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Loss of Ohio woman's life calls attention to medical overdoses

When a doctor, nurse, surgeon or other medical provider fails to complete their job properly, the consequences can be deadly. A medical error could deprive a family of their loved one forever.

Such is the case in a pending lawsuit against Mount Carmel Health System. A woman who went to the emergency room to treat serious chest pain lost her life - not due to her original health condition, but due to an overdose of fentanyl.

In tragic cases such as this, it is critical that family members get the facts. They deserve to know the true cause of death. If the cause is a doctor's fault, the family has a right to sue for their loss.

Medical professionals must treat their patients with the respect and care they deserve. Doctors should know which type and amount of medication are safe for their patients, and they need to be especially vigilant when prescribing and administering powerful drugs like fentanyl.

In the lawsuit, attorney David Shroyer wrote, "The excessive dosage was grossly inappropriate given Bonnie Austin's condition and was either ordered negligently and not properly reviewed or was intentionally prescribed by Dr. Husel for the purpose of ending Bonnie Austin's life." According to the hospital, the doctor who prescribed the medication may have also caused the death of 27 or more patients.

Hospital errors are often the result of carelessness, lack of knowledge or lack of training. Unfortunately, some errors are intentional. In this specific case, the root problem is not yet clear. However, the tragic outcomes are obvious.

Medical malpractice has a severe emotional and financial impact on the families of affected patients. When a doctor is negligent, victims and their surviving family members deserve justice.

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