Pubdate: Sun, 18 Apr 2004
Source: Palm Beach Post, The (FL)
Copyright: 2004 The Palm Beach Post
Author: Arthur I. Trager


In response to The Post's editorial "No shield for crimes" (April 7), I have
two points to make.

For centuries, American jurisprudence and common law have made
communications between a doctor and patient, lawyer and client and
parishioner and religious leader privileged communications, and they should
remain that way. Under the guise of an investigation, these common law
privileges should not be diminished. The state Legislature passed a law
about doctor-shopping, but it did not and should not take away Mr.
Limbaugh's privacy rights.

Second, there is no such privilege attributable to a pharmacist nor his
wife. Those people, Louis Beshara and his wife, clearly might have been
violating the law for financial gain and should be prosecuted. The people
who sell drugs illegally to drug addicts are the ones to be persecuted, not
the drug addict, especially when the addict admits to his addiction and
seeks help. The prosecution of admitted addicts is counterproductive.
Speaking from the addicts' viewpoint, why should they ever admit their
addictions and seek help if they know they will be prosecuted anyway?

ARTHUR I. TRAGER, West Palm Beach
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