Both Sides Now—and We Hate That


Over at The Huffington Post, reason contributor Maia Szalavitz notes that Kansas physician Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, who are accused of drug trafficking through improper painkiller prescriptions, have managed to get their side of the story out with the help of the Pain Relief Network. The usual practice in cases like this is to convict the defendant in the press, which typically depicts his practice as nothing but a "pill mill" and rarely covers patients who are grateful for desperately needed pain relief. In the Schneiders' case, Szalavitz writes, "The AP has covered the story as one with two sides—including the legitimate need for access to pain relief, not just focusing on the prosecution's storyline of evil doctors pushing patients into addiction." Federal prosecutors have responded by seeking a gag order that would not only prevent the Schneiders and their lawyers from publicly discussing the case but silence Pain Relief Network President Siobhan Reynolds as well. Shouldn't they also have asked the judge to prevent people from talking about the gag order?

Szalavitz on pain doctor prosecutions here. More reason coverage of the subject here.