Susan Bowen-Small – Suzy, as she is known by her patients – prescribed pain medication to patients who were in need. The few patients who died were taking meds other than prescribed by her, and using them in inappropriate ways (i.e., shooting fentanyl patches so that the time-released med is released all at once).
She wrote pain meds according to what each patient needed, and spent long hours into the night sometimes. Perhaps Bowen-Small prescribed pain meds to 78 percent of her Medicare patients, but most doctors today will not even see pain patients because they are fearful of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Bowen-Small is not the immediate danger to public health and safety. Rather, cutting off patients who are dependent on their medicine is the real harm done.
The state knows that a greater population of elders will require more pain meds. The state wants to police physicians about how to prescribe medications? Why don’t we just go to the police for our meds.