Finally, at least in Massachusetts, there are signs of push-back against all the inane and arbitrary opioid restrictions.
Senate Bill 546 calls for providers to “administer care sufficient to treat a patient’s chronic pain based on ongoing, objective evaluations of the patient without fear of reprimand or discipline.”
It also states that patient care and prescribing of medication, including opioid painkillers, should not be dictated by “pre-determined” guidelines.
This kind of logical reasoning is far too rare these days, but I take it as a hopeful sign that some folks are starting to wake up to the facts – facts that have been successfully buried by all the media-hype based on endlessly repeated PROPaganda. Continue reading →
Here’s a hopeful development: an example of a successful suit on the basis of discrimination under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA).
People with chronic disabling pain frequently complain that doctors discharge them from their practice because of the medications they take. Sometimes doctors refuse to accept patients who are taking opioid pain medications, even though the medications treat a legitimate medical condition.
There may be hope that such actions will be considered violations of the civil rights of patients.Continue reading →
Illegal drugs including cocaine, heroin and cannabis should be reclassified to reflect a scientific assessment of harm, according to a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy
The commission, which includes 14 former heads of states from countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Portugal and New Zealand, said the international classification system underpinning drug control is “biased and inconsistent”.
A “deep-lying imbalance” between controlling substances and allowing access for medicinal purposes had caused “collateral damage”, it said. Continue reading →
This article is already over a year old, but the legal points it makes are still valid. It sure looks like many pain patients who were tossed out of practices have grounds to sue for malpractice.
The hard part might be finding a lawyer who hasn’t been gaslighted by the myth of “heroin pills” and is willing to fight for the patient in the midst of a whole society, including juries, believe this cleverly made-up story.
Patient abandonment is a serious, yet often overlooked, form of medical malpractice. Generally, patient abandonment occurs when a physician terminates medical treatment without a justifiable excuse or reasonable notice so that the patient can find a replacement physician. Continue reading →
It seems that politicians, government agencies, and law enforcement simply don’t see this, though they’d quickly change their minds if it were their own flesh in agony.
The concept of access to pain management as a human right has gained increasing currency in recent years. Commencing as individual advocacy, it was later embraced by the disciplines of pain medicine and palliative care and by mainstream human rights organizations.
Today, United Nations and regional human rights bodies have accepted the concept and incorporated it into key human rights reports, reviews, and standards. Continue reading →
The two PubMed articles in this post are from the early 2000s, over 16 years ago, yet they describe the same situation we’re stuck in today, with doctors being squeezed, harrassed, and sued from both sides of the opioid controversy.
Sometimes they are successfully sued for refusing to administer necessary pain relief when a jury decides that “insufficient pain management in a dying patient constituted abuse by a physician.” (which seems obviously right to me)
Other times they are successfully sued when a doctor who “provided comfort care to terminally ill patients was accused of performing euthanasia.” (luckily, the conviction was later overturned)
I’m very glad I’m not a doctor who has to make such potentially career-ending decisions these days. Continue reading →
Doctors should have gotten the message by now that deserting patients is a violation of medical practice standards, not to mention human rights. But they haven’t.
To the contrary, they’ve been hearing about other doctors who got raided by Drug Enforcement Agency swat teams, their patients terrorized, medical records seized, and practices ruined by announcements in local news media. Continue reading →
I’m glad to see someone is standing up for patients against having their medical data available for warrantless DEA searches.
On May 29, 2019, the ACLU of New Hampshire and New Hampshire Medical Society filed a federal court amicus brief to support the State’s defense of patients from warrantless searches of medical records.
Also filed by the national ACLU and four other ACLU affiliates, the brief is part of the federal case U.S. Department of Justice v. Jonas, and explains that not only are these types of unjustified searches unconstitutional, but that they can have adverse consequences and deter patients from receiving needed medical care. Continue reading →
New laws make it easy for anyone accused of having an addiction problem to be committed if they don’t agree to whatever treatment is recommended for them.
Involuntary commitment for people accused of having an addiction and not actively participating in treatment for it is becoming more common as more laws are being passed to make this legal.
Barely a day passes on my beat without my meeting someone with a harrowing story about the impact of zero-tolerance drug policies on their lives. But few of these stories have impacted me personally as much as that of a young man I’ll call “Jay.”