Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Please forgive me, I'm finding it hard to come up with anything worthwhile to add to the discussion today. I mean, what more can anyone say? The country is taken over by a gang of murderous thugs, war criminals, thieves, liars and fascists. Elite opinion about the situation ranges from "Tut tut, isn't that a shame," to "Thank God we at last have strong and effective leadership in this country," with any real oprobrium directed at those of us who are alarmed about the situation.

While I try to think of something interesting to write about, you might want to check out John Tierney's piece about the retrial of Dr. Dan Hurwitz, which we discussed here recently. The miscarriage of justice in this case was ameliorated in the end, but only partially. The bottom line, as Tierney suggests, is that the judgment about whether a physician has acted appropriately in prescribing narcotics ought to be in the hands of knowledgeable people -- he suggest other physicians, although I might broaden the representation on the responsible body a bit -- not the DEA and prosecutors. If the Board or Commission or whatever it is wants to make a criminal referral, okay, but prosecutors and cops are out to notch their pistol handles, not make complex judgments about difficult medical decisions. Law enforcement in the area of physician prescribing is harming the public as well as innocent doctors, by depriving people of access to medications they desperately need.

And these prosecutors ought to be disbarred.

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