Association of American Physicians & Surgeons

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UPI publishes column by AAPS executive director


The guest column posted by national news service, UPI, outlines the collateral damage resulting from conviction last month of Dr. William Hurwitz, nationally recognized pain specialist.


Dr. Orient writes that convicting Dr. Hurwitz will have absolutely no impact on illegal drug diversion in Northern Virginia, but many patients “will suffer torture because of the deterrent effect on other doctors. But it's not the DEA's problem. It did its duty. A message has been sent, in the interest of protecting the public health from demon drugs. Shouldn't all patients be willing to be sacrificed for such a noble objective?”


It’s interesting to note that one of the prosecution’s “star” witnesses testified that he was doctor-shopping and get drugs to sell even while he was under the “management” of the DEA to gather evidence against Dr. Hurwitz.  So the DEA decides that hundreds of patients should suffer torture because of the actions of just a few others.


[Read entire article]


Outside View: Jailed doc, tortured patient

By Jane M. Orient, M.D.

Outside View Commentator

Published 1/5/2005 4:01 AM

TUCSON, Ariz., Jan. 5 (UPI) -- No, there is nothing in the U.S. penal code that provides for torture as a sentence for any crime, no matter how heinous. Even executions are supposed to be carried out in a humane manner. The possibility that the United States might accede to the torture of enemy combatants to obtain critical information provokes outrage, no matter how many innocent people might be spared a violent death thereby.

Nonetheless, the U.S. government has adopted a policy that will result in subjecting human beings to torture, without limit as to degree or duration, and without the necessity of proving them guilty (or even suspecting them ) of any crime.

This is not its stated intent, of course. There is no deliberate application of thumbscrews, the rack or the Iron Maiden. The pain is a matter of happenstance: an accident, a disease, failed surgery. It's just that once the pain occurs, it may be illegal for a physician to prescribe a substance controlled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to relieve it….

[Read entire article]



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