I am particularly sickened by stories like this because one of my sons is a physician who has spent the last 20 years of his life preparing for a career in the management of pain.
That he could be jailed by some cruel and ambitious prosecutor is appalling. That his equally innocent patients could be sentenced to a life of pain by a cruel system of criminal “justice” gone mad is even worse.
Presently, I face going to a Federal penitentiary for the next 24 years and eight months without possibility of parole for a CRIME THAT NEVER HAPPENED. My family is devastated, not only because I’m facing a prison term, but they witnessed what my wife of 23 years and I went through during the grueling years of my medical training, at such an advanced age (I graduated medical school at age 42). It makes no sense that I, as a 53 year old physician, would suddenly get involved in the drug trade when I’ve spent years lecturing to students about the abuse of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. I also spoke about teenage pregnancy, getting an advanced education (doesn’t have to be college). As an aside…imagine a product of the ghetto, becoming a board certified physician, Chief of Staff of a hospital, and Chairman of the Alabama Army National Guard Medical Board! Yet, the DEA and the U.S. Justice Department would have the general public believe that I was a common street-level drug dealer. What “profile” were they using?
For more of The Agitator’s coverage of pain treatment miscarriages of justice, go here and scroll around. Frightening stuff. A sample:
One red flag the government uses, for example, is to look for physicians who simply prescribe a raw number of pills that investigators say is too high, a practice pain advocates say has made doctors afraid of engaging in the high-dose opiate therapy course of chronic pain treatment that’s been so effective. Other red flags include doctors who spend what investigators say is too little time with patients to make an accurate diagnosis, a problem pain advocates say has become increasingly common not because more doctors are selling scripts to addicts and drug dealers, but because the few doctors who do still treat chronic pain are overwhelmed with patients whose former doctors have been arrested, stripped of their licenses, or run out of business by investigations.