Dr. McIver is
that rarity of all rarities. A clean case. He was practicing medicine when this
Assistant U.S. Attorney decided to take him out. I don't want to comment on counsel or on others
who were involved in this case. But John Flannery took over the appeal recently.
The government got the jury instructions they wanted which were that if the
doctor prescribed in a fashion that was inconsistent with professional norms,
then he had committed a crime. I must say that I find Mr Flannery's language
quite accessible and that the doctor's position and that of the government are
really quite apparent.
The government in his case seems to have believed that it was a crime for the
doctor to have treated pain patients with high doses of opioids. From my
experiences, this is the underlying belief in all of these cases. As the recent
US Supreme court decision has said that the DOJ is not supposed to be enforcing
its own notion of what is or is not "legitimate medicine" the government's
position in all of our cases seems precarious at best.
The difficulty, it seems to me, is that the 4th Circuit is where the government
did most of its shenanigans to move the case law over to where they had some
basis for arguing that standard of care type evidence was applicable and helpful
in one these cases. So it may be impossible to get the 4th Circuit judges to
realize just how wrong they have been and how, really they have been deferring
to Federal power, over and above states' rights in such an important arena. But
then there is the Supreme Court who has already been quite clear about how they
Both the opening brief and the reply brief are really instructive and I hope
everyone will read them.
I have only spoken with Ron on a couple of occasions and his wife on many. They
seem like very nice people who are enduring hell on earth.
We've been doing everything we can to help them and will continue to.
Family Member of a Chronic Pain Patient
President, Pain Relief Network
'Standing up for patients in pain
and the doctors who treat them'