TO: The Project for Pain and
Chemical Dependency of the National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain
FROM: Christine Heberle (wife of Dr. Paul
Although it was an important issue, we didn't delve into it to
deeply. When opportunity presented it self it was definitely brought out by
Two of Paul's witnesses were brought in mainly for that issue.
The woman who lost her care presented to a local ER. That ER doctor consulted
Paul, he said he was sending a patient up for detox. When Paul treated the woman
it was for chronic pain medication withdrawal. A legitimate chronic pain patient
who was labeled for detox. He treated her on the medical floor not in detox.
She was not a chart originally seized through a warrant. The agents went to her
and scared her into signing her chart over. They were going to interrupt her
scheduled surgery. They also convinced her she must have cancer or the doctor
was treating her wrong with Actiq.
She testified to this. Dr. Fisher also examined her briefly and spoke with her.
Dr. Fisher had testified how they took this woman, in clear pain, and prevented
her from getting her medications. In fact I think he was "appalled".
In cross exam- the woman came across as scared, meek, and credible. They asked
her about the Actiq and cancer. Which she said- I do not have cancer.
On redirect- she was asked if any doctor had ever treated her with Actiq before.
She said yes. Her previous 2 doctors had. She was asked how it worked and if she
had cancer then. It worked to take the edge of her pain. It never made her high,
none of her medication ever made her high. No she has never had cancer. Did Paul
treat you any different then your previous 2 doctors? Yes, the medications were
the same, but Dr. Heberle always spent time with me. How much time, not
including waiting room? Always a more than a half hour every time.
A man, the caretaker for an AIDS patient. The man he was taking care of had full
blown AIDS and was one of the seized charts. The patient himself could not speak
about the misconduct, but his caretaker was present for all encounters. The
agents had screamed at the patient and asked inappropriate questions for nearly
an hour before the caretaker made the agents leave. The agents would not release
this patients extensive medical records until he would agree to come to their
office and make a recorded statement. He refused to do so. He could not get care
without the records and was moved to a home in another location. The caretaker
told me where they were. When the time came and we needed him to testify, I was
suppose to call.
When our Attorney's began questioning him-the prosecution objected. He was not
on the witness list. Our attorneys argued the patient would be here, but he has
end stage AIDS. The judge allowed him to testify. He was more than we expected.
He was confident and he wanted the jury to know what the agents did to his
friend. When the attorney asked him about the hour of interrogation; objection-
sustained. The holding of the records; objection, sustained. Sidebar-the judge
would only allow testimony about his duties as a caretaker.
Totally unplanned- this guy who was so together- fell apart, sobbing about how
sick his friend was and that Paul was the only person who listened to the
patient and the caretaker about his needs. His friend has late stage dementia
now and he can't be with him. Everyone was moved to tears, even the security
officer had tears running down his cheek. This man clearly loved his friend and
this was very painful for him.
On cross the prosecution asked about the pharmacist reporting abuse of his
medications and blood in the pharmacy sink. He said (breaking down again) that
last year he (the caretaker) was stuck by a needle that his friend had used and
hid. It was immediately addressed by Paul. His medications were changed so he
was less likely to alter them. the caretaker was also given strict instructions
about managing his medications and keeping them out of the patients care. His
friend was bleeding all the time. His mouth was full of bloody sores. He could
not swallow very well and the pain was so severe. If he used the bathroom, he
may have left blood accidentally. He would have wiped it down had he known. He
was not easy to deal with. He was dying. The pharmacist was rude and yelling at
him. Telling him he was an addict. He wasn't, he was just very sick. They went
back to the office and told Paul about the incident. The pharmacist had already
called Paul and said something about the amount of medications, the blood in the
bathroom, and why did he require such high doses.
The other witnesses were provided by the prosecution. Paul's receptionist, who
was terrified by the prosecutor (visibly). She said Paul always saw about 6-8
patients a day. A half hour for established and an hour for new. Some other
insignificant questions, but nothing to help them.
Our attorney asked immediately, were you interrogated in the back of a black van
at your school. Afraid to answer she said yes. Were you interrogated and
threatened anywhere else? At which the prosecution objected to the line of
questioning. sustained. He then said, we you so afraid they were going to take
your children away that you called a lawyer. Yes. What is the lawyers name. It
was you, John Moore.
After Paul's preliminary hearing did an agent follow you outside and threaten
you again? Yes. Which agent? Objection-sustained
Another witness they brought forward could have been harmful because he was
working with them. Fortunately, he denied that he was. Then our attorney
produced 4 separate letters written by him. One about how the agents screamed at
him for an hour and a half asking him sexual questions. He said they were the
most inappropriate questions he had ever heard. Also, statements about why am I
being treated like a criminal. This letter was sent to the Office of Civil
Rights. He also had a letter to the pain relief network, the Senator, and one to
Paul. All pointing to the outrageous behavior by the agents. The fact they would
not release his records unless he gave a recorded statement.
Before the letters could be entered into evidence officially, the prosecutor had
to read them. They were hand written. Each averaged 4 pages. When he was done
the agent started to read them. He ripped them out of his hands and threw them
back to Paul's attorney.
-- Christine Heberle,