800 pts thrown into “chronic pain hell” by judicial system

Jurors hear opening arguments in Christensen trial


HAMILTON, Mont. – Jurors heard opening arguments in the drug trial of Dr. Chris Christensen in Hamilton District Court Monday.

The Florence doctor is accused of causing the deaths of two patients, endangering the lives of nine other patients and of distributing dangerous drugs.

Christensen’s clinic was raided in 2014.

The prosecution and defense delivered impassioned arguments before District Court Judge Jeffrey Langton.

Prosecutor Thorin Geist showed photographs of two people he said died under Christensen’s care.

The first picture displayed was of Gregg Griffin.

“The defendant knew that Gregg was an addict,” said Geist. “He was an opiate addict when he put the methadone in his hands.”

The second picture he showed was of Kara Philbrick-Lenker, who went to Christensen for pain.

“Three days later she died of a drug overdose,” said Geist. “The defendant put the drugs in her hand.”

But Christensen’s attorney, Josh Van de Wetering, called the doctor a “compassionate” man who showed “respect” for his patients and understood the pain they were in.

Van de Wetering said what you will hear during the trial is that some didn’t follow Christensen’s prescriptions and others were desperate.

“If you’re not going to get treated by a doctor you’re probably going to buy it on the street,” said Van de Wetering. “That’s what Dr. Christensen knows.”

But Geist said Christensen has a history of over-prescribing.

After complaints in Idaho the doctor agreed to surrender his license for two years after prescribing controlled substances.

“And they told him that at least five of those patients had died of a drug overdose,” said Geist. “And at least another six had been hospitalized.

He said when Christensen moved his practice to Florence in less than six months his first patient had died.

Van de Wetering said the doctor is “not a criminal.” He said the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration is pushing pharmacists and doctors not to fill prescriptions and is scaring patients who are addicted and in pain.

“We don’t treat it like a medical condition the way we should,” said the defense attorney. “We judge those people.”

But Geist also showed pictures of the men and women who were patients of Christensen’s, whose lives he said were endangered by the doctor.

They are expected to testify.

“First, do no harm,” said Geist. “It’s one of the fundamental principles of medicine.” He said you will hear testimony that Christensen “ignored that principle.”

Geist said by writing prescriptions outside the accepted standards of professional practice it was the medical professionals of this state who took action to protect his patients.

The trial is expected to last 18 days.

His attorney said Christensen will take the stand.

800 chronic pain pts in this Dr’s practice can’t find a new doc because they all want previous medical records, but our judicial system (DEA) seized all the practice’s records … the same pt records that these same records that is needed for these pts need to get accepted by a new prescriber/practice. How many of these chronic pain pts end up committing suicide because of actions of the DEA ?

2 Responses

  1. The AMA is a joke! The ” accepted standard of care” is giving small children dangerous hormones that are killing them bc they want to be a different sex. But patients with broken bodies are forced to live in a world of hell despite Being accountable to a Dr, keeping all the rules and having proven cases of medical conditions not helped by anything other than pain meds. Our local govts and reps in DC should be at the Presidents desk reversing this.
    Trump’s never had pain like this( thankfully), he’s very against drugs and alcohol ( great), but he has no frame of reference to see the other side of this. If he knew the whole truth we might have a real chance of quick help. Otherwise, I just don’t see help coming.

  2. Freaken bingo Steve,,how many died becauase the dea took away their ability to have access to medicine!!!!??Violation of hippa laws??Again,,these 2 people,,sorry their dead,,but dammit,,are they not adults,,Do they not have the same responsibility I have or anyone has,,to be responsible w/their medicine?!The later the women,,,mixed it w/alchohol,,well dahhhhhhhh,,,,This whole thing is unbelievable to me.No-one has to take responsibility as ADULT patients anymore in America,,for their own bodies,,their ,”informed consent,” or what they choose to put in their body..Those alchohol drinks did not magically get thrown down her throat!!,,,nor does any pill.At any point as adults,,we say CAN SAY NO,,maryw

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