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Janie Vinson was apparently so ill with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that, after an incident in which she briefly stopped breathing, the 79-year-old woman’s family told the medical staff at Albany, Ga.’s Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital not to try to cure her, but to simply keep her comfortable until she died.

But a Dougherty County jury last month awarded her daughter $3 million for medical malpractice claims stemming from Vinson’s death in March 2002 after she was given what a plaintiff’s expert said was too much morphine too quickly.

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