Monday, January 31, 2011

Making it Harder for the Honest

A doctor is busted for trying to help his patients with their pain.

Siobhan Reynolds entered this fray when her late ex-husband, Sean, began suffering the symptoms of a congenital connective tissue disorder that left him with debilitating pain in his joints. After trying a variety of treatments, he found relief in a high-dose drug therapy administered by Virginia pain specialist William Hurwitz. But Hurwitz was later charged and convicted on 16 counts of drug trafficking. The judge acknowledged that Hurwitz ran a legitimate practice and had likely saved and improved the lives of countless people. His crime was not recognizing that some of his patients were addicts and dealers. Meanwhile, Reynolds' husband died in 2006 of a cerebral brain hemorrhage, which she believes was the result of years of abnormally high blood pressure brought on by his pain.

I've never understood this zeal to prosecute people who prescribe or (ab)use prescription drugs. Our first priority should be helping people who suffer from chronic pain and could be assisted with powerful painkillers. Going after abusers should be a secondary concern, if it's a concern at all. Of course, I think pot should be legal for any use (not just medicinal) so what the hell do I know?

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