National Alliance of Methadone Advocates
Contact Person: Joycelyn Woods, President
September 7, 2006
Letters Needed for Our Friend Dr. Shinderman
NAMA, patients and concerned professionals have been watching the situation in Maine concerned that a fellow advocate, Dr. Shinderman would be facing serious criminal charges. On July 20, 2006 a federal jury convicted him of crimes relating to prescribing ancillary medication when the jury was instructed not to consider his good faith in relying on another physician’s permission to prescribe. Specifically when Dr. Shinderman began working in Maine he applied for a state license to prescribe. While waiting for the license approval he was informed that it would be all right for him to use the medical director of the clinic’s license. This was all done in the course of treating patients for ancillary medications. The point is that these were extra doctor’s appointments and the patients were not charged. Only a very few methadone clinics treat patients for other conditions and even fewer do not charge for these services as is typical at CAP Quality Care. This demonstrates Dr. Shinderman’s care of his patients; he really treated his patients and considered their total medical care as part of their addiction treatment.
A civil lawsuit filed by the government against the Westbrook Clinic. The clinic CAP Quality Care is owned by his wife where Dr. Shinderman was a consultant.
The media has sensationalized this case because the clinic was a methadone clinic. Several writers have been using the case to write distorted news and promote their careers. This has been at the expense of all methadone patients without concern for the impact it will have on their lives. This would have never occurred if the same thing had happened in diabetes or pulmonary clinic but because the clinic treats addiction it is easy picking for the media and the DEA.
In spite of the support Dr. Shinderman has received from local officials and policy makers he is facing difficult opposition and needs our support.
Now You Can Help Dr. Shinderman!
He needs letters seeking leniency and extolling his good work. This certainly will not be difficult for advocates because there is a lot that can be said about the good that Dr. Shinderman has done. He has helped individual patients and consulted with other physicians about the problem, research that has impacted medication assisted treatment in the U.S. and abroad, his advocacy and support of patient issues and to how he delivered treatment with dignity and respect.
There are four groups of individuals whose letter of support may be particularly helpful: (1) physicians and other professionals who respect his work and can report to the court both about my contributions to the field of addiction medicine, but also how incarceration will negatively impact the influence of this good work; (2) patients and their families who can report to the court about his impact on their success and survival; (3) family and friends who can talk about his good works, good intentions, and good character; and, (4) government officials who can do the same.
No letter should contain criticism of the Judge or the process. They will not be able to use any letter that contains those. The appeal process will address such issues if they exist.
With regard to other letters to the U.S. Attorney General, Drug Enforcement Administration, Members of Congress and other governmental officials, and the news media, each individual or organization should decide for themselves whether they should make those contacts.
It would be inappropriate for Dr. Shinderman to have any involvement because the prosecutor could then persuade the judge that Dr. Shinderman is attempting to influence sentencing with public opinion appeals.
Support Letters should be sent only to Dr, Spiderman’s legal team and if possible a copy to him because he will need them for any licensing problems which are inevitable in Illinois and Maine.
The letters should go to:
Michael A. Cunniff
McCloskey, Mina & Cunniff, LLC
12 City Center
Portland, ME 04101
Phone (207) 772 6805
Fax (207) 879 9374
The letters should be addressed to:
Honorable D. Brock Hornby
United States District Judge
District of Maine
United States District Court
156 Federal Street
Portland, ME 04101
Some of these articles are available at:
Debate over methadone has value for Maine, Portland Press Herald (ME) August 2, 2006
Clinic's troubles a setback for addicts By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer
Maine Sunday Telegram (Portland, ME) July 30, 2006 Page B1.
Clinic doctor guilty of forgery By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 21, 2006
No verdict in doctor's fraud trial By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 20, 2006
Doctor defends method of writing prescriptions By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 18, 2006 Page A1.
Federal drug agent testifies against operator of clinic By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 15, 2006 Page B1.
Witnesses: Doctor gave prescriptions By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 12, 2006 Page B1.
Methadone doctor facing prescription-forgery trial By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) July 11, 2006 Page A1.
Methadone doctor argues for dismissal of charges By GREGORY D. KESICH Staff Writer Portland Press Herald (ME) April 29, 2006 Page B1.