An accidental death?

Oxycontin? Valium? Xanax? That’s quite a cocktail, and one that can kill you if you take them all together, which is what actor Heath Ledger did, contributing to his death, according to the medical examiner. There was also the painkiller ibuprofen and sleeping pills, Restoril and Unisom.

Now the only mystery is why the death has been declared accidental.

Doctors who prescribe are supposed to know what other prescriptions the patient is taking. And so are the pharmacists for precisely this reason. And they’re supposed to advise the patient of the dangers of combining drugs. Either they didn’t do that, or he didn’t pay attention.

  • Peter

    Ledger’s death may have been “accidental”, but the examiner’s report said it resulted from abuse of prescription drugs. Given the recent media attention on abuse of legal drugs, such as the Star Trib article yesterday, will Ledger’s death be a wake-up call?

  • Charlie Quimby

    I’m late to the party here, but doctors can only know what else a patient is taking if they prescribed it or the patient tells them.

    Abusers of prescription drugs don’t tell; and they may not even be dealing with doctors. Internet pharmacies are a big source of these drugs.

    Accidental means Ledger didn’t intend to die, not that he didn’t intend to abuse.