27. March 2005 · Comments Off on Doctors Targeted By The Evil Drug Warriors · Categories: Drug Prohibition

This from NYTimes’ Tina Rosenberg:

Federal prosecutors in Virginia want Dr. William Hurwitz, recently convicted on 50 counts of distributing narcotics, to go to prison for life without parole when he is sentenced in mid-April.

For the 50 million or so Americans who suffer from chronic pain, the fate of Dr. Hurwitz should be of some interest. He is a prominent doctor committed to aggressive treatment of pain. His behavior in some cases was inexcusable. Patients for whom he freely provided large prescriptions should, at the very minimum, have been given more close supervision. But malpractice should be cause for loss of license.

Instead, Dr. Hurwitz has been prosecuted as a drug kingpin because some patients sold their pills, although prosecutors never claimed he made a penny from it. That sends a chilling message to doctors who treat people with extreme pain.


Dozens of doctors have been charged with drug trafficking because the D.E.A. felt they were prescribing too many pills. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons warns doctors to think twice before treating pain. “Discuss the risks with your family,” it says.

One California doctor who prescribed opioids, Frank Fisher, was charged with five counts of murder – including that of a patient who died as a passenger in a car accident. All charges were dropped. A doctor in Florida, James Graves, is serving 63 years for four counts of manslaughter involving overdoses by people who either abused their prescriptions or mixed their prescribed medicines with other drugs.

Your doctor could be next.

Hat Tip: The Agitator, where you’ll also find this.

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