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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Suit: Approval Of Morphine Caused Woman’s Death

A woman allergic to morphine died after two Spokane doctors approved giving her the pain medicine after surgery, according to a lawsuit.

Minnie Pearson, 78, was recovering from abdominal surgery at Deaconess Medical Center when she was given the drug. She died within a half-hour, states the suit filed in Spokane County Superior Court.

Before morphine was put in Pearson’s IV, her son and daughter told Dr. Steven Beyersdorf she nearly died when given the drug many years earlier, the suit says.

The surgeon, however, insisted Pearson needed the drug to control her pain, said Jack Urquhart Jr., who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Pearson’s daughter, Lynn Pearson Page.

“The family did object and were assured there would be no problems,” Urquhart said.

The lawsuit names as defendants Beyersdorf, Dr. Gary Goodman, Deaconess Medical Center and Empire Health Services.

Goodman, Pearson’s personal doctor, is named because he signed a prescription for morphine to be given after the surgery, Urquhart said.

Beyersdorf did not return a call for comment Monday. Goodman declined to comment.

After surgery at Deaconess on Oct. 19, 1992, Pearson received the drug through a bedside device that releases a dose at the push of a button.

“A nurse or nurse assistant pushed the button the first time,” said Urquhart. “One of the family members pushed the button the second time. About 25 minutes later she passed away.”

The lawsuit lists damages for medical and funeral expenses as well as the love, affection and companionship Pearson would’ve provided her husband and heirs.

, DataTimes

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