Pubdate: Tue, 30 Jul 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Redford Givens


This is in regards to the July 24 story headlined: "Patients struggle to 
find new care."

There's no end to the needless troubles America's lunatic drug crusade 
causes. Today it's patients who can no longer find a doctor to prescribe 
the drugs they need to relieve their agony. Never mind the horrific 
suffering our delirious drug warriors cause; they are working to "save 
people from themselves" and collateral damage is irrelevant.

When the drug warriors assault doctors for prescribing adequate pain 
relief, they stand in direct opposition to the Joint Commission on 
Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' (JCAHO) standard of pain care 
which calls for maximum relief of suffering.

America's misguided drug prohibitionists refuse to acknowledge that 
unrelieved pain has enormous physiological and psychological effects on 
patients despite research clearly showing that unrelieved suffering slows 
recovery, creates extra burdens for patients and their families and adds 
costs to the health care system.

Standards for pain management were established because DEA meddling causes 
patient suffering to be ignored and under-treated in the United States 
because physicians fear prosecution for overprescribing pain medications.

The DEA creates absurd lies about patient addiction to opiate-like drugs in 
an effort to discredit proper medical care, but those taking the most 
powerful opiates for pain, such as morphine, rarely become addicted to 
these drugs.

Kentucky should follow the lead of 19 states that have adopted laws 
protecting physicians from prosecution for overprescribing narcotics, so 
long as the prescription is intended for pain relief.

DEA and FBI attacks on suffering patients and their doctors are unconscionable.

Redford Givens, San Francisco
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