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Chan Lowe: Pill mills busted


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Our society is not alone in according medical doctors enormous respect. Maybe it’s because we see them as the anointed among us to whom we turn, in faith, to perform miracles. We consider them miracles because they are shrouded in mystery and beyond the understanding of the rest of us.

Since doctors often deal with matters of life and death, we consider them a sort of priesthood, an earthly extension of the Hand of God. If they succeed or fail in curing us, maybe it’s because He meant them to. And, this being America, we can always sue if we don’t agree.

Certainly there are other degrees and training regimens that are as demanding as those necessary to become a doctor of medicine, but a maître d’ isn’t as likely to find an open table in a crowded restaurant for a theoretical physicist as he is for a Doctor So and So.


Slots in medical schools are not unlimited. A would-be doctor devotes several years of his (or her) life and a great deal of treasure to his training, with the understanding that upon its completion, he will go forth and benefit society with his skills. In return, he can be assured that those skills will provide him with a living.

So when we witness a medical doctor misusing this quasi-sacred trust to peddle opiates to addicts and out-of-state drug dealers for cash on the barrelhead, it offends us the way the pedophile priest scandal offended us. It’s a debasement of our faith that there are those among us who, through their service, are supposed to lift us all.

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Comments

The occasional money grab by doctors reminds me of the joke where the doctor is giving the patient an x-ray. HE reviews the x-ray and runs up the patient in a cold sweat. 'what did the x-ray reveal doc' TELL ME-TELL ME. THE doctor said the x-ray revealed that in your wallet at this moment is an expired health insurance card.


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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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