Ontario pain doctor's licence suspended

Frank Adams, the doctor who specializes in pain relief, has had his medical licence suspended by the Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons.

In May, 1998, agents for the College raided Adams' clinic in Kingston, Ont., leaving with many of his medical files. He then faced a disciplinary hearing on charges of medical incompetence and failure to uphold the standards of the profession.

As a result of the hearing, Adams has been suspended, pending a "re-education" process. He is appealing the decision.

Adams first told his story to Michael Enright in September on CBC Radio's Sunday Edition, which also ran an item on Adams' suspension on Sunday.

Adams told CBC News Online Monday that if the college reinstates him he will no longer treat patients with analgesics such as morphine and its derivatives (or "opioids," a name for synthetic opiates).

Adams got into trouble with the College for prescribing strong, self-administered doses of morphine for what is called "chronic, non-malignant pain."

A world authority on pain relief, Adams says he still believes that what he did is right.

Because of the College's decision, however, he now says it is no longer worth the risk. Adams had a caseload of 200 patients.

He has closed the clinic because of the suspension. Adams monitors his answering service, and is worried that some of his patients may be suicidal from extreme, chronic pain.