Federation Member Society - Compassion in Dying -
Successful in Court Case
. . .
Called Elder Abuse:
Jury Awards $1.5 Million Over Cancer Pain
Calif. (AP) -- A jury has awarded $1.5 million to the family of a man who
accused his doctor of not prescribing enough pain medication during a battle
with lung cancer.
found internist Dr. Wing Chin's treatment of retired railroad detective William
Bergman amounted to elder abuse and recklessness. The jury deadlocked on whether
Chin was also liable for malice, oppression or intentional emotional distress.
by Bergman's family alleged Chin did not prescribe strong enough pain medicines
to ease Bergman's back pain in his final days. Bergman, 85, died in 1998.
the first case of its kind, in which undermedicating was called elder abuse,
Kathryn Tucker, legal director of the Oregon nonprofit Compassion in Dying
Federation has said.
"It'll send a message to the medical community that they cannot undermedicate
without consequences,'" said Bergman's daughter, Beverly Bergman, who
filed the suit with her brother and sister.
Medical Board took no action on a complaint they filed, saying it did not
find convincing evidence of a violation of the medical practice act.
declined to comment after the verdict. His attorney, Bob Flattery, said he
was disappointed with the outcome and would discuss an appeal.
Phelps, spokeswoman for Eden Medical Center, where Bergman was hospitalized,
also called the verdict disappointing and said Chin "has devoted his
entire career to caring for patients, many of whom are seniors."
of Elder Abuse Case
14, 2000 . . . Doctor
found reckless for not relieving pain : $1.5
million jury verdict for family of cancer patient who went home to Hayward
to die (San Francisco Chronicle)
February 7, 2000 . . . Lawsuit Alleges Elder
Abuse for Inadequate Pain Control (Nurses.Com
3, 2000 . . . Press Release . . . Undertreating
Pain Can Amount to Elder Abuse
(Compassion in Dying Federation)
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