Doctor sues family of young girl he killed with prescription drugs
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Dr. Kevin Buckwalter of Henderson, Nev., has a history of malpractice and shady dealings during the time when he still had a practice and a license to prescribe controlled substances. Now that he has lost both, Buckwalter has sunk to a new low by countersuing the family of Andrea Duncan, a young girl who died in 2005 from intoxication by opiates and benzodiazepines he had prescribed to her, according to a recent report by ProPublica.
Young Andrea, of course, was not the only victim of Buckwalter's rampant and careless drug prescribing practices, either. Andrea's father Clint, a 69-year-old woman named Barbara Baile, and at least five other patients have died or committed suicide in recent years at the hands of Buckwalter and his small prescription notepad, according to the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). And yet this man now has the gall to target the families of the very people that he directly violated.
In a 2007 deposition for a different lawsuit, Buckwalter is seen on camera explaining, under oath, that he did not, in fact, provide adequate care for Andrea prior to her death. Rather than examine her on her first visit, Buckwalter explains that he simply prescribed her 300 tablets of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, as well as the painkiller hydrocodone and a synthetic opiate, and sent her on her way -- all because he "did not have time" to properly evaluate her.
You can watch Buckwalter's deposition here:
Board strips doctor of license to prescribe controlled substances - Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 | 12:21 p.m. - Las Vegas Sun
Failing to conduct a proper physical examination prior to prescribing drugs is a clear violation of proper medical practice and is downright irresponsible. And beyond this, Buckwalter failed to properly verify Andrea's previous medical records and to monitor her status during the time in which he was prescribing her as much as 300 pills of high-dose Xanax, as well as the other narcotics.
As a result, Andrea eventually overdosed on these drugs and died just four days after her father, who suffered the very same fate of a similar Buckwalter-induced drug overdose. A year later, the DEA and the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners (NSBME) withdrew Buckwalter's license to prescribe controlled substances, and he eventually shut down his private practice as well.
ProPublica explains that at least six lawsuits have been filed against Buckwalter on behalf of seriously injured or killed patients, as well as Andrea's lawsuit. Signed affidavits have revealed that Buckwalter failed to maintain adequate records for many of his patients, and that he had an extensive history of failing to perform necessary physical examinations on patients prior to prescribing them highly addictive, and highly dangerous, drugs.
Buckwalter, however, denies the allegations against him and insists that he has always provided adequate care to his patients. And rather than just try to defend his position, Buckwalter has actually decided to take an offensive position against the Duncan family, alleging in his own counter-lawsuit that the family has intentionally inflicted "emotional distress" and has interfered with his "ability to do business."
Such a position is truly mind-boggling in light of the evidence that has been presented against him, not to mention his license suspension. But Buckwalter also reportedly tried to sue his own state's medical board in order to regain his revoked license , an effort that ultimately failed.
Prescription drug overdoses leading cause of unintentional injury death in US
Buckwalter clearly has no business practicing medicine based on his dismal track record of harming and killing patients, but neither do the thousands of other doctors out there that continue to recklessly prescribe dangerous benzodiazepines, opiates, and other narcotic drugs to their patients, many of whom become addicted, and later overdose, on them.
According to a study published in the May 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, hospitalizations due to poisoning by prescription medications increased a whopping 65 percent between 1999 and 2006. Consequently, prescription drugs have now surpassed automobile accidents as the number one cause of unintentional injury death in the US.
Personal responsibility, of course, is crucial for any patient taking drugs prescribed by his or her doctor. But doctors who dispense such drugs like candy to their patients, while failing to properly assess and monitor them along the way, are directly responsible for the subsequent injuries and deaths that may ensue.
The drug companies dispensing such drugs are also directly responsible, especially when they illegally market them for conditions mild or wholly unrelated to those for which they were originally approved. Purdue Pharma, for instance, was criminally convicted for illegally marketing OxyContin, and yet this drug remains on the market to this day.
Learn more: Doctor sues family of young girl he killed with prescription drugs