Chronic Pain Patients Fight Back Against DEA

Chronic Pain Patients Fight Back Against DEA

Dr. David Bockoff’s Pain Patients Are Fighting for Justice!
My name is Kristen Ogden and I advocate for chronic pain patients.
My husband, Louis Ogden, is one of the chronic pain patients I’m talking about.
Consider the fact that Louis has suffered from pain since he was a child.
Some of you already know the background of our efforts to intervene in the case of DEA vs. Dr. David Bockoff. If you don’t, we invite you to go first to and to
If you have pain, or you know someone who does, or fear some day you will have pain, as we all age, then you may want to consider what we’re doing in court.
The why of our cause is straightforward.
We are seeking justice for doctors to use their skills and justice for pain patients who desperately need relief from unremitting pain.
In our fight with the DEA administrator and the relevant courts, we knew we had to retain counsel.
When I first spoke to John P. Flannery, a former federal prosecutor, and special counsel on the Hill, and trial lawyer for decades, Mr. Flannery asked what outcome did we wish.
Without hesitation, I said, individually and collectively we want the right to be let alone, to have access to pain medications for my husband, Louis, and for all of these patients in the same straits. That’s what we want.
Mr. Flannery launched our effort with our full support with a Motion to Intervene in the case of DEA vs. David Bockoff, as “interested persons,” suffering because Dr. Bockoff was cut off summarily from continuing our pain prescriptions.
We hoped to get the prescriptions we needed for our unremitting pain, and to exonerate Dr. Bockoff so he could get back to work caring for his patients.
Prescriptions for controlled pain medications can only be possible if there’s a qualified pain specialist to write the scrips … preferably one who is knowledgeable, compassionate, and who “gets it” about chronic pain and the patients who suffer from it.
We filed the Motion to Intervene, and, as expected, the DEA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) denied our motion.
The way DEA runs the Administrative Law Court leaves patients with no voice in the situation.
Everything is behind closed doors. There is no public record of what the DEA and its counsel and its administrative judge are doing. We believe that’s a first amendment violation of our right of access to what the government is doing.
Next we appealed.
The next step available to us was to appeal the ALJ’s decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. So we did.
We filed rounds of briefs and exhibits but we suspect the court hardly read what we said.
We argued to a 3-judge panel the merits of our case.
The judgment of the Appeals Court, issued February 20, 2024, missed the mark entirely.
It truly seems like the 3 judges who sat on this panel in January 2024 didn’t take the time to read the brief, or the prior proceedings, all of which we submitted to the court.
One could easily conclude that the judges really don’t want to “hear” us, no matter our life or death concerns.
In their order they made the amazing claim that we made “no creditable” factual claim when we gave individual bios of our petitioners’ history of pain and treatment.
If we didn’t have so many data points from the past treatment of and indifference to pain patients we might think this was a typo, but it does fit what the government always claims, that pain patients are really addicts.
They clearly didn’t take us seriously, describing a document we submitted as “a series of narratives purporting to be by pain patients or their spouses.”
The Court’s 3-judge order of February 20, 2024 was full of the ways the court “felt” and “believed” our petition fell short, even as the court’s beliefs contradicted the holdings in other cases in the same court house.
It is no exaggeration that the court did not acknowledge the substance, the merits of our concerns, at all.
I have great respect for the law but the best I can say is that the judges seem to be limited in their view of our situation … bound by what’s been called “the bias of settled habit” … a habit of accepting as true what they’ve grown accustomed to accepting without applying themselves to fearlessly face and critically evaluate what’s been presented to them.
The Court – like many others in our “culture” – buys into the accepted trope that opioid pain medications are all “bad” and the people who rely on these medications are also bad – – drug seekers, drug diverters, or drug traffickers.
These prejudices defy the reality that pain, acute and chronic, is real and our bodies can’t curb the pain by our body’s own devices.
So our public policy about pain is based on irrational thought and fear, rather than the findings of medical science. It’s the same irrational fear that has gripped our society for 100 years or more.
The government doesn’t want to address our claim that patients matter and they deserve to be treated as ill and not accepted as collateral damage because of a flawed public policy that is indifferent to our risk of pain, illness, death and possibly suicide.
So what’s to be done? The Court order of February 20, 2024 stated we have an opportunity to petition for rehearing “en banc”… that is, to take our argument to all 15 of the Appeals Court judges participating.
So we – the group of Dr. Bockoff’s patients and their spouses/families who started this effort to intervene – are not finished yet. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to petition these judges to suspend their preconceived bias and their disbelief and instead render their full critical attention to the facts, at last, and to consider what the DEA’s actions have done to this group of patients and to Dr. Bockoff.
We have seen information compromised, laws ignored, and facts side-stepped in this case.
We insist we care about humanity and illness.
This is a chance for the Court to prove that’s what they’re about.
In order to continue fighting for acknowledgement and for access to necessary medical care and medications, we are seeking to raise funds to help cover the additional legal effort that will be required.
Please consider what you may do to help these petitioners. It matters to you if you are or know someone who suffers as they do. If you join our argument, you may be helping yourself – even if you don’t need help now.
Why should you donate to our cause?
There’s a bull’s eye on the lab coat of every doctor who prescribes pain medication.
There are slanders by the government that patients don’t need these drugs, that they are drug seekers, not suffering pain patients.
It’s hard to say what kind of lie is worse but there has to be a lie that is so inhumane it merits a special category.
If the measure of a nation, if the standard of civilization, is how we treat our own, then by that standard, we are failing our nation’s promise in the constitution to promote and provide for the general welfare.
In recent years, the so-called War on Drugs, proclaimed when we were young, and never apparently “won,” has targeted thousands of pain specialists and chronic pain patients, putting doctors out of practice, confiscating their medical practice, taking their assets without due process, and sending many physicians to prison for trying to care for their patients.
Thousands of chronic pain patients are suffering from untreated or undertreated pain.
We need financial help to continue this fight.
• We want to continue legal action to help ourselves and Dr. Bockoff.
If successful, we hope this could set a precedent that would help other doctors and patients.
• DEA’s practices are driven by the same 100-year old irrational beliefs, by misinformation and disinformation and conducted in secrecy, without transparency.
We reject the DEA practice of excluding patients from access to information and from the dialogue.
• The notion that we are merely “purporting” to be pain patients and families seriously and substantially harmed by DEA reveals the false but pervasive prejudice against citizens who suffer terribly.
The bias and stigma against chronic pain patients need to be exposed to the public for what they are … untruths based in irrational fear, misinformation and disinformation. We seek truth and transparency.
• We believe that our constitutional rights are being violated – the rights of doctors and patients – and that we should all be concerned about the fate of our freedom and our rights.
The depth to which our government has stooped to interfere in the practice of medicine and to interfere with the right to privacy and the doctor-patient relationship is inhumane, shocking and terrifying.
You have a chance to help us fight back! No donation is too small.
Whether it’s $10,000, $1000, $100, or $10/month, every donation will be greatly appreciated and will be used to fight this fight.
Donations will be deposited in a dedicated bank account and then transferred to the firm Campbell Flannery P.C. in response to monthly billings!
Please donate today!
We invite you to honor the memories of these Dr. Bockoff patients.
These pain patients suffered from the loss of Dr. Bockoff’s medical care and are no longer with us because of the DEA Administrator’s suspension of Dr. Bockoff’s ability to prescribe them pain medication:
Danny & Gretchen Elliott of Georgia,
Jessica Fujimaki of Arizona, and
Rebecca Snyder of California

5 Responses

  1. So how do we donate?

  2. That law cfr 42-1395,,,has been in place I think Steve said sometime around 1960-ish,,,,,They knew that our medicines had to be protected,for the medical purpose of controlling physical pain.,,They are just outright violating that law,,U can file a complaint against the DEA btw,,,just a fyi,,,,,,,maryw

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