Could Anna Nicole's death have been prevented?
Recently the Broward County Medical Examiner has ruled that Anna Nicole Smith’s death was the result of an accidental drug overdose. Since she was found unresponsive on Feb 8th in her hotel room in Hollywood, FL there has been a media storm surrounding questions of how she died as well as where to bury her and who gets custody of her infant daughter Dannielynn.
It was stated by the Medical Examiner that prescription drugs found in therapeutic levels were present when the body was examined.
Benzodiazepine medications such as Klonipin, Valium and Ativan were all found in her body as well as Chloral Hydrate, a sedative used in the short-term treatment of insomnia as well as to relieve anxiety and induce sleep before surgery. It is also used after surgery for pain and to treat alcohol withdrawl.
Additionally Topomax, a medication commonly used in the treatment of seizures, the muscle relaxant Soma as well as over the counter medications such as Benedryl and Tylenol were also found to be present in her toxicology report.
It is believed that the combination of these and other drugs found in her bloodstream are what resulted in her death.
Questions of whether this could have been prevented if the multiple doctors who prescribed these medications were aware of the interactions between them could not be answered.
More and more in the United States this is a trend for many drug users who seek out prescription medications from multiple doctors without letting one know about the other, called “doctor shopping” it is a practice many prescription drug abusers are all too familiar with. As we can now see the results of the interactions of these drugs taken together even at therapeutic levels can be deadly.
Did Anna Nicole intend to commit suicide or was she simply taking medications as directed?
At this point, at least as far as the medical examiner is concerned, the death was accidental; an eerie warning to those who use any combination of these drugs without the physicians who prescribe them being aware of the combinations the patient is taking.
Should doctors who prescribe benzodiazepines be held responsible if a person dies from the interaction of drugs they prescribe when taken at therapeutic levels? What do you think?
Article by Eric