Pubdate: Fri, 21 Oct 2005
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2005 Watertown Daily Times
Author: Clifford Streit Jr.


Dr. James Latimer's Madrid practice will be closed as a result of
allegations by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the
refusal of acting District Attorney Gary Miles to except any result
other than the surrender of Dr. Latimer's medical license.

Questions are being asked. Why would Dr. Latimer surrender his license
if he was running an honest practice? The answer is in the methods
these officials have used successfully to intimidate doctors into
closing their practices.

The DEA was created to put doctors prescribing narcotics out of
business. Like any government agency, they need numbers to justify
their existence and funding to continue operating. The DEA has shut
down the practices of over 600 doctors. The DEA sifts through the
prescription records, chooses those which may indicate possible
overmedication, and indictments are filed.

Say a doctor has 50 indictments against him. The jury may throw out 49
but the way drug laws are today, one indictment proven, even though it
may be a mistake in judgement, carries an automatic prison term. Most
doctors agree to surrender their licenses immediately. A few have gone
to trial. Some have been acquitted. Some are in prison. See the July
25, 2005, issue of Time Magazine and the October 2005, issue of the
AARP magazine.

The next question: What can Dr. Latimer do for a living now? Dr.
Latimer has his health, his north county work ethic, his supporting
life partner and wife Diane, and his doctorate from Tuffs School of
Medicine. His alumni with whom he has always kept in contact have
often urged him to leave the 12-hour-a-day county doctor practice he
chose and join in teaching, administration, etc. The field is wide
open for a person with his abilities and credentials.

To his supporters, do not grieve for Dr. Latimer, however, have
concern for Dr. Latimer patients. He is working long, hard hours
trying to find them coverage.

The reader may ask, What should I believe? Is Dr. Latimer an honest,
family practitioner or the corrupt, drug-ring kingpin Gary Miles
portrayed to the media? If you live in St. Lawrence County, ask your
doctor. He or she can help you form an opinion. 

Clifford Streit Jr

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