Pennsylvania physician charged in patient's death

A physician in Pennsylvania has been arrested and charged in connection with the 2018 death of a patient who overdosed on a combination of drugs he allegedly prescribed, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced April 24. 

Richard Green, MD, was charged with drug delivery resulting in death; delivery by practitioner in violation of the Controlled Substances, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act; involuntary manslaughter and related charges.

Dr. Green was charged nearly two years after one of his patients died of acute drug toxicity caused by oxycodone, alprazolam and quetiapine, all of which were allegedly prescribed by Dr. Green, according to the attorney general's office. 

Dr. Green allegedly learned during his time treating the patient that she was a recovering alcoholic, had mental health issues and had overdosed three times from drugs he prescribed. Despite knowledge of her misuse of prescriptions, Dr. Green allegedly continued to provide the patient with access to highly addictive drugs until her death in May 2018. 

"The defendant was trusted by his community to use his position as a physician to save lives, but instead, he stands charged for prescribing his patient a fatal cocktail of drugs despite knowing of and enabling her history of drug abuse," Mr. Shapiro said.

Regarding the charges, Dr. Green's attorney Art McQuillan told the Tribune Democrat that "Dr. Green is a well-respected physician in the Johnstown [Pa.] area." He continued, "We didn't pick this fight, but we will be ready for it." 

The investigation is ongoing, and the case is being prosecuted by Pennsylvania Senior Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Baxter. 

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