Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Carmel on the Case: Dr. Deaths?
Should two doctors who worked at South Florida pill mills be held responsible for the deaths of some of their patients? The federal government thinks so. The doctors do not. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
Twins Christopher and Jeff George were accused of distributing millions of Oxycodone pills from their pain clinics and making millions of dollars in the process. But they're not spending that money today. They're both behind bars many of the doctors who once worked for them cut plea deals and have been sentenced to prison. But not Dr. Cynthia Cadet from Parkland and Dr. Joseph Castronuovo from Key Largo.
Both doctors were in federal court responding to a new indictment that charges they are responsible for causing patient deaths.
If convicted they could face prison for the rest of their lives.
Carmel Cafiero: "Dr. Cadet, I was wondering what your reaction is to hearing that you're facing multiple life sentences?"
Michael Weinstein: "She doesn't have a reaction, you can talk to me."
According to the indictment, Dr. Cadet ordered and or received 876,200 doses of Oxycodone during a two year period.
She is accused of dispensing Oxycodone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, resulting in the deaths of seven people. Dr. Cadet entered a not guilty plea in Palm Beach federal court.
Michael Weinstein: "It's very serious stuff. Look it's very simple, when you go to court can either plead innocent or you are innocent, and she is innocent and that's our statement."
A not guilty plea was also entered for Dr. Castronuovo.
Dr. Castronuovo: "I have no comment."
According to the indictment, he ordered and or received 388,600 doses of Oxycodone in a period of a little more than a year.
He is accused of dispensing Oxycodone outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, resulting in the deaths of two people.
Thomas Sclafani: "We had two eminent forensic pathologists. The top people in the country who both concluded independently that Dr. Castronuovo had nothing whatsoever to do with the deaths of those two individuals. And to tell the truth, I'm really angry about it so yeah, we're going to trial and he's not guilty."
Doctors take an oath to do no harm. Both will now have to convince a jury they did not violate that oath.