Pubdate: Wed, 31 Jul 2002
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2002 The Daily Independent, Inc

In Our View


Legitimate Patients Of Accused Physicians Having Difficulty Finding New Doctors

Call it guilt by association. It's unfair, and it is having an impact on 
the legitimate patients of area doctors who have been charged with the 
illegal distribution of prescription drugs.

We have little sympathy for those medical doctors who have operated clinics 
like fast food restaurants, seeing hundreds of patients daily and 
prescribing prescription drugs after only brief consultations. Those 
doctors have abandoned their oaths to help people and become little more 
than pushers.

But does that mean that every patient of these doctors was an addict 
looking for a fix? Not at all. But some former patients complain that is 
how they are being treated. They say they are having difficulty finding new 

Blake Sypher, director of biomedical ethics at Marshall University, said 
not all the physicians being arrested operated "fly-by-night offices."

He added that a physician's practice should be set up appropriately to 
distinguish between drug-seekers and patients who have been left in the lurch.

Indeed, they should. And even those former patients who may be addicted to 
prescription drugs will need the help of medical professionals in breaking 
those addictions and again taking medicines as prescribed.

Those former patients seeking to see new doctors with established practices 
are probably legitimate patients. The addicts are out looking for another 
doctor who has traded his ethics to make a quick buck.
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