Medical Malpractice Allegations of Iatrogenic Addiction in Chronic Opioid Analgesic Therapy: Forensic Case Reports

David A. Fishbain, John E. Lewis, Jinrun Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The objectives for presenting these medico-legal forensic case reports are the following: 1) detail three cases where chronic opioid analgesic therapy (COAT) was alleged to cause iatrogenic addiction and/or re-addiction; 2) detail the plaintiff's and defendant's medical experts' opinions on these allegations; and 3) through analyzing these cases, develop some recommendations for future prevention of such allegations during COAT. Methods: Case Reports. Results: Medico-legal issues surrounding the allegation of iatrogenic addiction were identified in each case. Conclusions: Before starting COAT, physicians should obtain and document patient informed consent for the risk of addiction/re-addiction with COAT treatment. Patients with a history of addictions pre-COAT should be placed on adherence monitoring immediately on beginning COAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1537-1545
Number of pages9
JournalPain Medicine
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • Aberrant Drug-Related behaviors
  • Addiction
  • Breaches of standards
  • Chronic opioid analgesic therapy
  • Chronic pain
  • Iatrogenic addiction
  • Intractable pain
  • Medical malpractice pllegations
  • Opioids
  • Re-addiction
  • Standards of medical care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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