Medical malpractice and the real victims

A medical malpractice lawsuit against child psychiatrist Dr. Kayoko Kifuji of Tufts Medical Center in Massachusetts was just settled for $2.5 million. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the estate of Rebecca Riley, a 4-year-old girl who died of an overdose of psychiatric drugs (drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD, and bipolar disease) prescribed by Dr. Kifuji. But wait, there’s more. The parents of the 4-year-old were convicted the previous year for murdering their child by overdosing her. In fact, all three of the Riley’s children were diagnosed with ADHD and bipolar illness, and the parents drugged all three of them and got disability checks for their conditions.

Dr. Kifuji continues to work as a child psychiatrist at Tufts Medical Center, and she was not held criminally responsible. Though Kifuji claims she was unaware the child’s parents were overmedicating the 4-year old, some felt Kifuji should have been held more accountable. They questioned how Kifuji was so easily duped by the parents.

The settlement funds will go to Rebecca Riley’s two living siblings. For more on this tragic story, see this article.