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Dr told me no more pain meds for my back if I don't stop smoking

Ann Arbor, MI |

I 'm seeing 2 dr's a PC and cardio dr. been told I may need aortic valve replaced by Cardio Dr.
PC has been seeing me for herniated disc and has had me on pain meds for a year. I have asked why we don't do something else. He says no point in doing anything untill my heart is fixed . Stated IF I needed sx on my back I couldn't have it due to heart problem. Have asked what else can be done? Like Chiropractor, he said no use for that, He suggested injections but never wanted to do it.
Today at my regular mo. appointment asked how was doing with stop smoking. I told the truth and said good bit not completly. He stated, in front of husband, If you don't stop in 2 months I am stopping your pain meds.After just telling me how great I do on the meds, Always using as directed. Can he do this ?

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Attorney answers 2


For an individual stricken with cardio problems to the extent that they need aortic valve replacement to still be smoking is shocking. Physicians are in an extremely difficult position with respect to prescribing pain medication. While patients request such medication with great urgency, the physician can face serious practice altering issues for over prescribing pain medication both from licensing authorities and also from patients if foreseeable issues arise. I see no legal issues based simply on the information in the post. Driving a legal wedge between patient and physician will not advance your cause.


Your doctor has a perfect right to cut off a prescription for pain medication. It's for your comfort, not to save your life. He is trying to save your life and apparently has been unable to get it through your head otherwise that your smoking is liable to kill you. Stopping smoking is very hard, I know, but if you stop you may find that your back pain improves. Smoking is not only bad for your heart and lungs, but also for your back.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.

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