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Drug law and compassion face off at South Florida doctor's trial

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, February 18, 2009

A dozen federal agents stormed a South Florida office Feb. 11, 2008, to arrest a drug suspect. The alleged culprit was a state-licensed physician, charged with prescribing medication that caused the death of a man from Palm Beach County. When the case goes to trial in Miami federal court, it will fall to jurors to decide whether Ali Shaygan, MD, was a compassionate doctor looking out for his patients or a drug dealer peddling prescriptions to addicts for easy cash. His case is part of a national debate over who should set the standards for medical practice and how much responsibility doctors bear when they prescribe potentially deadly drugs.