The jury is deliberating. So far, they have asked one question. They want to know if it is legal to prescribe opioids to a pain victim who is also addicted.
The defense proposed that the jury be instructed that this is legal as long a the physician prescribes opioids for the purpose of treating the pain. The government objected to this, and prevailed upon the judge to make an instruction that effectively obfuscates this simple issue.
If a conviction results, blame will accrue to a corrupt government working in collusion with the DEA. Between the FAQs debacle, Dr. Ashburnıs testimony, and the sorts of judicial shenanigans described above, the effect of this trial will be to criminalize the treatment not only of addicts for pain, but also to criminalize the treatment of any patient who displays any aberrant drug-related behaviors.
I am not familiar with the exact instructions as they were given today. The law concerning this issue is simple. The instructions were wrong, and that is a travesty.
Under these circumstances, it is hard to imagine how one might go about the practice of pain management without risking lifetime imprisonment.
-- Frank (Frank Fisher, M.D.)