Paul Volkman, a Chicago doctor, was sentenced to four life terms for the overdose deaths of four of his patients. In a medical world that relies more heavily on medication every day, Volkman wrote more prescriptions for oxycodone from 2003 to 2005 than any other doctor in the country, resulting in the deaths of several of his patients. In addition to the life terms, he also received jail time ranging from 10 to 20 years on 13 other criminal accounts, including possession of a weapon during a drug trafficking scandal. He was also convicted of eight other distribution counts that eventually killed his patients, but there simply wasn't enough evidence to prove it (CBS News). .
Volkman's scandal was eventually ended in 2006 after federal investigators found his weekly trips from Chicago into Ohio to be suspicious. While the investigation found enough evidence to convict and sentence Volkman, he still maintains that he was simply acting as doctor and not as a drug dealer (CBS News).
"The typical drug dealer does not care how much drugs a client buys, how often he buys, or what he does with his drugs," Volkman said in a court filing (CBS News). .
The court thought otherwise, finding that Volkman never made an attempt to test out an alternate plan of action including physical therapy, surgery, or addiction counseling. "This criminal conduct had devastating consequences to the community Volkman was supposed to serve," said Assistant US Attorneys Adam Wright and Tim Oakley. "Volkman's actions created and prolonged debilitating addictions; distributed countless drugs to be sold on the street; and took the lives of numerous individuals who died just days after visiting him" (CBS News). .
Paula Eastly, mother of Steven Hieneman who was one of Volkman's victims, berated Volkman just before his sentencing. Hieneman died from overdose after Volkman prescribed him oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other drugs.