We put our absolute faith in doctors. We trust them to save our lives, to save the lives of those we love. We trust them to help us monitor our health and assist in making good choices for ourselves and our families. We put more faith in doctors than we do in almost anybody else. Unfortunately, not all doctors are worthy of that trust.
Pill pushers are a dangerous subset of the medical community. These individuals often recommend pharmaceuticals to treat conditions that might be manageable in other ways. There can be kickbacks to doctors from the drug manufacturers, and Big Pharma is well aware that once a person starts taking a medication, they frequently stay on it for the rest of their lives.
All pill pushers are dangerous, but rarely does the law actually notice until things go terribly wrong. This was the case with Dr. Stan Li of New York. Dr. Li is currently facing up to two 30 year sentences for his reckless prescribing, but attention was only drawn to his pain clinic when one of his addicted patients, David Laffer, killed four people in 2011 while stealing thousands of hydrocodone tablets from a pharmacy.
There are many more pill pushers than just Dr. Li, and though they ruin millions of lives by creating addicts, the authorities rarely intervene. When visiting a doctor or pain management specialist, keep an ear out for:
- An insistence on using powerful painkillers without exploring other treatment options
- Continual desire to increase doses
- Adding additional pain medication to control pain that “breaks through” the dosages you are already on
- An insistence on using a particular medication, especially a name brand version
It is up to us to police our doctors, because the police rarely do so. If you or a loved one fears medical malpractice has contributed to negative outcomes, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer to help you get a definitive answer as to whether or not the doctor is responsible.