02/16/12 — Liability: Doctors should be held responsible for unethical prescriptions

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Liability: Doctors should be held responsible for unethical prescriptions

Although they are perhaps the most public of cases, it would seem hard to believe that celebrities are the only ones who manage to find doctors who are quick to write a prescription.

While there are mostly honest health care workers, the reality is that prescription drug abuse really requires an unethical partner -- and there are more than a few out there willing to bend the rules.

And if they are caught, they should be held accountable.

The bottom line in any celebrity drug abuse scandal is that there is a certain amount of manipulation and a whole lot of influence peddling to get the necessary supplies.

And there are plenty of enablers around, too, as well as a monetary incentive to look the other way.

Ultimately, just like for anyone else who succumbs to an addiction, the patient is often not just a victim. He or she has made a choice not to get help or to accelerate the drug use. There are few innocents in most cases.

Addiction is an illness, but at some point, it is a choice, too.

But that doesn't mean that predators who feed celebrities and others with ill-gained drugs should get off scot-free.

There should be a consequence, some accountability for the dealers -- even if they do drive Bentleys and live in $10 million houses.

There is nothing cool about overdosing. If you pop pills, and you do not heed warnings, you will end up dead. There is no glamour in that kind of passing.

And until we take prescription drug abuse seriously, and address it both as an addiction and a crime, we will likely hear more tragic stories from Hollywood and beyond.

Published in Editorials on February 16, 2012 11:17 AM