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THE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS SEEKS TO DEFEND YOUR ACCESS TO TOOLS TO PREVENT SUFFERING

I do not fit into any simplistic political or ideological group, but do feel that suffering pateints should have access to the pain medication they require for as long as they are in pain. Basically, all that means is I am not a sadist. Some feel that is radical. One group is working aggressively to prevent chronic pain sufferers from losing access to pain medication. As our population ages, more and more may not be helped with current treatments or our loved ones may opt to avoid surgery due to risks.

"The price
of freedom is
constant vigilance."
Thomas Jefferson

One physician below takes issue with the massive government agencies which intimidate physicians into not treating pain adequately. Indeed, the clear facts are that all forms of pain are not currently treated adequately in the USA and if you or your loved ones develop chronic non-cancerous pain, you are in for a big and sad surprise. Most of your physicians have become terrorized into not prescribing long-term pain medications. If you have found one of the rare physicians who treats non-cancer chronic pain without the knife, you better look out for them and protect them, because they are one compliant away from being raided, and then you may have to drive hundreds of miles to find a replacement, if one even exists!


ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS, INC.
A VOICE FOR PRIVATE PHYSICIANS SINCE 1943
1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9
Tucson, AZ 85716-3450
Phone: (800) 635-1196
Hotline: (800) 419-4777

April 23, 2003
The Honorable John B. Brown III
Acting Administrator
Drug Enforcement Administration
Mailstop: AXS
2401 Jefferson Highway
Arlington, VA 22301

Dear Mr. Brown:

This letter is on behalf of all physicians who treat pain, especially chronic pain; their patients who suffer from it; and several real physicians whose lives are being destroyed by your agency. These physicians courageously treat very difficult patients with controlled substances, according to the best of their medical judgment and their understanding of applicable law. Our organization, founded in 1943, defends the practice of private and ethical medicine.

The DEA recently cancelled, at the last minute, a five-month commitment to attend a conference on pain management sponsored by the Pima County Medical Society. In the DEA's absence, physicians were advised to treat their patients like criminal suspects. We were told to use methods such as surveillance cameras, urine drug screens, frisking patients before they give the specimen, and maintaining a chain of custody for the specimen. These precautions were not talked about several years ago, but physicians fear they will be held to these standards retroactively.

Physicians are trained to care for their patients, not police them. When we become aware of illegality, we report it, though typically law enforcement has no interest in investigating or apprehending the suspect. But after bad publicity about someone overdosing on a painkiller, prosecutions of physicians take the form of a witchhunt.

A single example of prosecutorial abuse is sufficient to destroy physicians' willingness to care for chronic pain patients. What sane person would risk being sentenced to die in federal prison (the likely effect of the mandatory minimum drug-kingpin 20-year sentence for a 55-year old physician) for writing a prescription in good faith?

To Read The Rest of the Letter Please go to www.cpmission.com/main/orient.html


I would imagine that most government officials have no idea what they have done. I believe when they hear the word "opioid" they think addicts and thieves, and do not think of the tens of millions in the USA with pain problems. But their "solution" to one problem has unleashed cruel sadism in which pain patients, especially chronic non-cancer pain pateints, are treated like lepers to avoid. Any physician who treats them and makes any error or has the smallest gap in documentation will bring the plague of one of many government agencies upon themselves. The agencies of the primary superpower in the world. So why should any physician eagerly treat pain?

I WISH YOU AND ALL YOUR MANY LOVED ONES LONG AND PAIN-FREE YEARS!

Dr. J


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