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I got a call. Did you see......

A physician was arrested last month in Ft. Lauderdale for trading Oxycodone perscriptions to a criminal informant in exchange for having sex with two women, who I guess turned out to be police officers.

I'm glad to say that I've never worked with Scott Baren Oster. He's not employed by any pain clinic I've worked with and after last month's incident; I doubt if I ever will in the future either. However you may feel about drug use, it is clear that before a physician prescribes a drug, s/he needs to take some sort of patient history and perform at least a rudimentary examination and have some meaningful information before reaching for the prescription pad.

If the allegations against Dr. Oster hold up, then this is a doctor we won't miss.

Usually it's the patients we have to look out for in the pain management practice.  Usually, you don't have to worry about a doctor even thinking about doing what Scott Oster is alleged to have done. Trading sex for Oxycodone pill prescriptions in a hotel room; what in the world was he thinking? Why was he willing to risk a 25 year sentence for drug trafficking over a fleeting hour or two of carnal pleasure? Probably because it never crossed his mind that he'd be arrested. It never occurred to him that he'd have to spend a fortune to keep his license if anyone knew about his habit of bartering medical services for sexual services.

Doctors like Oster add to the perception that all pain management physicians will act this way. It's a perception that honest, reputable pain managers don't need. How long will it take before Florida revokes Oster's license? Hard to tell, there's a back log of complaints. Florida is still working on the raids from February of this year.

I saw this in the news on the day it happened and was angry and disgusted that a doctor would do this. Then, I mentioned it to a lawyer friend and they, being a good lawyer, could see it from either direction. Which leads to questions. Is this as clear cut as the newspapers and television news would have us believe? In the hotel room did Dr. Oster ask the CI where it hurt, how the injury happened and what they've done to alleviate their symptoms? Did Dr. Oster tell the informant what the drugs were meant to do and what the risks and benefits of those drugs are? If he did, then, that makes the State's case murky. If Dr. Oster wrote any of their statements, his observations and what he prescribed on another piece of paper or spoke into his personal recorder, the case is murkier.

Dr. Oster is a licensed physician who is allowed to see patients and write prescriptions for controlled substances pretty much anywhere in Florida. There's no law against medically treating pimps, prostitutes or drug dealers. The problem is with bartering medical services for sexual services. That's not drug trafficking, it's something else. It's the tawdry nature of this that's fueling law enforcement's case. It's an illegal transaction because you can't "sell" sex, but does that amount to drug trafficking? Another thought, who's idea was it to see a doctor in a hotel room and pay for the visit with sex? If it was the doctor's idea, the case is stronger. If it originated with the confidential informant or the officers, then the case just crossed over to the dark side. Chances are the state is banking on the doctor taking a plea deal. Now, would I have given Dr. Oster a green light to see a pimp pain patient in a hotel room and let the pimp pay for is visit with his prostitutes? Uh, that would be a no.

If you're a pain management physician (or any physician for that matter) you have to avoid stupidity. Apparently Dr. Oster didn't get that memo.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar for intelligent pain management (10+ / 0-)

    This case got me to wondering if a doctor could be arrested for taking a chicken in exchange for medical services... I guess it would depend on what they planned to do with the chicken....but back to the case at hand.

    Florida's chronic pain patients deserve better than this.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Sat May 07, 2011 at 12:36:47 PM PDT

  •  Remember, this is Florida (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jan4insight, JDWolverton, mapamp

    Where Governor Scott vetoed a bill that would set up a database that would make it easier to track Physicians' prescribing histories to locate doctors who are running pain mills.

    I'm all for pain management, but Oxy is causing huge problems in addition to the pain it is relieving.  We should be doing more to prevent the problems without taking away the benefits.

    Numbers are like people . . . Torture them enough and they'll tell you anything.

    by Actuary4Change on Sat May 07, 2011 at 01:28:22 PM PDT

    •  Actually, he couldn't veto that bill (4+ / 0-)

      it had already passed and been signed...the database wasn't up and running yet because the prior legislation required that the whole thing be paid for out of private rather than public funds, and it took a while to line up funding. Scott did try to have it repealed and generally tried to prevent it from going into effect, but it's my understanding that he has failed and the drug database is going ahead.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Sat May 07, 2011 at 01:48:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A problem, yes, but not as big as tobacco (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Friendlystranger, mapamp

      Tobacco related deaths in Florida total close to 26,000.

      Our share of deaths due to being unable to afford treatment is greater than 6,000 people per year (probably higher).

      All drug related deaths in Florida is less than 3,000 that includes .

      Oxycodone is perceived to be a huge problem. It's not as big as tobacco, but you won't get that from law enforcement or the news media - that's old news.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Sat May 07, 2011 at 01:58:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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