Veterans receive medical care and medication pursuant to US
Federal Law. This is not charity or welfare it is compensation for
service rendered to the USA.
There exists the need for documents from
time to time to establish that informed consent exists or to accept
liability for ones medical choices as in pre-surgical paperwork but
a patient contract or pain contract is not informed consent and is
also not a legal contract. The patient / pain contract threatens
the patient with loss of their treatment for violation of the contract.
These threats are unethical and therefore fall well outside of the
standards of medical care.
According to the National Centers For Ethics in Healthcare even drug
addicts must be given adequate pain treatment when it is medically
According to the website of Payne Hertz:
“Pain Contracts are another result of the DEA’s war on pain patients
and their doctors. Doctors use pain contracts to cover their rear; as
proof to the DEA and other law enforcement agencies that they are
properly supervising those patients who get opiates. An additional
benefit to doctors is that they serve to dissuade patients from
filing lawsuits who have been discharged for failing to follow the
rules. They treat pain patients as suspects in advance. But are
these contracts really legally binding? Definitely not.
These “contracts” are not legitimate, legally-binding contracts.
They are essentially one-sided demands from your doctor, signed
under duress, which treat you as a suspect in advance, rob you
of your privacy and your right to be an active participant in
your own health care and your rights to accept or refuse treatments,
and allow the physician to renege on his moral and ethical duty to
treat you with a pseudo-legal agreement that you signed with the
moral equivalent of a gun pointed at your head.”
Veteran Pain Contracts/illegal drug testing violates 4th amendment
United States Constitutional right to be secure in person
from unreasonable search.
Veteran Pain Contracts/illegal drug testing violates 5th amendment
United States Constitutional right to be free of forced self
Veteran Pain Contracts/illegal drug testing violates the 14th
amendment of the United States Constitution by denying
equal protection of the law. Prejudiced policy – not enforced
Policy is prejudiced:
ONLY pain patients and psychiatric patients are subjected to
this policy. Other clinics such as the cancer clinic dispense the
very same medications but do not force their patients
into signing contracts and they don’t subject their patients
into illegal drug testing.
Drug tests are wrong:
The drug testing methods used for testing for illegal drugs usage at
the VA hospital are arbitrary and flawed. False positives are common
and there is no system in place to prevent false positives from causing
labeling and further discrimination.
Drug tests are applied in a discriminatory way:
There is no medical reason or even any legal reason to defend the
use of these illegal drug tests and contracts for just one type
of patient. Are Cancer patients better people and less likely to
use illegal drugs than those who have phantom pain from a lost limb
combined with pain from a skeletal fracture and pins in his arm?
It would seem so from the application of this policy to just one type
of patient over another. Even within those clinics that treat chronic
pain in VA regional hospitals throughout the USA there is no
consensus on the use of the contracts and illegal drug testing.
In states without legal medical marijuana such as Florida the VA hospital
illegal drug testing and pain contract policy violates the patients right to
access and forces the veteran to choose his medical marijuana and
leave the VA or take the VA’s medicine and lose access to the medical
marijuana when indeed many veterans are using the marijuana with the
pain medicine successfully to relieve suffering and diminish the amount
of pain pills needed. Cannabis as an adjunctive medicine with opiates
is well documented in the medical literature and forcing veterans to
abandon this course of treatment in the name of the war on drugs is
The VA now has a medical marijuana policy in place that strictly
forbids discrimination against those Veterans participating in state medical
marijuana access programs.
VA MEDMJ policy:
Drug tests are applied in a arbitrary way: [marijuana]
In some clinics, veterans who test positive for marijuana use are denied
further pain treatment and in some they are not. It is interesting to
note that methadone treatment centers that treat actual drug addicts don’t
even routinely test for marijuana.
Veterans deserve to be trusted.
Veterans deserve their pain medication.
Veterans deserve respect.
The VA doesn’t have the authority to demand a veteran’s urine
for a non medical test much less to hold their prescribed medication
hostage until they get that urine.
The VA is obligated by law to treat veterans’ pain. US federal Law: National veterans
pain care act of 2007.
Pain Contracts and illegal drug tests are not good medical practice;
in fact they aren’t medical at all. The fact that every pain patients is
given these forms to sign with their associated illegal urine testing makes
the tests administrative and non-medical by definition.
Pain Contracts and illegal drug tests are punitive in nature and
offer the veteran no medical benefit.
For a contract to be valid both parties must receive something,
since the Veteran is already receiving care as provided for by
USA federal law the contract provides the Veteran nothing and is
further signed under duress making it truly offensive and wrong.
Michael Krawitz, May 2012
Executive Director Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access http://www.veteransformedicalcannabis.org