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POLICY: The War On Pain Doctors gets to the big time

NY Times Op-Ed columnist John Tierney (the guy who is the replacement for long-time conservative columnist William Safire) has written two excellent articles; one on the war on patients and one on pain doctors — basically exposing the DEA for the corrupt, vicious organization that it is. I’m very glad that this issue is getting off the more limited pages of the anti-drug war crowd’s blogs and into the mainstream.  I have posted about this on THCB plenty of times, but it’s great that it’s getting more mainstream.  What’s tragic is how bad things have become before the major media in this nation has noticed at all.

If you are in the least interested in this issue — and if you are about health care and/or freedom you should be — I urge you to visit the Pain Relief Network site, to see Radley Balko’s excellent posting on the Karen Tandy, the head of the DEA’s pathetic response to his earlier article, to see Ron Libby of Cato’s long article on the subject.

And finally, why has the AMA not gotten involved? This is a national medical disgrace (so much so that my venerable surgeon father has sent money to William Hurwitz MD’s appeal fund).

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S.E. HenreyMichael Langley,MDMurphMatthew HoltJennifer Recent comment authors
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S.E. Henrey
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S.E. Henrey

Murph, you are absolutely right. Ever since the DEA started this sh)(*, doctors are afraid to prescribe opiates for even the most disabled individuals. Just an investigation can bankrupt them and they could lose their license, thus their livelihood for the future. I have five conditions that most people can’t even spell, much less define, that have caused severe degeneration in my spine and the cushioning in between, leaving me in severe pain 24/7. I did well on Vioxx, muscle relaxants, an anti-depressant, and Darvocet (a very mild opiate) for pain, for nearly 7 years and two different doctors. I… Read more »

Michael Langley,MD
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Michael Langley,MD

I, as one, am not likely going to ever practice pain management again. Being trained by the American Academy of Pain Management, taking the two year course from the University of the Pacicic in pain management, Passing their certification exam twice and depending on an Intractable Pain Act and medical board regulations to protect me, I found myself in big trouble. I also was board certified in General Surgery. (There was another problem of getting involved with a patient that I am now going to marry, but it was an affair and ended up in two divorces. Pretty bad behavior… Read more »

gadfly
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gadfly

//you might not get any pain medications to ease your painful suffering because of trials like Dr. Hurwitz! // This is what I think this is what juries fail to consider when they make decisions based on the drama of the situation or gut reactions. They don’t think of the larger implications or the message they are sending. It makes things worse that it’s easy to judge a person than an organization or a system: but when you villify the person who fights the system, you help the system grow and get away with larger evils. The further back people… Read more »

Murph
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Murph

Dear Jennifer, I too am sorry that your Mother died as I, and many others have lost loved ones and it is a terrible, terrible thing, so my condolences. However, Dr. Hurwitz was, and is, an innocent man inprisoned because of many factors, none of which are that he was guilty of anything criminal to do with his medical treatment of pain. Sure he was not perfect, and even may have messed up, but criminal, no. He did nothing criminal and certainly nothing to spend even one day in prison! I hate to say this and point this out to… Read more »

Matthew Holt
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Jennifer. I’m sorry that your mother died. Medicine is not an exact science. Unfortunately any death of any patient is used by the DEA and prosecuters in these cases as though they were deliberate murders. In Frank Field MD’s trial the death of a patient as a PASSENGER in a car was treated as a manslaughter charge. In the vast majority of drug related medical trials, including this one, witnesses and evidence are withheld from juries. Five past Presidents of the American Pain Society wrote to the judge expressing that view, and I’m afraid that I take their opinion over… Read more »

Jennifer
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Jennifer

These men are not all innocent. Hurwitz killed a patient within 33 hours of her initial visit. She was no drug addict, she was a mother of 3, a wife, a daughter, and in pain. She went to him to seek relief, he gave her meds for the first day, sent her to her hotel, the next day he DOUBLED the amount – sent her to her grave. He KNOWINGLY perscribed absurd amounts of drugs to dealers. Sending money to his legal aid fund is a joke. He divorced his wife – giving her all assets, but never moved out… Read more »

gadfly
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gadfly

This really made me mad, too:
//Mr. Paey was to blame for refusing a plea bargain that would have kept him out of jail.//
It’s nothing but State extortion to pressure someone to plead instead of dealing with their possible innocence. Jerks.

jib
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jib

Matthew:
Perhaps we should post the contact info for the Hurtwitz appeal fund on the site?

gadfly
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gadfly

The Paey situation is unbelievable. It seems to me even if he is released from jail, there’s nothing that will make up for the ill treatment and public embarrassment that he’s already been through. Didn’t anyone stop to think that the doctor had a pretty strong motivation to lie? In this case the State is just like a rowdy little boy breaking all the dishes in the kitchen and then calling for “time out” after maximum damage has been done. It’s not just that the State and legal system have been turned inside out to destroy the citizens that they… Read more »