Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: Bestowed upon creation and secured by our government — in theory. Following the convictionof Dr. William Bauer for 76 counts of distribution of controlled substances and 25 counts of health care fraud and his impending sentencing in December, I am questioning how much we are protected and how much we are victimized.
Any injury or premature death should be investigated — whether by car accident, gunshot, drug use, or whatever the cause. But we must be equitable and prudent in our actions. I see neither in how the government is acting and attempting to rectify the too-frequent, tragic loss of lives due to drug overdoses and the conviction of Dr. Bauer. Here is a man who has served his country in the US Army Reserves treating veterans, has been a pillar of the medical community as an Emeritus Clinical Professor with an MD in neuroscience and pain and a PhD in neurology research and has been practicing pain management since 1970, and is a beacon of honesty, integrity, and charity in his community.
From when Dr. Bauer left a successful practice in Cleveland to treat this underserved area in 1983 to expanding his practice to neighboring communities in the late 90’s and 2000’s, to his relentless and outspoken pain patient advocacy over the years, he has always focused on the wellbeing of others. Even at his own peril during his recent legal entanglements, he has remained selfless and principle-centered to his beliefs, those in his care, and all around him. How does imprisoning this 84-year-old, revered doctor who has dedicated his life to the benefit of others make our society safer or better? I guess every narrative needs a villain and shamefully that role has been cast upon him.
Having lived across the US from Las Vegas to New York and as far away as Oslo, Norway, I spent most of my adult life outside of Ohio. When asked why I moved back to the area, the answer is simple: the people. The values and virtues, not just talked about, but instilled, cultivated, and practiced, resonate throughout our communities. It is this character, conscience, and commitment to one another I am calling upon to help one of our own. Judge Zouhary, who is presiding over Dr. Bauer’s sentencing, is accepting letters of reference as input to the sentencing. The Huron County Medical Society has set up a site with a template to download or web form to submit letters on behalf of Dr. Bauer to Judge Zouhary. If you are a former patient, colleague, personal contact, or concerned community member who wants to speak out on Dr. Bauer’s behalf, please visit the HCMS site and submit a reference letter.
Disease and disorder are not a choice. To address them is. Not only for those affected but also for everyone in our communities. This is the protection and governance we need. Please help mitigate this misstep of justice by joining the growing chorus able to transcend the emotion and politics of the tragic opioid impact and submit a letter on Dr. Bauer’s behalf. His, and our, Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness depend on it.