Court date set for Edmond doctor facing murder charge in the death of Kay County resident

November 22, 2021 | Courts|Featured

NEWKIRK — An initial appearance is scheduled for  Dr. George Samer Alhaj, 51, Edmond, in Kay County District Court on Dec. 3.

Dr. Alhaj is facing second degree murder or in the alternative second degree manslaughter in the death of 25-year-old Courtney Paige Whitecotton, who died on Jan. 21, 2019 at her home.

The Medical Examiner reports that Whitecotton died because of mixed drug toxicity due to Oxymorphine with Morphine and Zolpidem.

Dr. George Samer Alhaj

Local officials contacted Dr. Jason Beaman to review Whitecotton’s medical records.

Beaman reports in the affidavit that he believes Dr. Alhaj contributed to Whitecotton’s death by failing to observe warning signs of addiction and medication misuse and by not following reasonable care to individuals on Chronic Opioid Therapy.

In the affidavit, Beaman notates the following evidence to support his theory.

• There was clear evidence of aberrant drug use and that Dr. Alhaj had many opportunities to investigate and modify the treatment plan but didn’t and instead continued to provide high doses of addictive substances.

• There is evidence that Dr. Alhaj did not obtain records from other medical providers.

Beaman believes that if Dr. Alhaj had done so, he would have known that the gastroenterologist questioned the validity of Whitecotton’s report of extensive vomiting and had concerns about the high dose of opioids contributing to the vomitting. It is noted that the GI doctor stopped seeing Whitecotton.

Beaman reportedly uncovered many examples of Dr. Alhaj not coordinating treatment with other doctors Whitecotton was seeing including a hematologist, neurologists, and obstetrician.

It is reported that Dr. Alhaj noted that pain therapy was not curing the underlying cause of Whitecotton’s pain and that need to continue to investigate the cause.

Beaman reports that many dates are noted beginning July 19, 2012 through Jan. 30, 2017, but that he could not locate records showing that Dr. Alhaj actually attempted to investigate the source of Whitecotton’s pain.

Beaman believes that if Dr. Alhaj had investigated other causes, he may have discovered Whitecotton reportedly had opioid induced hyperalgesia and that his treatment, besides causing addiction, was also making the pain worse.

Beaman reports that he located one time out of 87 visits that Dr. Alhaj reviewed a pain diary.

Other key findings noted by Beaman include:

• July 8, 2013, Dr. Alhaj notes that he was “happy” with zero improvement in pain.

• Feb. 14, 2014, Dr. Alhaj notes: “We are happy to learn that the patient reported zero improvement in pain.”

•May 6, 2014, Dr. Alhaj noted that he is “happy” to learn of a 5 percent improvement in pain.

• June 23, 2015, Dr. Alhaj noted that he is “happy” to learn of a 10 percent improvement in pain.

Beaman reports that Dr. Alhaj was made aware that there was marijuana in Whitecotton’s home and that on June 27, 2016, Whitecotton tested positive for THC. Dr. Alhaj reportedly noted the CDC guidelines but failed to adhere to them.

In conclusion, Beaman reports that Dr. Alhaj did not identify the risk factor that Whitecotton had for an overdose death and that he did not prescribe Naloxone to mitigate the risk.

Beaman states that opioids are in the most restricted class of medications that a physician can prescribe and that the use of them requires constant vigilance, attention, and care on behalf of the physician. 

Beaman believed there was careless prescribing, documentation, and care with an added danger of little to no attention paid to the red flags of substance misuse. It is Beaman’s opinion, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, that this carelessness led to the death of Whitecotton.

Alhal is free on $100,000 bond. He is represented by Oklahoma City attorney Scott Adams.