Pain Doctor's Trial: Closing Arguments

Pain Doctor's Trial: Closing Arguments

Prosecutor, defense attorney pain different views of what's at stake in jury's decision.

<b>The Prosecution</b>


<b>ALEXANDRIA, VA., DEC. 8, 12:45 P.M.

<i>Eugene Rossi, Assistant U.S. Attorney:</i></b>

"Sometime during the morning of May 29, 2002, Robert Woodson visited defendant William E. Hurwitz, whose waiting room was filled with stoned, sleeping, incoherent patients whose arms were covered with track marks, needle marks, and ulcers the size of a dime or quarter.

"The tapes show conversations no one would expect from a legitimate medical doctor.

"This well educated doctor and this well educated lawyer was nobody's fool. The defendant had a mind like a steel trap, but he purposely ignored what he had learned in Dr. Vilensky's class, "The Drug Seeking Patient." "Regulatory authorities bent over backwards to try to get the defendant to do the right thing and every time he came to the fork in the road, he did the wrong thing and he did it time and time again.

"The defendant with willful blindness would rapidly increase prescriptions for callous disregard for the patients, family and community at large. It is ironic, to say the least, that all of this was done in the name of pain treatment. For many patients, he ran a pill mill whose purpose was to feed significant number of addicts all under the name of pain management.

"You hear some patients came in for legitimate purpose, we do not dispute that. The issue of chronic pain is not the subject of today's hearings. …

"The case began when various police departments noted [areas] ravished by powerful drugs like OxyContin and Dilaudid. They investigated up the ladder. That's how we got to Dr. Hurwitz.

"The huge amount of pills [prescribed] were just obscene … they sent shock waves across our community. Those prescriptions caused havoc and harm.

"This case isn't about theory, it is about reality, about the patients becoming hopelessly addicted and the reality of the patients selling the pills.

"Cindy Horn said, 'I feel 18 again.' She was in jail when she said that. Who put her in the position where she had to go through violent withdrawals? She had a wonderful life.

"He had enough motive — ego and arrogance.

"There's nothing new about just saying no. There's nothing new about just saying no to a patient selling pills. There's nothing new to just saying no to a patient who is hopelessly addicted, who is injecting Dilaudid.

"In 1991, the DC Board of Medicine sanctioned Dr. Hurwitz. In 1996 the Virginia Board sanctioned Dr. Hurwitz.

"That was a civil regulatory board, they were not empowered to do what you are regulated to do. You are coming to a fork in the road, and with that six-letter word and that guilty verdict, you can tell the doctor his treatment of Linda Lalmond was wrong and his treatment of Rennie Buras was disgraceful. You can tell him it was outside the bounds of medicine.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the DC Board acted, the Virginia Board acted, now it is your turn. If not you, who? If not now, when? Find him guilty."