PONCA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City doctor faces murder charges in the death of a patient who overdosed on a cocktail of prescription medications.
The Kay County District Attorney’s Office has filed second-degree murder charges against Dr. George Alhaji.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the Chief Medical Examiner said Courtney Paige Whitecotton’s death was due to mixed drug toxicity due to Oxymorphone with Morphine and Zolpidem.
Whitecotton was found dead by her father in Ponca City on Jan. 21, 2019. At the time, her father told 911 that his daughter was dead and died from an overdose.
Dr. Alhaj is accused of prescribing Whitecotton a hazardous mix of medications.
“Those three drugs in combination are a cocktail for danger,” said Dr. Dani Lynch with Thrifty Pharmacy. “These three drugs and combinations, which are the Oxymorphone, Morphine and Zolpidem, all are central nervous system depressants.”
Dr. Lynch, who has no connection to the case, told KFOR the drugs taken together could affect the blood pressure and heart rate. They cause death if combined in sufficient doses.
According to the affidavit, Whitecotton had THC in her system, and Dr. Alhaj was allegedly aware of that by giving her a urine test.
Dr. Lynch says typically that’s a red flag for doctors to stop prescribing the other controlled substances.
“If they came into Thrifty Pharmacy and had that combination of drugs, we would immediately get on the phone with the physician,” Lynch said.
Parts of the affidavit state the following:
“During the investigation, Dr. Jason Beaman was contacted to review the medical records concerning Whitecotton. It is Dr. Beaman’s opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that Dr. Alhaj contributed to Ms. Whitecotton’s death by failing to observe warning signs of addiction and medication misuse and by not following reasonable care to individuals with Chronic Opioid Therapy.
Ms. Whitecotton had clear evidence of aberrant drug uses throughout her treatment (21 times) as demonstrated in confirmatory drug testing. The earliest inconsistency was in 2013 and the latest three prior to her death. Dr. Alhaj had several opportunities to investigate and modify his treatment plan accordingly. However, he did not and instead continued to provide high doses of addictive substances.”
On Wednesday, Alhaj’s Pain Management Solution Office was closed. On Friday, patients were seen coming in and out of his office. Multiple patients confirmed they were seeing Dr. Alhaj.
KFOR went inside the practice to get the doctor’s comment but was told to leave before the police were called.
One of Dr. Alhaj’s patients told KFOR the accusations won’t stop her from seeing him.
“I’ve never had any problems with Dr. Alhaj. He’s very compassionate,” said Tonya Munn. “Like I said, I was in a wheelchair and couldn’t walk, and look at me now.
“He doesn’t overprescribe at all, I mean ever.”