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Wave 3 News
By Craig Hoffman
October 22nd, 2003, 6 p.m.)
LOUISVILLE, — A local doctor whose license was revoked after being accused of over prescribing OxyContin and other drugs faces more allegations. A couple claims Dr. David Thurman may be the reason their son is dead. Craig Hoffman has the story.
Thurman is now under investigation by the DEA for over prescribing pain killers like OxyContin. He is accused of giving the drugs to just about anybody who asked for them.
His parents say Paul Prell loved life and his family. But in late July, the 28-year-old St. X graduate took his own life. His family blames years of prescription drug abuse. And after seeing our report on Dr. Thurman Tuesday night, Paul’s family now believes Dr. Thurman — whose office is located on Barret Avenue near downtown Louisville — may be to blame.
Victoria Garr says she thinks of her son, Paul every day. She describes him as “fun, eccentric, different … very intelligent.”
Paul killed himself July 30th. Victoria and her ex-husband, Ed, believe years of prescription drug abuse led to his death. And they allege Dr. Thurman may be to blame. Weeks before Paul’s death his parents say Dr. Thurman had Paul on three dangerous drugs — OxyContin, Xanax, and Paxil.
“I think he did what any what anyone would do,” says Paul’s father, Ed. “You grow up to trust a doctor. I think if a doctor says ‘this will help you with this or that situation,’ that’s what he’s going to do.”
Paul’s parents have sheets of paperwork showing that for six years Dr. Thurman prescribed Paul what they say are huge amounts of painkillers for a bad back. The Louisville couple believes their son was so strung out that he just lost it.
The Board of Medical Licensure has pulled Dr. Thurman’s license. And he’s not the only doctor to feel the Board’s authority. In the past year, 260 grievances were filed against Kentucky doctors. Since then, 20 medical licenses have been suspended, 9 have been restricted, and two have been revoked.
The Board has sent letters of concern to 16 other physicians.
The DEA and Metro Narcotics continue to investigate, but so far no criminal charges have been brought against Dr. Thurman. His attorney, J. Fox Demoisey, realizes patients may be emotional, but he says Dr. Thurman has a right to be heard.
So far, Thurman’s lawyer believes his client has followed proper medical guidelines.