Michael Minas, MD, 51, a solo, independent family practice doctor in Eagle, Idaho, was indicted in June, 2014, with seventeen counts of distributing a controlled substance outside the usual course of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. He was forced to close his practice and was placed on home confinement with electronic monitoring, as if he was already a criminal. A media article at that time by Harrison Berry of the Boise Weekly stated in the first line of his article: “A Boise doctor distributed prescription drugs outside the normal course of his professional duties and has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance” like it was a statement of fact. How can a person have a fair trial with that kind of publicity?
First Dr. Minas considered accepting a plea agreement based on 17 charges, but then, like the rest of us innocent physicians, decided to trust the justice system and go to trial. So the US Attorney countered by adding 129 additional charges to ensure conviction (total of 146). A former US Attorney who escaped the illegal policies of the Justice Department said once in a seminar I went to that “they load up the charges in hopes that some will stick”.
This just goes to show how the government works. They make a point of adding charges to anyone who is innocent and chooses to fight for justice in the courtroom. But there is no justice in a courtroom. The entire operation is as crooked as a mountain goat trail with one goal: conviction of anyone that has been targeted. Why? FOLLOW THE MONEY!!! In this case, even the judge showed obvious pro-prosecutorial prejudice, as witnessed by people who were there.
In an article by John Sowell of the Idaho Statesman, the prosecution is reported to say that Dr. Minas’s family practice clinic focused on pain, as if that was a crime. As a family practitioner whose primary practice also became pain management in a rural area because there was no one else willing, I can verify that this is not a crime and does not reflect illegal activity, but compassionate patient-oriented medicine.
They also claimed that Dr. Minas prescribed pain medicines in amounts that exceeded what would have been proper medical treatment. Who are they to determine what is “proper medical treatment”? They have no clue. But through government propaganda, they have the American people believing that whomever they claim is prescribing wrong, is doing just that. America, take off the blinders. Understand that there is a secondary gain to all of these attacks on doctors, and with the upcoming laws being considered in Congress, it is only going to get worse. Eventually there will be no doctors for the poor, disabled, uninsured, Medicare and Medicaid patients. OH!! WOW!! Do you think there might be a plan here? Believe me, the government is laughing all the way to the bank. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!
Then the prosecution goes on with comments like “He did so with little to no medical basis or treatment plan, minimal, if any, diagnostic tests and little, if any, consideration of non-opioid treatment.” Again, what makes U.S. Attorneys expert in the making of medical decisions?
Next comes the warnings to physicians of the future. The new laws being presented in states and now the federal government, makes even the simplest decision in pain management by a physician criminal. Idaho has a Board of Medicine “Best Practices” plan that is enumerated at http://bom.idaho.gov/BOMPortal/BOM/PDF%20FORMS/ModelPolicyUseofOpioidAnalgesicsinTreatmentofChronicPain.pdf. The following are justifications from that plan put forth by the prosecutors for charging Dr. Minas criminally:
- He did not develop treatment plans for his patients.
- He did not establish goals.
- He failed to come up with ways to evaluate treatment progress.
- He did not initiate trials for starting patients at the lowest possible dosage.
- He did not establish plans to reduce the amount of painkillers patients were taking.
- The staff members in his office were “unqualified”, some of which were volunteers.
This is the future of attacks on pain management physicians, although this is the first of these type of charges that I have personally seen. But with the future requirement of the “best practices” approach being created through government committees, we will see more doctors being criminally convicted on decisions that are mental, using a time limit set by the government, not by medical need.
The reply by Dr. Minas’s defense attorneys C. Tom Arkoosh and James Stoll to these charges was that “his patients were maintained on varying does of pain medication therapy, which allowed these patients to otherwise live functional, if not productive, lives.” That should be the point and accepted plan of pain management. The government needs to get out of the pain management business.
The attorneys say Minas, as one of a few independent physicians in the Treasure Valley not affiliated with the Saint Alphonsus and St. Luke’s health care systems, was targeted by the government to set an example to doctors throughout Idaho who continue to provide pain medication outside a pain clinic setting. I expand that to read “outside a hospital-owned setting.”
The lawyers also said “The government seems to make Dr. Minas the scapegoat for a broader drug problem for which he is not responsible,” My reply to this is that the government knows that the drugs and the doctors are not responsible for the drug addiction problem. They’ve known since the 1970’s but ignored the evidence. That is because at the time methadone became a government-subsidized addiction treatment. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!! Instead of getting to the cause of drug addiction, more and more jobs and more and more money became available by treating addiction with more addictive medication. I claim that this was the government plan all along. And now they are continuing the process with even more addictive medication—the opiate-reversal drugs of buprenorhine and naloxone. By confession from drug addicts, it is known that these drugs give highs 4x that of Oxycontin, and yet the government is now putting these drugs out there like they are candy.
There is a lot of secondary gain with maintaining the status quo. And a lot of government propaganda being spread by people “in it for the money”. One example is Brad Lamm, CIP of Breathe Life Healing Centers who wrote an article as advertisement for his rehab business entitled “Your Drug Dealer With A Co-Pay”. Supposedly Mr. Lamm is a recovering addict himself who is now supposedly 10+ years sober. The article, written in June, 2014, was a scathing attack on doctors as the cause of drug addiction, used primarily to advertise himself and his treatment center. Not a very good writer, he writes about Dr. Minas as if he was automatically guilty (even though he had only been indicted at this point), jumping around the subject of Dr. Minas, but then also talking about bad doctors in general. The standard person reading this article would assume all the comments are about Dr. Minas, but the article is written so poorly, that is hard to determine. Lamm’s prejudice and secondary gain shine through this article like the silver on a mirror.
Mr. Lamm’s obvious propaganda-driven base is what the government wants you to believe—that abuse is due to the drug, and doctors are the cause. It is this type of ignorant writing that continues us down the wrong track when it comes to recognizing the real cause of drug addiction. This type of mentality is what Hitler used to blame the Jews for the economic depression in Germany. I wonder just what tie Mr. Lamm has to the government. Does he get his patient base through referrals? Maybe there is also a tie to the hospital, since Dr. Minas was one of the few independent physicians in the area. The government is targeting the independents all over the country, and you can bet it is for a purpose. Once they have all the doctors owned by hospitals, the government then has control not only of our lives, but of our deaths. Beware of that day!
You are right about one thing, Mr. Lamm. The issue of drug abuse is greatly pressing, and it is time for us to respond. But your type of self-promoting advertisement, especially when it is obvious you don’t even know the cause of drug abuse, is of no help.
The prosecution could not attack Dr. Minas as they do so many doctors, for deaths of patients, because there were none. However, my guess is that if you go back, as I found out in my practice, that there are now patients dead because of the government action against Dr. Minas, either through intentional suicide or accidental overdose by self-treatment using street drugs. Maybe we need to start charging US Attorneys and DEA officials with homicide and start confiscating their assets. There is probably more money to be made that way, and they are the real murderers.
But Mr. Sowell makes statements in his article that I believe are unfounded. According to him, DEA investigators claim that Minas knew his patients were drug seekers and sold their drugs. Now the same statements were made by DEA agent Steven Tomaziefski in my case to the Grand Jury—all lies. He committed perjury. But one thing I’ve found out through my experience is that government officials can lie and break the law without any repercussions because they have been awarded immunity by law. That is something we have to change. Maybe back in the day when that law was written there was some honor in the profession, but no longer. Now they do whatever they want to achieve a conviction, and innocent people are spending their life in prison. We have to make the Justice Department responsible for their illegal actions.
In his February 11, 2016 article, Mr. Sowell writes about the three undercover police officers who came to Dr. Minas as “patients”. He states that Dr. Minas denied prescribing drugs without medical purpose. He says he spent adequate time examining these “patients” who complained of shoulder or back pain, but were lying. How can a doctor be charged with committing a crime for believing the history of a patient? Instead, those lying police officers are guilty of fraud.
According to Mr. Sowell, the first undercover officer complained of back and hip pain with a legitimate cause, reported taking anti-inflammatories without relief. Dr. Minas’s examination supported the purported complaint, so he prescribed a limited amount of medication. On further visits when the officer attempted to get more medication, Dr. Minas suggested the man buy a yoga ball that would reduce stress on his spine, that he employ stretching exercises and that he use heat or ice, along with anti-inflammatory medication instead. That shows proper medical evaluation and treatment, not that of a “drug-pusher”.
Basically, if a person comes into a doctor’s office and signs up as a patient, whatever is prescribed should be understood and accepted as “for medical purpose”. The prosecution’s use of the terms “outside legitimate medical practice” and “without medical purpose” are to pave the way to charge the doctor with a violation of the Controlled Substances Act. But the purpose of the paragraph in the CSA [section 841(a) and section 1306.4] was to exempt doctors, not give the prosecution a means of attacking them. This method of attack has been used repeatedly in the courts and even though they know it is wrong, appeals courts have stood by the decisions of the lower court. The Supreme Court stays out of the way, allowing these illegal methods to occur, by denying petitions for a Writ of Certiorari for cases to be reviewed by them. FOLLOW THE MONEY!!!
Prosecutors also said he overprescribed pain drugs that authorities suspect were later sold on the street. So how is the doctor responsible for that? He can’t be held responsible for what he considers a legitimate patient does illegally with his medication. Did those “suspected drug dealers” ever get charged? Probably not. I know that in my case, the people I suspected to be drug dealers were never charged with anything when I informed the drug enforcement officer in my county, Mr. Larry Finley.
Dr. Minas’s defense attorneys did try to get one thing accomplished but obviously failed. When the government raids a doctor’s office, they have no legitimate cause. They fabricate lies on their search warrant and the judges allow it. Dr. Minas’s attorneys tried to get the material obtained by the illegal search warrant suppressed as evidence. But since the judge is as much a part of the attempt to use Dr. Minas as an “example”, he refused to do so.
Dr. Minas also wrote in his affidavit that when he suspected a person was not legitimate, he refused to take them as a patient. What more can you expect from a good doctor? He was also being flooded by patients coming from another practice that had their prescription authority suspended. Obviously the legitimate pain patients in the area were being squeezed out of legitimate practices into the street.
Dr. Minas charged patients without insurance $100 per office visit. That shows compassion and caring, not drug pushing. In letters to the editor and in online posts since his arrest, many of Minas’ patients have praised him as a compassionate and caring doctor.
Here are some of those comments:
Dr. Minas was my doctor from 2006 to 2013. He was always thorough and explained all my questions in detail. Thank goodness for Dr. Minas, I was diagnosed with extreme anemia. I think he saved my life.
Yeah, a doctor cannot “feel” a patient’s pain. When a patient reads from a script like that, what are they to do? People are actually in pain out there people. This case will just give a message to doctors not to prescribe narcotic pain medicines when some people actually need these for chronic illnesses and pain. I hope he is acquitted.
He is a great doctor being used for Federal funding of a task force and they are using him to better their task force. I have zero respect for this type of behavior from our elected officials and appointed District puppets and will not tolerate this good Dr.’s name being dragged through the mud. The Feds have torn his family apart, labeled him as a drug dealer, took his kids away, intimidated witnesses to turn against him when he was nothing but well to them. Deplorable actions from the state and feds. I expect an acquittal on this and expect him back help save lives and being a great doctor again for the city of Eagle, ID. We citizens are watching this carefully and also the people that have done this Dr. “Dirty” as well. You will all owe him a huge apology after this is all done. Stay up Mike and we all will be there for you when this is over and the Feds hold their head in shame when this is over.
Perpetrators of Injustice: The Feds are too corrupt to hold their heads in shame. He was simply EASY PREY to get a quota for their cases against doctors – DEA “Diversion” program. These corrupt people love to play God and destroy good honest people. NO justice here, ESPECIALLY in this case. Wrongful prosecution. Citizens should wake up and start paying attention. The DOJ is ROUTINELY corrupt and deceitful. This is a prime example. Read DOJ prosecutor turned whistleblower – http://licensedtolie.com/ by Sidney Powell
When a patient comes to a doctor and says he or she is in pain, what is a doctor to do? There is no lie detector test he/she can administer. If I am in pain and go to the doctor, I don’t want him/her to have to second-guess whether or not I’m lying. Obviously, the undercover cops were coached to say exactly what they needed to in order to get the prescription. The doctor was set up. If former patients were reselling the pain medications on the street, they are the ones who should be prosecuted, not the doctor.
This is a prime example of wrongful prosecution and blatant deceit. These undercover officers HAVE to be lying and deceitful to TRAP the best doctor and most honest empathetic person that could be found here or ANYWHERE. 7. Our family has been his patients for many years – since about 2004. During that time, we have had some serious surgeries, some intermittent issues with pain, etc. We have ALWAYS been steered AWAY from pain meds and towards alternatives. NO EXCEPTIONS. This doctor is the most empathetic doctor that could possibly be found. His only crime would be believing his patients …
They are criminalizing pain relief and making it impossible for people with verified chronic pain to even get Vicodin. I have an 8 level fusion and because of tightening legislation Doctors are unable to help patients like me. He is or seems like a “scapegoat” and they are making a BIG POINT HERE. DON’T HELP THE CHRONICALLY IN PAIN PATIENTS… and chronically ill patients with pain are paying the price all over Idaho. Doctors are afraid to prescribe for fear of being prosecuted. It is so sad and scary.
Dr. Minas was our family doctor for many years. We have never met a more dedicated and compassionate doctor in our entire lives. He always spent time, was thorough, and wanted to get to the bottom of symptoms. We have NEVER experienced a MD with more heart and passion for what he does. This makes me sad and sick that he was set up in such a way.
Dr. Minas was convicted in May, 2016 through a prejudicial trial. He has a good lawyer willing to take his case to appeal, and hopefully will. But as usual, the government has completely robbed the doctor of all of his and his family’s assets through the two years of prosecution. We, therefore, must come to his assistance if we want to put a stop to this abhorrent treatment of good doctors. Please contribute to his legal defense and let’s get this case reversed as an example to the government that you can’t use illegal means to convict an innocent person.