Pubdate: Thu, 28 Feb 2002
Source: Herald-Dispatch, The (WV)
Copyright: 2002 The Herald-Dispatch
Author: Diane E Shafer MD
Bookmark: (Oxycontin)


This letter addresses the bill introduced in the state Senate to ban 
OxyContin in the state of West Virginia for all therapeutic and humane use.

OxyContin provides pain relief for thousands of West Virginia patients who 
suffer with cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Many coal miners 
who have intractable pain from crushing injuries face the day because of 
pain relievers they take. Coal mining and related services employ the most 
people in Southern West Virginia, and they experience greater risk to life 
and limb from job hazard than almost any other occupation which can leave 
them maimed or in a painful condition. This bill would be a blow to the 
injured worker.

As an orthopedic surgeon, I treat hundreds of people every week who hurt 
from cancer and job-related injuries. Many of them have expressed their 
affront over this bill. They feel that Senate Majority Leader Truman 
Chafin, D-Mingo, introduced the bill in an attempt to discredit me because 
I am running against him in the District 6 Senate race.

He has misused his position as senate majority leader and is attempting to 
run his campaign on the back of West Virginia's sickest residents.

Diane E. Shafer, M.D. candidate for state Senate District 6 Williamson, W.Va.
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