Pain Doctors Under Fire
Doctors who choose to treat patients in chronic pain by prescribing painkillers are being increasingly subjected to criminal prosecution. Doctors charge they are the target of overzealous prosecutors and DEA agents. The Pain Relief Network is fighting back.
....charges of illegally prescribing prescription narcotics, criminal conspiracy, racketeering and even murder have been brought in dozens of states against scores of doctors who treat chronic pain with prescription narcotics. At least two have been imprisoned, one committed suicide, several are awaiting sentencing, many are preparing for trial, and more have lost their licenses to practice medicine and accumulated huge legal bills.
Their crime, it seems, is that they were supplying their chronic pain patients with sometimes large numbers of prescriptions for controlled but legal medications to treat their pain. The result, the doctors say, is that the established medical use of opium-based drugs for pain is becoming criminalized by aggressive drug agents and zealous prosecutors. Adding to their concern, the official rhetoric has escalated to the point that federal and state prosecutors often accuse arrested doctors of being no different than drug kingpins or crack dealers.
....Some pain doctors are organizing to push back, and in recent months a loose national movement has been formed to contest what some call the "war" being waged against pain doctors, pharmacists and suffering patients. A new group called the Pain Relief Network is organizing a march on Washington in April to protest the prosecutions and has hired an attorney to develop a legal strategy for appealing some of the convictions.
|< Texas Authors Blocked from Prison Visits | Army Preventing Soldiers From Leaving >|