Utah Supreme Court Allows Lawsuit for Psychotropic-Induced Murder

Kermit Cole
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Ruling that health care providers, while important, “are not entitled to an elevated status in tort law that would categorically immunize them from liability when their negligent prescriptions cause physician injury to nonpatients,” the Utah Supreme Court overruled a lower court’s decision for the defendants in the case of David Ragsdale, who shot his estranged wife to death after being prescribed a mix of psychotropic drugs and steroids by a nurse practitioner. “Prescribing medication is not an exact science, especially when it comes to mental health,” said a lawyer for the defendants, “physicians have to play the odds.”

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]