Kansas City, MO asked in Criminal Law for Pennsylvania

Q: What are defenses to Delivery of Drugs Resulting in Death (DDRD) charge against a doctor who prescribed opiates?

The autopsy report shows that the following three drugs were in the patient's body: morphine, oxycodone, and heroin. The coroner did not state whether the amount of heroin was sufficient to cause death.

Only morphine and oxycodone were prescribed. The amounts of the opiods prescribed was not sufficient to cause death.

The doctor had no knowledge that the patient would use heroin.

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2 Lawyer Answers
R. Davis Younts
R. Davis Younts
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Lemoyne, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Theses are difficult cases given the way the law is written. The acquittals I have won in the past have usually been tied to the science and actual cause of death. Showing a particular action was not the cause of death or the only cause of death is critical.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
Answered
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: The doctor should get the advice of an attorney who handles criminal issues, and should at least collect the names of attorneys who handle licensing and provider investigation issues. The doctor should not discuss any of this in social media and not even in emails unless they are to the doctor's attorneys.

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