The war on prescription drugs has gone too far when inhumane treatment of ordinary people is justified. The bounds of common decency bind the police as well.
Radley Balko writes in the Huffington Post about government overreach in its paranoia over opioid painkillers.
New Victims in the War on Painkillers No victim is Mayor Bloomberg who is dictating medical policy for NYC emergency rooms.
This policy is going to cause needless suffering. People who genuinely, legitimately need pain medication aren't going to be able to get it
But what about the 80 year old man, a former Navy medic, whose wife of 58 years just died on colon cancer in their bedroom when the police, not ten minutes after her death, burst in without a warrant to search for prescription drugs.
"I was holding her hand saying goodbye when all the intrusion happened," he told the Deseret News…
"I was indignant to think you can't even have a private moment. All these people were there and they're not concerned about her or me. They're concerned about the damn drugs. Isn't that something?" Mahaffey said.
Mahaffey said he was treated as if he were going to sell the painkillers, which included OxyContin, oxycodone and morphine, on the street.
In Oklahoma, Jamie Lynn Russell, a 33-year-old woman went to an emergency room in such extreme abdominal pain that she couldn't lie down or even cooperate with hospital staff who called a police officer to help them. He found two prescription pills that he determined didn't belong to her, so he he took her to jail for drug possession. Russell was in jail for less than two hours before she died of a ruptured ectopic pregnancy.
Said the sheriff, "There is nothing my staff in the jail could've done differently," ""It's very regrettable for the family. My heart and prayers go out to them."
The hospital is also at fault here. I can't imagine taking a woman in such extremes pain out of a hospital where she could be treated just so she could be taken to jail over the possession of two pills.Posted by Jill Fallon at January 17, 2013 10:58 AM | Permalink