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California doctor sentenced for the overdose deaths of three patients

By Shawn Price
A doctor in Los Angeles was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the overdose deaths of three of her patients. The case could set new rules for how doctors prescribe medication. Photo by VonaUA/Shutterstock.
A doctor in Los Angeles was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the overdose deaths of three of her patients. The case could set new rules for how doctors prescribe medication. Photo by VonaUA/Shutterstock.

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- A California doctor was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the overdose deaths of three of her patients. in a case that could change how doctors prescribe medication.

Hsiu-Ying "Lisa" Tseng was convicted of second-degree murder for prescribing painkillers that killed three of her patients.

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The 46-year-old mother of two apologized to the families of her victims Friday, but the judge sentenced her based on Tseng refusing to take responsibility for her actions during the trial and blaming her patients or pharmacists or even other doctors instead.

"[She']) a person who seemingly did not care about the lives of her patients in this case but rather appeared more concerned about distributing dangerous controlled substances in an assembly line fashion so as to collect payments which amounted to her amassing several million dollars," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli said.

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"I have been and forever will be praying for you. May God bless all of you and grant comfort to all who have been affected by my actions." Tseng said to a courtroom full of the families of her victims.

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April Rovero, the mother of one of the victims, was mostly unmoved by Tseng's apologies. Her son, Joey, died after mixing Xanax and oxycodone -- which he had both been prescribed by Tseng -- with alcohol.

"It feels too late," Rovero said outside the courtroom. "But it was better to hear something than nothing.

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But Rovero, who, founded the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse after her son's death, praised the sentence.

"Justice has been served," she said.

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