Physician Liability for Suicide after Negligent Tapering of Opioids

J. Law, Med&Ethics (2022).

10 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2022

See all articles by Mark A. Rothstein

Mark A. Rothstein

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law; University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law

Julia Irzyk

Independent

Date Written: December 15, 2021

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.

Note:
Funding Information: None to declare.

Declaration of Interests: The authors have no conflicts to disclose.

Keywords: Medical Malpractice, Opioids, Suicide, Negligence

JEL Classification: K31, K32

Suggested Citation

Rothstein, Mark A. and Irzyk, Julia, Physician Liability for Suicide after Negligent Tapering of Opioids (December 15, 2021). J. Law, Med&Ethics (2022)., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3992659

Mark A. Rothstein (Contact Author)

University of Louisville - Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law ( email )

Louisville, KY 40202
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.louisville.edu/bioethics

University of Louisville - Louis D. Brandeis School of Law ( email )

Wilson W. Wyatt Hall
Louisville, KY 40292
United States

Julia Irzyk

Independent

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