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News of the Day ... in Perspective


Another physician suicide linked to pain prescribing

David H. Thurman, M.D., age 62, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, as the legal process against him ground on.

In August, 2002, Dr. Thurman was accused of improperly prescribing methadone to a patient who later died of an overdose, and his medical license was suspended by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. Although the suspension was overturned, he was prohibited from prescribing controlled substances pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing that had been in progress for about three weeks by the time of his death.

It is possible that he would have been vindicated on the charge of running a “substandard” practice, but not before November.

A criminal investigation by the Metro Narcotics police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was underway, but no charges had been filed.

A combat physician in Viet Nam, Dr. Thurman had been in private practice since 1975.

Louisville Courier-Journal, June 30, 2004

Additional information:

DEA drives Dr. Benjamin Moore to suicide

From the President: Shifting Responsibility, Undermining Freedom by Mark Schiller, M.D., J Am Phys Surg, summer 2004.

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