Monday, February 14, 2005

The Government's War on Pain Sufferers

My new article discussing how the government’s war on drug users harms chronic pain sufferers is posted on The Future of Freedom website here.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Nicolas Martin said...

Jane Orient, as she is quoted, might think that opioids are effective and safe for pain relief, but that doesn't stop the organization of which she is executive director from taking a particularly ugly position on drug prohibition.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has proposed "PROJECT: COMMUNICATE AND COOPERATE," a "3-POINT PLAN TO STOP THE 'DRUG WAR ON PHYSICIANS' & REDUCE Rx DRUG ABUSE."

According to the plan, the AAPS wants to "work together" with law enforcement "to track and report drug abusers." Orient's group proposes that "Law enforcement should set up a notification process to advise physicians of suspicious behavior by patients (using more than one pharmacy or more than one physician for prescriptions, contact with known dealers or addicts, etc.)."

The essence of the AAPS plan is to reduce the prospect of doctors from being targeted by drug agents by becoming informants. The AAPS doesn't urge doctors to forthrightly oppose the prohibition of effective opioids (and other illicit drugs), it wants doctors to become stool pigeons to save their own skins by sacrificing the "drug abusers." This proposal is, at once, immoral and naive, and would weave doctors ever more tightly into the web of the therapeutic state.

I have commented on this in more detail, and there is a link to AAPS plan, here:

Dr. Orient also has an article in the Jan/Feb 2005 edition of "The Freeman" titled "America needs socialized medicine? It just ain't so." I don't argue with her points, but I note that she neglects, as usual, to confront one of the essential pillars of socialized medicine: state licensure.

The AAPS has a page on its web site headed "Licensure,"

but one will search there in vain for any discussion about, much less support for, licensure abolition. Instead, among others, there is a statement opposing "capricious license revocation," and another suggesting that members of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners be restricted to four year terms to "guard against overreaching in power." AAPS also wants "Inclusion of a greater percentage of practicing physicians on the Board..." How surprising that a licensed group would want more of its members on the state board that regulates it.

Jane Orient has not infrequently been published in libertarian journals over the years, but the positions of the lobbying group she heads are liberal only to the extent that they further the interests of its members.


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