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Jacob Sullum has an update on William Hurwitz, the sincere, well-meaning doctor who's going to jail.

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  • Jennifer||

    Goddammit. Do you ever feel sometimes like it's not ever worth writing about this? It's a vicious circle:

    1. Government does something evil or sleazy.
    2. Write about government doing something evil or sleazy.
    3. Readers send letters saying "Thanks for exposing how the government is evil or sleazy."

    And then what happens? Nothing. Nada. Right back to step one: government does something evil or sleazy.

  • Jim Bob||

    Un-fucking believable.

    Let me get this right:

    1) Drug addicts do not deserve treatment for pain.
    2) If something happens to your medicine (especially if it's something stupid and avoidable) suck it up and deal with, crybaby.
    3) If I get a 'scrip for oxycodone and sell it to college kids, my physician needs to go to jail for not anticipating my actions.

    And, when somebody goes against the party line on pain management, they apparently get to go to jail. I dunno, maybe this guy was a little...trusting? Naive? But years in prison...holy fucking shit.

  • ed||

    Do you ever feel sometimes like it's not ever worth writing about this?

    Victor Hugo said that, if he thought he was writing for his own time only, he would break his pen and never write another word.

  • ||

    "The qualities that made Hurwitz a bad cop also made him a compassionate doctor, the sort you would want treating you if you suffered from unrelenting chronic pain and needed large doses of narcotics simply to live a halfway normal life."
    Amen brother, amen. I think Sullum's work on this topic, along with Balko's on police raids, are two of the most important projects here at Reason and alone justify my subscription.

  • ||

    This story makes me want to cry, or kill.

  • Jennifer||

    Victor Hugo said that, if he thought he was writing for his own time only, he would break his pen and never write another word.

    The future can't help Hurwitz; if his problem is to be resolved at all it can only be done in our own time.

  • M. Hodak||

    I made the same "good doctor/bad cop" point a couple days ago.

    www/hodakvalue.com/blog

    The only thing I have to add is that the root of this problem is Ma and Pa kettle who get worked up about the evil of drugs. It reminds me of a debate on this forum about a month back about how libertarians getting hung up on "the drug war" undermined their credibility with the voters.

    My response was that shit like this will undermine the drug war's credibility, eventually, and vindicate the anti-prohibitionists. But, Jen is right, probably not in time help this poor sucker, or those of us who need his help when our time arrives for serious pain management.

  • bruce||

    The DEA guys don't have to worry, they have their own in-house pain doctors who will give them whatever oxycontins, morphines, dilaudids, and fentantyls the whimpering DEA agents say they need. Since they only treat "the good guys" they have no need to worry about prosecution.

  • ||

    Dr. Hurwitz had been presented with many reports of his patients receiving large quantities of opiates from multiple physicians and pharmacies. Two simple actions he could have taken, but apparently did not do:

    1. Talk to the other physicians and pharmacies about adequate pain control.
    2. Ask the patient to take a typical dose,on the low dose range based on history, within their office setting. Document signs and symptoms.

    These two steps provide great documentation of pain management.

  • Jennifer||

    Two simple actions he could have taken, but apparently did not do:

    And thus he qualifies as too dangerous to be allowed to keep his freedom?

  • ||

    I certainly do not know whether he had criminal intent. Board disciplinary action may have solved the problem.

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