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Child's Fatal Overdose Result of Parent or Doctor's Actions?

prescription overdoseA psychiatrist and the parents of a four-year-old girl were potential suspects following the death of the girl. The physician's prescription drug regimen allegedly caused extreme 'zombie-like' behavioral changes for the young girl, which suggested a medical malpractice lawsuit

The four-year-old girl suffered bipolar disorder and medical advisement included prescription drug treatment. However, the girl died as a result of an overdose of prescription medication. The doctor had prescribed Clonidine, Seroquel, and Depakote, according to court records. Fingers are pointing at the physician regarding the prescription dosage, and another hand points to the parents who might have overmedicated their daughter intentionally. Accusations have also been made that the parents lied about their daughter's condition in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits.

Statements given to police reveal the parents took it upon themselves to increase their daughter's nightly dosage of Clonidine, which they revealed to the psychiatrist during an office visit. The psychiatrist warned the parents to cease that activity and to only provide the dosage prescribed. 

During one part of proceedings, a judge ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove the girl's death was planned. However, the parents' treatment of the girl in the weeks and days before her death suggest they avoided providing appropriate care. The month before her death, a nurse at school commented that the girl could not participate with recreational activities due to fatigue. According to local news reports, the deceased girl's brother was concerned about her condition and asked the parents to take her to a doctor during the week before her death. The parents did not seek medical care. Later, the parents were subject to separate trials. A judge found the father of the daughter guilty of the fatal drug overdose on first-degree murder charges. The mother was found guilty of second-degree murder.