Brian Harvey has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court against Dr. Alexander Bystritsky alleging a dangerous combination of prescription drugs altered Phyllis Harvey’s heart rhythm and caused her to die. Harvey died last year at the age of 59, after battling alcoholism and an undiagnosed mental illness.
The lawsuit questions the relationship between therapist and client as well as the use of prescription drugs in those who donate large sums of money to their therapists for research. According to the lawsuit, the Harvey’s were wealthy and started a foundation to fund scholarships and other charitable endeavors. Bystritsky was aware of the foundation and convinced Phyllis to donate nearly half a million dollars to fund research into a device that might cure her, the suit alleges.
An attorney for Brian Harvey said Phyllis had been admitted to the hospital several times for heart rhythm abnormalities that can be caused by the powerful psychotropic drugs Bystritsky was prescribing to her. Allegedly, hospital doctors would take her off the medications but Bystritsky would put her back on them after she was discharged, the Associated Press reports.
According to Professor James J. Walter from the Center on Bioethics at Loyola Law School, there is a question of whether “he [was] continuing to treat her with these high-powered drugs to keep her as a patient,” which is of course, a practice that would be discouraged by every bioethicist, he told the AP.
The suit claims wrongful death due to medical negligence, fraud, fraudulent concealment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Medical Malpractice Law News Brought To You By http://www.HaskelLaw.com