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THE SHAME OF A NATION: PERSECUTION OF PAIN PATIENTS AND THEIR PHYSICIANS

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Lawmakers now claim that drug abuse and overdoses are caused by those who suffer pain and seek medical assistance to alleviate their pain enough for them to cope; to be able to participate in life! How patently absurd. [i]

Before I go on, know that NOTHING in my writing is geared toward promoting the free use of drugs. I firmly believe that second only to the persecution of innocent pain patients and physicians, the great shame of our nation is recreational drug abuse in all its forms, by whoever indulges in it. I have watched too many beautiful and bright college students and other young people destroy their lives in this way. Not just with pills, but also with alcohol, glue sniffing, paint inhaling, and smoking marijuana.

But I have to ask: Why have the law makers and enforcers turned against people who need medication for pain? The problem is not people who rightfully believe medication is intended to cure or alleviate medical conditions. The problem is people who either co-opt others to drug use, or who choose to use drugs themselves.

People choose to be responsible, or not. The medication is not to blame.

But now we are persecuting innocents, with a somewhat hysterical belief that they are somehow the cause. [ii] I submit a brief and incomplete list of resources below showing how the lives of good people are being destroyed by this 21st century witch hunt: Dr. Baldi, Dr. Salerian, Dr. Ibsen, and others[iii]. Also, articles referring to a host of pain patients who, failing to receive the pain care that is their right, submit to the fear of a life of unbearable pain and commit suicide. Or, they go to the streets for drugs. Who can blame the latter?

Their pain has already been criminalized by their own government.

This misdirected war has had unexpected consequences that are well documented. The efforts to restrict physicians and pharmacists[iv] from providing pain medications to patients has immediately resulted in an increase in heroin use, with a rise in overdoses and deaths. The response from law enforcement? “These are UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES[v]. “ It seems that in law enforcement it is OK to produce unintended consequences that stem directly from uninformed and under-researched legal action, killing innocent people and increasing the presence of street drugs.

When will we be smart enough to open an honest discussion between lawmakers, enforcers, and professionals who actually care about their patients?

When will pharmaceutical companies get concerned enough to research and market pain relievers that are potent enough to control pain, without dangerous side effects?

When will we all shake off our apathetic yet determined slide into the shame of our national mediocrity and the injustice and corruption in our system that accompanies it?

A South African woman once remarked to me that human beings are the most intelligent animals created by God; we are smart enough to create the means by which we can destroy the world – and stupid enough to use them.

           

[i]   Lynn Webster, MD: Lawmakers blame people who want pain controlled as the cause of RX abuse. http://www.tricities.com/workittricities/learn/article_3f71bb90-bad0-11e4-b4c7-9bf785dd481e.html?mode=story …

[ii] Lynn Webster http://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-pain-drugs-021915-20150218-story.html  Terminal cancer patients are treated as drug addicts   “At each appointment I get scared my doctor will no longer prescribe” http://t.co/yYvcGWI4Uc War on Drugs victimizes pain pts http://updates.pain-topics.org/2012/06/how-war-on-rx-drugs-victimizes-pain.html   :  New restrictions hit veterans hard  http://t.co/r23KAbUIIm

[iii] These are but a few references: Dr. Mark Ibsen   http://t.co/BrZUXfUV3d or http://t.co/6midSDOLOQ ; Dr Salerian: Dennis Lee, the voice, PhiliP KEENE, New York Times Washington Post war on doctors http://fb.me/3zYOQM18d Trial Verdict: Dr. Baldi Not Guilty on All Charges http://whotv.com/2014/05/01/baldi-trial-not-guilty-on-all-charges/    Dr. Gary Shearer: Suspended Northern Kentucky pain doctor dies of ‘suspected suicide’       http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/boone-county/florence/dr-gary-shearer-suspended-northern-kentucky-pain-doctor-dies-of-suspected-suicide  The damage done by the war on opioids: the pendulum has swung too far http://www.dovepress.com/articles.php?article_id=16781 …   Local dr indicted   http://t.co/kYxwB0aGmH

[iv] http://t.co/jtJHRGkN1o   DEA responds after patients denied prescriptions

[v]

Experts: Officials missed signs of prescription drug crackdown’s effect on heroin use (Posted 2014-03-07 02:40:30)
Success in shuttering “pill mills” led to rising heroin use, and officials say the government missed warning signs.
The Washington Post – Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Heroin; Prescription drugs
Author: Markon, Jerry; Crites, Alice
Date: Mar 7, 2014
Start Page: n/a
Section: NATIONAL-POLITICS
The center, which closed in 2012, was separate from the unit employing prosecutors and agents who fight drug use. […]these officials defended their fight against prescription drug abuse, saying those efforts prevented numerous overdose deaths.

Author: profemjay

I am a retired Professor of Sociology with interests in the Sociology of Medicine, Political Sociology, the Sociology of Development, Social Action and the Sociology of Religion.

One thought on “THE SHAME OF A NATION: PERSECUTION OF PAIN PATIENTS AND THEIR PHYSICIANS

  1. Pingback: Persecution of Pain Patients and their Physicians | EDS Info (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome)

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