Saturday, December 12, 2009

Police say Appalachian doctor was killed by man frustrated in search for prescription drugs

The shooting death of a doctor at an isolated Eastern Kentucky clinic has driven home the desperate nature of the region's problems with prescription drugs. Police say Dr. Dennis Sandlin "was shot and killed by a patient seeking pain pills at the Leatherwood/Blackey Clinic," reports Dori Hjalmarson of the Lexington Herald-Leader. "The man became angry, clinic employees said, after he was asked to take a drug test as a requirement for a prescription."

One of Sandlin's sisters "said she hopes her community will start to recognize the dangers its health care providers are facing," Hjalmarson reports. "Friends have told her that some doctors have to call police several times a week because patients seeking drugs get belligerent and out of control. . . . Doctors across Kentucky are so frustrated with the dangers of providing pain medication that some are not providing the service at all, a committee under the University of Kentucky's Kentucky Ambulatory Network is finding." (Read more)

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