Pubdate: Tue, 08 Jul 2014
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Copyright: 2014 Globe Newspaper Company
Author: Linda Lancaster


THERE IS is a connection between the article on opioid painkillers 
("State ranks low in prescribing opioids," Page A1, July 2) and an 
article about the trial of Dr. Joseph Zolot ("Accused Needham doctor 
was caring, his lawyer asserts," Metro, June 18).

In one, Dr. Richard Pieters, president of the Massachusetts Medical 
Society, states: "I am really concerned that it is becoming more and 
more difficult to adequately manage a patient's acute and terminal 
pain, which is often undertreated." The other describes Zolot's trial 
for "irresponsibly prescribing powerful painkillers," charges 
inconceivable to anyone who knows this compassionate physician.

America's "war on drugs" has made doctors so afraid of prosecution 
that they won't prescribe pain killers strong enough to alleviate 
suffering people's pain. It's no surprise the American Pain Society 
found that most people with severe pain do not have it under control.

Zolot is being made a public example. The message is that physicians 
prescribe opioids at their peril. Our country is awash in illegal 
drugs while our justice system engages in witch-hunts against doctors 
prescribing legal opioid painkillers.

Zolot came to this country as a political refugee, only to find that 
Russia is not the only country with show trials. Zolot deserves better.


- ---
MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom