Utah Supreme Court rules medical staff had duty to children in David Ragsdale case

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  • DrAnnBlakeTracy Bountiful, Utah
    March 2, 2012 1:26 a.m.

    Wonderful!!! And long overdue!! Certainly doctors should be held responsible! In Utah where prescription drugs are one of the biggest killers this should have been in place long ago!

    Drug companies have long been held accountable in cases where their drugs caused a patient to harm others (Joseph Wesbecker case where on Prozac he shot & killed 7 co-workers & himself, Donald Schell who after only two Paxil pills shot his wife, daughter, infant granddaughter & himself, comedian Phil Hartman whose wife on Zoloft shot him & herself in a Zoloft-induced REM Sleep Behavior Disorder ... a very long list can be found by Googling ssristories)

    So if a drug supplier is held responsible why should not a drug peddler be held accountable? To that list of those held accountable should be pharmacists who throw out package inserts on drugs with the full list of side effects & hand patients a simple little sheet with the mildest of side effects listed. That is clearly "failure to warn."

    Doctors have long dismissed serious side effects to drugs & encourage patients to do the same. If they even discuss side effects with patients, they then dismiss them. The only ones they seem to listen to are the drug reps. And nurse practitioners have NO place whatsoever prescribing drugs! Why not have someone who knows something about drugs prescribe them - like a pharmacist! At least they would know that you should not prescribe TWO antidepressants together like David Ragsdale had prescribed to him & to add steroids on top of that?!!! That was the same combination Margaret Kastanis in West Jordan was under the influence of when she used a hammer & sheep shearing knife to kill her three children & herself!

    So why do we as a society allow prescription drugs on the market like antidepressants that have "homicidal ideation" and "suicidal ideation" listed as a side effects? (Homicidal & suicidal ideation is having obsessions of killing others or yourself & obsessional thoughts of how to do that.)? And then we sit back & wonder what is happening in our world?!

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    Before everyone begin commenting on this news article, they may want to read the entire Utah Supreme Court opinion in Jeff v. West (2012Ut11). There is a lot of great legal discussion in the opinion and the ultimate results of this opinion to this specific case isn't as clear cut as a general reading of a summary of this opinion might suggest. But this opinion has some very valuable points to make about the responsibility and duty of any provider of services who has spent the time acquiring specialized knowledge but at the same time about further raises future legal issues regarding the requirments of a breach of duty and proximate cause, legal terms that will keep this specific case from coming to a quick conclusion.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 4:56 a.m.

    The medical staff and community should bear the full responsibility of its actions to its patients and their quality of life to their families and society. Bar tenders and owners are held accountable for those who drink in their bars, is it too much to ask and demand the same accountability by doctors and hospitals and health care centers?

    This blood test is useless to defer accountability because amounts of drugs and dosages are subjective and never reliable in how people (patients) will react on these drugs. Doctors and patients are cautioned at every prescription the side effects of drugs and in the different dosages and that none of them are set in stone accuracy. I've learned never to buy a full prescription of new drugs, buy a trial few to feel and know how you reacts to them. Why spend hundreds of dollars on a full prescription that can kill you or cause you to harm others?

    I've had doctors tell me about side effects I don't like on some drugs and they dismiss by expertise and knowledge of my body with contempt and call me a liar. I never go back to doctors with that contempt and we as patients cannot turn them in as incompetent and a danger to others.

    Maybe Utah could become a leader in this area, establish an agency to investigate criminal and incompetent health care in prescriptions, treatment, and graft with drug companies.

  • Skinni WEST JORDAN, UT
    Feb. 28, 2012 4:48 p.m.

    So physicians and other providers are now expected to risk their livelihoods for the unforeseeable, rare case of one patient who reacts badly and harms someone, when the same regimen has helped countless other patients.

    The Ragsdale childrenÂs lawyers may have been well served by todayÂs ruling, but society as a whole has not been.

  • Flying Finn Murray, UT
    Feb. 28, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Thankfully custody of David Ragsdale's two young sons was awarded to their maternal grandparents, Albert and Ann Palizzi. Unlike the Susan Powell case justice in this case was served.