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Criminalization of Medicine: America's War on Doctors [Praeger Series on Contemporary Health and Living]
     

Criminalization of Medicine: America's War on Doctors [Praeger Series on Contemporary Health and Living]

by Ronald T. Libby
 

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Medical doctors have been made political scapegoats for the financial crisis of healthcare and the failed war on drugs in the United States, says author Ronald T. Libby. In order to combat health fraud and abuse, the government launched tough new laws and guidelines designed to battle rising urban violent crimes, illegal drugs, and terrorism. But, by eliminating

Overview

Medical doctors have been made political scapegoats for the financial crisis of healthcare and the failed war on drugs in the United States, says author Ronald T. Libby. In order to combat health fraud and abuse, the government launched tough new laws and guidelines designed to battle rising urban violent crimes, illegal drugs, and terrorism. But, by eliminating safeguards to protect the innocent, those same laws and guidelines also made it far easier for agents and prosecutors to arrest, charge, fine, convict, and imprison physicians. Current "witch hunts" for doctors include wiretaps and whistleblowers who get 35 percent of the fines, even before conviction. Under a new doctrine of "harmless error" a doctor receives no protection against false testimony. Libby explains all of this, offering cases from media reports, personal interviews, and records of trial as examples in this compelling book. Huge law enforcement bureaucracies have been created to target doctors for alleged fraud, kickbacks, and drug diversion. Federal, state, and local police are rewarded for prosecuting doctors and other healthcare professionals, while investigators and prosecutors receive pay raises and promotions, and law enforcement agencies seize the assets of doctors charged with felonies. Libby explains that doctors are prosecuted for billing mistakes, for referring patients to clinics, or treating pain patients with pain-relieving drugs. They receive large fines and long prison sentences, some even harsher than those given common criminals who've committed the most violent offenses. As a consequence of "overzealous investigations and prosecutions" of physicians, many more doctors are demoralized, refuse to accept Medicare and Medicaid patients, and are fearful of prescribing pain-relieving medication. Join Senior Research Fellow Libby, who is also a Professor of Political Science, as he shows us why doctors have been "demonized" as corrupt and greedy entrepreneurs, how media sensationalizes doctors' arrests, and what unjust prosecution could mean for the future of healthcare.

Editorial Reviews

"A worthwhile book by an author who carries appropriate crendentials."

MedicoLegal Consultants

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313345470
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/30/2007
Series:
The Praeger Series on Contemporary Health and Living
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
292 KB

What People are Saying About This

Cyril H. Wecht

"I believe this book will prove to be a significant and quite worthwhile contribution to the literature that deals with the healthcare system and criminal justice in the United States. I was particularly impressed with the outrageous examples of federal law enforcement officials acting like brutal police in a totalitarian society against physicians in matters that, at worst, would be characterized as non-violent, relatively minor white collar crimes. I am certain the overwhelming majority of Americans, no matter what their sociopolitical beliefs and attitudes are, would be shocked and indignant if they understood the harsh facts of these situations."

Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Jane M. Orient

"Professor Libby shows how wrong the public perception is. He has meticulously researched the cases of real human beings, fallible but devoted doctors who had no idea they were engaging in any activity that could remotely be considered criminal. And he shows the rampant perjury, prosecutorial malfeasance, and judicial collusion that make a mockery of due process rights. Americans may find it easier to believe the fiction of Franz Kafka than the reality presented by Ron Libby. But it's all true, and massively documented."

Jane M. Orient, M.D., Executive Director, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Inc.

Norman Kirk Singleton

"Kudos to Ronald Libby for compiling a collection of cases of over-zealous prosecutors and bureaucrats using government-run health care programs and the 'war on drugs' as excuses for the unjustifiable harassing, fining, and imprisoning physicians."

Norman Kirk Singleton, Legislative Director for Congressman Ron Paul

Grace-Marie Turner

"Libby recounts the terrifying experience of doctors who have been targeted by investigators and overly zealous prosecutors in a climate of political mistrust of the healthcare profession. In this well-documented and well-researched book, one reads case after case in which doctors have been prosecuted and have lost their practices over things as simple as clerical errors. He demonstrates that the sacred belief that citizens are innocent until proven guilty apparently does not apply to doctors. All patients should read this book to understand the threat to the future of the medical profession in America today."

Grace-Marie Turner, President, Galen Institute

Meet the Author

RONALD T. LIBBY is Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Florida Center for Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions at the University of North Florida. He is the author of five books and many articles including a widely discussed policy paper titled, "Treating Doctors as Drug Dealers," published by the Cato Institute.

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