From: Hchalm@aol.com
Mon Mar 19 22:43:03 2001

March 20, 2001

Senator Barbara A. Mikulski U.S. Senate 709 Hart Senate Office Bldg. Washington, DC 205100001

Dear Senator Mikulski:

I write to express my deep concerns regarding the Pain Relief Promotion Act (H.R. 2260 / S. 1272). Under this legislation, DEA agents would gain new federal authority to monitor and regulate physicians’ clinical management of their patients’ pain care. These new powers are likely to have a chilling effect on the willingness of physicians to prescribe necessary medicines to suffering patients. Legal concerns already have caused some doctors to become reluctant to prescribe powerful narcotics, even when they are medically indicated. Giving the DEA broader powers to investigate physicians will clearly exacerbate this problem, and in the end, patients will suffer. I urge you to prevent further government intrusion into the relationships of patients and their doctors. Patients need to know that their doctors will be allowed to treat them without the constant threat of federal prosecution. After all, physicians’ treatment determinations depend on numerous physical and medical factors that doctors are schooled for years to observe and address. DEA agents are trained in law enforcement, not medicine. They should dedicate that training to its intended purpose, fighting the trafficking of illegal drugs. Please oppose the Pain Relief Promotion Act as a stand-alone measure and oppose its inclusion in any other legislation receiving consideration this year. By doing so, you will protect the rights of patients to receive the medical care that their doctors deem most effective and appropriate, preventing needless suffering and allowing limited federal law enforcement resources to be used most efficiently. Thank you for your consideration of my concerns. I look forward to your reply. Sincerely,Helen Chalmers 2215 Maple Road Baltimore, MD 21219

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