Pubdate: Sun, 25 Sep 2005
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2005 Johnson Newspaper Corp.
Author: Darlene Reagan


To The Editor:

After learning of the recent accusations concerning over prescribing
of narcotics by Dr. Latimer, I researched this topic on the web. I was
surprised to learn that this is a controversy situation nation wide.
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) is feeling pressure from
federal and state officials to combat a spike in drug abuse. This is
escalating a war on drugs that is effecting legitimate doctors, not
unlike Dr Latimer, not to mention the patients experiencing pain. The
reality is that some people suffer severe pain every day from back
injuries, cancer, disabilities, arthritis, etc. The responsibility of
the doctor is to the patient. The physician is required to treat the
patient to the best of their ability. It is impossible to be sure that
the patient is not diverting any of his medication.

Since when do drug enforcement officers and district attorneys have
the license to practice medicine? They do not have this license or
expertise. Nor do the physicians have the expertise to act as Drug
Enforcement Officers. These are two separate occupations with
different agendas.

Dr. Latimer has been cast in the middle of a national and political
debate. He does not deserve this. This situation may cause paranoia
amongst local physicians and effect how patients are treated. Please
speak up to protect respected physicians before it effects or quality
of health care in the North County.

Darlene Reagan

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