Pubdate: Mon, 22 May 2006
Source: Columbian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2006 The Columbian Publishing Co.
Author: Allan Erickson


Robert R. Larimer Jr.'s May 11 letter, "Preferential treatment," 
might lead one to believe, because of his acerbic tone, that he is a 
member of the "School of Limbaugh." His derisive, mocking letter 
contains nothing more than anti-liberal Rushisms. While the Patrick 
Kennedy case does indeed show the very real existence of preferential 
treatment, I would remind Larimer that Limbaugh also received his 
fair share of preferential treatment.

One of the great tragedies of our war on (some) drugs is the war on 
patients seeking treatment for severe pain, which apparently was the 
motivating factor for Limbaugh. Study the case of Richard Paey of 
Florida. Unlike Limbaugh, Paey is not a celebrity. He is a patient 
whose excruciating pain is exacerbated by his also having multiple 
sclerosis and being confined to a wheelchair. Paey received 25 years 
in prison for his conviction of doctor-shopping charges.

Now in prison in Florida, Paey receives more pain medication from his 
jailers than he was able to procure on his own. Limbaugh basically 
remains free to build upon his fortune.

The greatest tragedy here is that the dispiriting approach of 
snideness used by Larimer only promotes a deepening of the 
philosophical division in this country which truly needs healing, not widening.

Allan Erickson

Eugene, Ore.
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