As healthcare costs rise and coverage decreases, many physicians feel as though they have lost their autonomy to insurance companies that dictate what physicians can treat and how much they can spend treating it. Stephen A. Hoffmann of New Canaan, CT is one such doctor who feels like his hands have been tied by the healthcare system. He's frustrated by restrictions that make it difficult for him treat his patients the way he knows they need to be treated. And so when one of his patient's coverage no longer included all the pills she need to stay healthy, Hoffmann risked censure by prescribing additional pills to her husband. It's not the first time he's done it either. The self-described "medical conscientious objector" admits to writing about 10 false prescriptions in the last few years when he felt he had no other choice.
Not surprisingly, Hoffman's actions have drawn some criticism. Bruce Koeppen, M.D., dean of Academic Affairs and Education at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, worries that writing false prescription is not without risks as it could lead to mistreatment in an emergency situation. But Hoffmann has found support from patients, colleagues and even strangers for his actions and hopes his openly vocal objection will trigger change in the industry.
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