News of the Day ... in Perspective11/14/2004
Trial of Dr. Hurwitz on drug-dealing charges is in progress.
On Nov. 4, the trial of William Hurwitz, M.D., began in Alexandria, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia before Judge Leonard D. Wexler.
The 62-count indictment accuses Dr. Hurwitz of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, drug trafficking resulting in death or serious bodily injury, and health-care fraud.
“A self-proclaimed healer, he crossed the line to a drug dealer,” stated assistant U.S. attorney Mark Lytle. “He thought he could hide behind the pain he treated.”
The defense contends that Dr. Hurwitz is a nationally known physician who treated chronic intractable pain, using newly emerging science that supports the need for high-dose opioids in certain cases. Dr. Hurwitz kept detailed records, and law enforcement agents could have brought their concerns about drug diversion to him at any time but did not do so (The Connection 11/10/04).
The first witness for the prosecution, who is serving a prison term of 188 months, stated that he lied to Dr. Hurwitz in order to obtain large numbers of pills, many of which he sold for profit. He was afraid that Dr. Hurwitz would discharge him, as had happened to a number of other patients suspected of diversion, but the doctor had given him the benefit of the doubt.
The government’s prime witness on standards for pain treatment is slated to testify on Tuesday, Nov. 16.