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Kristen L. Raines, FNP

 

nurse-practitionerKristen L. Raines, FNP, 39, of Little Rock, Arkansas was convicted of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances while the other two defendants at her trial were acquitted. She was absent from the courtroom during much of the trial because she was recovering from surgery. Supposedly she gave the court her approval to proceed in her absence. I wonder, however, if her absence worked against her.

Ms. Raines started working at Artex Medical Clinic. When the name was changed to KJ Medical Clinic she continued working. Prosecutors claimed that she worked there longer than the other two defendants and would have had plenty of clues during that time to know she was violating the law.

That is not true. The law states that medical professionals are exempt from criminal charges when prescribing in the course of their professional practice. To the average doctor and person, that would mean that as long as you are evaluating a patient and prescribing treatment, no law is being broken. It is only through prosecutorial adulteration of the law that convictions of practitioners are occurring.

Ms. Raines’s attorneys said she was going to resign from Artex shortly before Dr. Felicie Wyatt, one of her co-defendants, did, but Wyatt “beat her to the punch,” and then her job wasn’t needed without a supervising physician in place. When the clinic reopened as the KJ Clinic, Raines didn’t know that the owner of Artex still had some ownership in the business.

Just to show that even defense attorneys are part of this conspiracy against doctors for money, her attorney Deborah Linton Ferguson was quoted as saying to the jury, “We can all look back and say yes, Artex and KJ were pill mills,” in spite of the fact that the Controlled Substance Act exempts medical professionals from being charged as criminals.

Despite finding Ms. Raines guilty on the conspiracy charge, jurors acquitted her on two individual counts of distributing the drugs without an effective prescription. I’m not sure what that means. I’ve never seen that charge before and to my knowledge there is no law written like that in the Controlled Substance Act. If a prescription wasn’t written, how can she be charged with distribution? And if a prescription was written, how can it not be “effective”? It would appear the prosecutors are trying to expand the CSA to include more “chargeable offenses” that medical professionals will be unaware of until they are charge. If anyone reading this knows how this terminology came about, please contact me with that information and source.

This attack on Ms. Rains is one of 280 arrested during the year-long government investigation called “Operation Pilluted” covering Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Since one of the main reasons for attacking medical practitioners is credit at the job, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Christopher R. Thyer, was quoted as saying for the publicity,

“It is extremely disheartening when trusted professionals such as your local pharmacist or family doctor are engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of controlled substances. My office is committed to stopping the abuse of prescription pills at every level, from the prescribing doctor to individuals trying to sell these drugs on the street. Today’s announcement should signal to those in the medical community and elsewhere that we will aggressively seek to prosecute anyone who violates our prescription drug laws.”

Now since most medical professionals believe, as they should that if they are seeing a person in their office and treating them professionally, they are not breaking any drug laws. It is only through prosecutorial misrepresentation of the laws to the juries that these convictions are occurring.

 

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