THERE IS is a connection between the article on opioid painkillers (“State ranks low in prescribing opioids,” Page A1, July 2) and an article about the trial of Dr. Joseph Zolot (“Accused Needham doctor was caring, his lawyer asserts,” Metro, June 18).
In one, Dr. Richard Pieters, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, states: “I am really concerned that it is becoming more and more difficult to adequately manage a patient’s acute and terminal pain, which is often undertreated.” The other describes Zolot’s trial for “irresponsibly prescribing powerful painkillers,” charges inconceivable to anyone who knows this compassionate physician.
America’s “war on drugs” has made doctors so afraid of prosecution that they won’t prescribe pain killers strong enough to alleviate suffering people’s pain. It’s no surprise the American Pain Society found that most people with severe pain do not have it under control.
Zolot is being made a public example. The message is that physicians prescribe opioids at their peril. Our country is awash in illegal drugs while our justice system engages in witch-hunts against doctors prescribing legal opioid painkillers.
Zolot came to this country as a political refugee, only to find that Russia is not the only country with show trials. Zolot deserves better.