allegedly found dead in his home.

Included in the lawsuit are three doctors at the VA hospital. All are accused of negligence and medical malpractice.