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Hurwitz Trial Update and Call for Support

by Frank Fisher, M.D. for Drug War Chronicle #365; 12/3/2004. Originally posted: 12/3/2004; [www.doctordeluca.com/Library/WOD/HurwitzUpdate041203.htm]. Also available from: [http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/365/hurwitz.shtml]

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Two days ago the prosecution rested its case in the trial of pain treatment specialist Dr. William Hurwitz. Dr. Frank Fisher, another physician victimized by the government's mendacious against pain doctors, distributed the following update to Hurwitz supporters last night:


Dr. Hurwitz addresses media in 1996.

"The government rested its case against Dr. Hurwitz yesterday. Significantly, they failed to deliver on a promise made during opening statements. They had promised that undercover tapes would prove that Dr. Hurwitz was aware of ongoing diversion of controlled substances and continued to prescribe anyway. They presented no such evidence.

"Today was the first full day of defense testimony. Steve Passik spent the morning on the witness stand discussing conceptual issues surrounding the controversy about aberrant drug-related behaviors. He made it clear that these behaviors are not in and of themselves automatically diagnostic of anything, and that complex clinical judgments are required in order to assess their meanings. Dr. Passik pointed out that these criteria are better characterized as AMBIGUOUS drug-related behaviors.

"A registered nurse who worked in Dr. Hurwitz' office gave a fair and accurate representation of what went on there. She discussed the difficult decision making process that occurred in dealing with patients who were less than compliant with their treatment plans.

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"Finally, three patients testified today. All made it clear that Dr. Hurwitz' heroic treatment had been life saving. This occurred after the remainder of the medical establishment had failed them, sometimes for more than a decade.

"The testimony of a nice lady from New Mexico moved members of the jury and courtroom staff to tears. She described the torment that had reduced her to years of a bedridden existence, consisting of pain and vomiting, prior to Dr. Hurwitz' treatment restoring her to a functional existence."

Siobhan Reynolds of the Pain Relief Network has informed DRCNet that Dr. Hurwitz will testify on his own behalf on Monday, December 6, and asked that supporters come out to demonstrate their support in person. The trial is taking place at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, 401 Courthouse Square. Even a short visit is worthwhile and could make an impact! Visit [http://www.painreliefnetwork.org/default.asp?id=70&mnu=40] for directions and trial updates.

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Dr. DeLuca's Addiction, Pain, and Public Health Website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D., FASAM

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Originally posted:  12/3/2004

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