Kansas doctor sentenced to life in prison for patient death
A Kansas doctor was recently sentenced to life in prison for unlawfully prescribing medication blamed for an overdose death.
Dr. Steven R. Henson, 57, was immediately taken into custody following sentencing. According to the Associated Press, there was an audible gasp in the packed courtroom when U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten pronounced the life sentence. Henson showed no emotion.
What to know:
- The Wichita doctor was convicted by a federal jury in 2015 for the overdose death of Nick McGovern. Prosecutors allege Henson prescribed McGovern the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam and methadone, which is used to wean addicts off heroin.
- Henson wrote prescriptions in return for cash and wrote them without a medical need or a legitimate medical exam. Prosecutors allege that Henson prescribed opioid medications in amounts likely to lead to addiction.
- Henson was also convicted of conspiracy to distribute prescription drugs outside the course of medical practice, unlawfully distributing various prescription drugs, presenting false patient records to investigators, obstruction of justice and money laundering.
- Henson plans to appeal the sentence.
"I want this case to send a message to physicians and the health care community," U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release. "Unlawfully distributing opioids and other controlled substances is a federal crime."