NYC Doc Charged in OD Deaths
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The New York City doctor who prescribed drugs to a Long Island pharmacy gunman in 2011 has been charged with manslaughter for allegedly causing the overdose deaths of two other patients. An anesthesiologist at a New Jersey hospital, Dr. Stan Xuhui Li, 58, allegedly prescribed 500 pills a day to a 21-year-old patient who was found dead in his car in 2010 of acute intoxication caused by Xanax and oxycodone. A 37-year-old patient also received 15 prescriptions from Li in the three months leading up to his death from OD in 2009, prosecutors say. "Dr. Li flouted the fundamental principle in medicine–first, do no harm," states Special Narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan. "He jeopardized lives by repeatedly prescribing dangerous controlled substances and narcotic drugs for cash, not medical need." This isn't the doc's first time in court: just a year ago, he pleaded not guilty to charges of peddling pain meds to addicts and dealers. He'd been accused of of writing over 17,000 prescriptions, mostly for opioid painkillers, during two and a half years at the Flushing clinic—where he was moonlighting weekends and reportedly seeing up to 120 patients a day. In June 2011, one of his patients, David Laffer, killed four people during a hold-up for painkillers at a Long Island pharmacy. Prosecutors said Li—who wasn't charged at the time—had provided 24 prescriptions to Laffer, who is now serving a life sentence for murder. This is the first time a New York area doctor has been charged with manslaughter in an OD case, authorities say.