When Narcotics are Diverted, Misused
In Order to Kill a Patient
You can Report the Crime to the
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
The United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement
Administration ("DEA") serves the public through many
efforts to fight criminal activity. One specific function of
relevance to hospice patients, their families and caregivers is
the enforcement of the "Controlled Substances Act"
which regulates the use of legal narcotics such as morphine and
others used in hospice. The Controlled Substances Act is set
forth at Title 21 of the United States Code: 21 USC, subchapter1,
starting at part A, Section 801. The DEA states that it is
responsible for (among many other responsibilities):
" Enforcement of the provisions of the Controlled
Substances Act as they pertain to the manufacture, distribution,
and dispensing of legally produced controlled substances.
The DEA also has the authority for:
"Coordination and cooperation with federal, state and
local law enforcement officials on mutual drug enforcement
What is significant for hospice patients and their families is
that the DEA does investigate and enforce the provisions of
the Controlled Substances Act which regulate the proper and legal
use of narcotics such as morphine, fentanyl, methadone, and other opioids for reduction of pain and
other appropriate uses, and specifically, violations of the
appropriate use of these narcotics especially if the medications are being diverted by a nurse or physician for their own use as well.
You can also file a complaint to the
State Board of
Nursing if a nurse was involved in administering a fatal dose
of narcotic or you have evidence the nurse was using these medications him or herself. It is wise to consult a medical malpractice attorney
before filing your complaint to the Board of Medicine and it is
also important to get a medical review by an independent physician.
If you find an attorney to bring a legal action, you will need to get a copy of the medical record for an
independent medical review. Your attorney can assist you in that,
because most hospices will refuse to give you
the medical records if something truly terrible happened. But if you are the personal representative of the estate of the deceased, by law, they must send you the records. In that case, you request the records by U.S. certified mail, return receipt requested (so you have proof of the request), keeping copies of everything you send them. If you are not the personal representative of the estate, but are taking legal action, once a legal action is begun, the agency will also have to provide the records.
don't have or know of a medical malpractice attorney in your
area, you can search
for a plaintiffs' attorney by calling the local bar association or looking online for plaintiffs' attorneys. It is very important that you
try to find an attorney who files claims as a plaintiffs'
attorney to represent you. If you get an attorney who handles
medical malpractice, but regularly represents the corporations,
you may not get the legal representative you deserve! Hospices
have been known to falsify documentation, delete information,
send incomplete records, stall and many other tactics that
infuriate the families of the victims. A plaintiff's attorney
will be able to successfully overcome the obstacles that hospice
corporations routinely throw in the way of families seeking the
truth (and a full, accurate copy of the medical record).
Taking the step by step approach to achieving justice will
help make it more likely that the truly egregious violations of
standards of care are noted (some you may miss, not being a
physician) and corrected through the government justice
departments and local district attorney's office. Having a
medical malpractice attorney help you will assure that the
complaint to a Board of Medicine or Nursing is written in such
a way that the allegations are not capable of being misunderstood
or brushed aside. Whether you use an attorney or not to file a complaint to a Board of Medicine or Nursing, such complaints must be concise, to the point, and list specific violations of the standards of care without long narratives.
If you don't want to spend the money on legal assistance,
be prepared for nothing to happen...that's just the way the
system is set up. Attorneys are needed to successfully achieve
justice in the system. Filing a legal action (suing) on your own ("pro se") is not advised unless you have tremendous legal knowledge on your own and have many, many hours on a regular basis to spend on the effort. Even then, filing on your own is usually not successful at all!
While all of these things take time, even
months, filing complaints that do not grant you the justice you
seek is also futile. Taking the time to do it right, the
first time is very much worth the time! Spending many months or
even years pursuing justice on your own without an attorney, and
then losing your case, is not going to reform the health care
We at the Hospice Patients Alliance encourage families who are
absolutely convinced and sure that a misuse of narcotics resulted
in an undesired euthanasia of their loved one (murder), to
carefully question themselves and make sure that they are sure
that a misuse of narcotics was what occurred. If you believe that
your loved one was actually murdered through the misuse of a
narcotic, then you can make a complaint to the Board of Medicine, Nursing, or if diversion of a drug occurred, the DEA.
It is important that when you visit the DEA offices, you
should bring your concerns specifically to an agent in the
Office of Diversion Control within the DEA. Making phone
calls to these offices is not effective in getting action.
You need to visit the offices and speak directly with an agent
there and learn what you can from them.
We have heard hospice staff, physicians, and managers who
complain loudly that involvement of the U.S. DEA can hamper the
proper and effective administration of pain medications to help
the terminally ill. These hospices complain that they
"don't need the DEA watching over their shoulders."
What these hospices fail to realize is that physicians, nurses, and others who work in the hospice industry have
made it necessary for law enforcement, the DEA, or U.S. attorney to become
Why? Because terminally ill (and other non-terminal)
patients who are not yet at the point of dying are being murdered
by misguided doctors and nurses who have decided they can commit
"euthanasia" without the permission of the patients and
Just because a patient has a terminal illness does not mean
that they all wish to die at the hands of a hospice physician or
nurse. Patients who are not terminal, but have chronic illnesses,
have also been "euthanized" (murdered) by rogue hospice
physicians and nurses. Sometimes hospices fraudulently admit
non-terminal patients against their will, into their hospices,
then collect reimbursement while providing minimal services, and
euthanize the non-terminal patients (sometimes with the
cooperation and assistance of certain family members). These
patients did not come to hospice to be killed, but to receive
comfort measures and compassion. Some have not even consented to
enroll in hospice but have been railroaded by family members who
think it's "merciful" to kill them. Many patients
do not want to be euthanized, but actually want to live.The rogue
doctors, nurses and their hospices have violated the laws
governing the use of these narcotics and have violated the laws
governing our citizens.
Doctors and nurses cannot legally murder chronically ill or
even terminally ill patients inside or outside the hospice
setting. Those rogue hospices, doctors and nurses who kill
patients by misusing narcotics have brought a bad reputation to
the entire hospice community and have disgraced their hospices.
Giving sedatives to stop any protest on the part of the
chronically ill or terminally ill patient is the first step.
Morphine or another narcotic is given which results in
respiratory depression, slowing the breathing down till breathing
stops completely and death occurs.
The reason that visiting the DEA and reporting your concerns
is an effective means of stopping misuse of narcotics is that
each physician has what is called a "DEA number." The
DEA number allows a physician to legally prescribe narcotics
which are controlled substances regulated by the Controlled
Substances Act. The DEA number is like a permit or special
license to prescribe narcotics. If a physician is found guilty of
misusing a narcotic, not only do they face possible prosecution
for a crime (if committed), they also lose their DEA number,
thereby preventing them from ever writing orders to use narcotics
to euthanize patients again. So, if you wish to stop a rogue
physician who has used narcotics to euthanize an unwilling
patient, reporting to the DEA is one of the most effective
Consultation with the DEA can help achieve a just and fair
investigation of an improper use of narcotics which resulted in
the untimely death of a loved one. By achieving a fair and
complete investigation of these wrongful deaths, these rogue
hospices, doctors and nurses can be stopped from killing any
other patients and brought to justice. When rogue hospices,
physicians and nurses stop misusing the narcotics involved in
treating the terminally ill, then the DEA and U.S. Attorney's
office will have no need to investigate.
For your information the U.S.
Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration relevant agents can be found online at: Diversion Program. You should ask for the location of the nearest Office of Diversion Control. Make sure to put your
complaint in writing and hand a photocopy of your report to the
agent you speak with when you visit their offices in person. Do
not telephone in your concerns, but you should also send it by U.S. certified mail, return receipt to the same office so you have proof of your complaint that controlled narcotic medications are being misused or diverted. Some nurses collect narcotics from previous patients and have a stash of such medications they use at times. That is illegal.
directly in person to an agent in the Office of Diversion Control
is the most effective manner to first report these concerns.
You can hand the agent your written account of the situation,
with all relevant phone numbers, dates, times, names, drugs used,
dosages (if you know), along with names of all witnesses, medical or nursing staff who diverted or misused narcotic medications, and
other information that is relevant, noted in writing to give to
Although some DEA agents have not been responsive to family member concerns about misuse of the narcotic medications regulated by the Controlled Substances Act, we must continue to try to have them act to stop these crimes.