Rothstein and Irzyk, ‘Physician Liability for Suicide after Negligent Tapering of Opioids’

ABSTRACT
To dissipate the opioid crisis physicians have been urged not to prescribe opioids for new patients and to limit opioids prescribed for established patients. The precipitous and medically contraindicated reduction or ‘tapering’ of opioids for patients with chronic pain due to serious medical conditions has caused needless suffering and, increasingly, suicide. A physician’s negligence in tapering opioids resulting in a patient’s suicide could be the basis of substantial legal liability.

Rothstein, Mark A and Irzyk, Julia, Physician Liability for Suicide after Negligent Tapering of Opioids (December 15, 2021). Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (2022).

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