RI suspends doctor after opiate deaths

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s health director has suspended the license of a physician following six patient deaths and a review which found he had inappropriately prescribed narcotics.

The state announced Friday that Fathalla (fah-THAW’-lah Mashali’s (Mah-SHAW’-lee’s) license is suspended until further notice. Mashali is an anesthesiologist with an office in Lincoln. His practice includes pain management.

State medical regulators began investigating Mashali’s practice after six patients died from opiate overdoses.

While the order of suspension notes that Mashali is not necessarily responsible for the deaths, a review of their records determined that he failed to adequately monitor patients and wrote opiate prescriptions for individuals with a history of drug use.

Mashali’s attorney, Dennis Carley, calls his client a “fine” physician and says he expects he will get his license back when the facts are known.

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