The sudden death of another entertainment superstar could bring a criminal investigation of the prescribing practices of physician and patient. Whitney Houston died, February 11, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. According to news reports, law enforcement obtained a search warrant to recover evidence from the scene. In addition, it is being reported that several prescription bottles were recovered.
TMZ is reporting, Whitney Houston was taking Xanax, that if coupled with alcohol could cause severe sedation. Xanax is commonly used to treat anxiety and depression.
Any physician who prescribed Xanax or any other medication found in Whitney Houston's room will very likely be contacted by Beverly Hills Detectives and The California Medical Board. As a certified criminal law specialist and California Medical Board defense attorney, I suggest any treating physician of Whitney Houston immediately contact a reputable and knowledgeable attorney immediately.
The California Medical Board and Los Angeles District Attorney's Office take prescription drug overdosecases very seriously, especially with the deaths of Michael Jackson, Anna Nicole Smith and Heath Ledger. The public exposure of such high profile deaths almost require law enforcement to try and make California physicians responsible. So, anything said to law enforcement will be used against the physician.
Please keep in mind, there is no cause of death for Whitney Houston at this time. However, even if the cause of death is by natural causes, it does not relieve the California physician from criminal action or medical board action should prescribing practices be suspect.
The California Medical Board has prescribing guidelines that will likely be reviewed during the course of the investigation into the death of Ms. Houston.
Pilchman & Kay, is a law firm that represents California physicians in criminal court and with the California Medical Board.