Indiana News

Conrad Murray Case Raises Medical Ethics Questions


Dr. Conrad Murray
Dr. Conrad Murray

A Hoosier attorney who is also a doctor is questioning the ethics of Dr. Conrad Murray, the man on trial following the death of Michael Jackson.


IUPUI's David Orentlicher says the case raises the larger issue of doctors who over-prescribe addictive drugs to patients.

Orentlicher teaches health care and constitutional law.  He says it's difficult for patients who become addicted to pain-relieving drugs to monitor themselves.

He also says "independent doctors" can often become more susceptible to mis-prescribe drugs when they're being paid lots of money.

In short, the doctor-patient relationship can easily become a conflict of interest.

Orentlicher believes it's important for doctors to be affiliated with legitimate practices.  He says it's also important for drug makers and pharmacies, both of which monitor sales data, to keep tighter tabs on where prescriptions are going and why.

Meantime, Indiana Professional Licensing Agency Attorney Marty Allain says the Indiana Board of Pharmacy does keep tabs on prescriptions filled in the state through its prescription monitoring program.  The program is accessed by both healthcare professionals and law enforcement.

Despite the program, Allain says prescription abuse persists in Indiana and the state is working to address the issue.


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