Lawyers for an Alabama girl arrested for refilling soreness pills mentioned regulations against prescription fraud had been not penned to be used to her, inspite of prosecutors’ claims she deceived medical professionals by not telling them she was expecting.
Kim Blalock of Florence could be the initially person in the country billed for prescription fraud for making use of suffering tablets throughout being pregnant. Blalock, who had a lawful prescription for the opioid hydrocodone for continual back again discomfort, is represented by Dana Sussman and other attorneys from Nationwide Advocates for Expecting Girls – an group opposed to laws that criminalize drug use all through being pregnant.
Attorneys with National Advocates for Expecting Ladies lately filed a motion to dismiss in Blalock’s situation, arguing prosecutors invented a new theory of prescription fraud that went outside of the law’s intent. Sussman claimed attorneys appeared at older prescription fraud scenarios and discovered they usually included forgery, using wrong identities or striving to get prescriptions filled at a number of diverse pharmacies.
“We have hardly ever seen an application of this statute in Alabama in this way,” Sussman mentioned. “We have not noticed the software of this statute any where in the country versus pregnant gals.”
Attorneys with the Lauderdale County District Attorney’s Workplace reported Blalock did not inform her orthopedist about her being pregnant when she refilled her prescription. Blalock stated personnel customers didn’t ask. Even though she endured from continual again challenges, Blalock did not use prescription painkillers all through most of her pregnancy and mentioned she only refilled her pills just after the agony became unbearable.
If Blalock’s medical doctors experienced been knowledgeable of her pregnancy, her medical professionals would have transformed her remedy, in accordance to court docket paperwork.
“Had the Defendant disclosed her being pregnant to workers at Russellville Orthopedics Center, she would have been weaned off of the hydrocodone,” in accordance to a statement by prosecutors.
Charging a lady for not telling a health practitioner about a being pregnant places far too a lot force on individuals, Sussman mentioned. Blalock had no way of realizing her pregnancy could have an impact on her treatment method for serious soreness.
Even though the prescription fraud statute does not mention pregnancy, it suggests individuals are not able to obtain certain prescription medicine by way of “concealment of a material actuality.”
“She is not a medical doctor,” Sussman claimed. “She does not know that her orthopedist would have weaned her off her discomfort medicine. It form of places you in this bind in which the patient is expected to sort out what is a substance truth.”
In accordance to defense lawyers, not telling a health practitioner about a being pregnant does not represent fraud. Sussman said Blalock had a lawful prescription and a documented want for hydrocodone.
“The laws of Alabama do not allow for prosecution of a pregnant gals for getting a longstanding, lawful prescription to address a health-related ailment,” according to the motion. “No regulation exists in Alabama that mandates disclosures of any type by healthcare patients to their well being treatment companies, let by itself a law that criminalizes a failure to disclose.”
Lauderdale County District Legal professional Chris Connolly responded to the movement with an emailed statement.
“Procedurally, the motion is due to be denied dependent on the Alabama Rules of Prison Process,” he mentioned. “Factually, the assertions in the movement are without the need of merit.”
Blalock’s case garnered broad notice when it was at first claimed in June. The mom of six stated the circumstance had turned her life upside down and produced it hard to bond with her youngest youngster. She explained numerous police officers arrived to her household in November, terrifying her teenage young children who have been household alone.
Blalock, who has degenerative disc disorder that was aggravated by a motor vehicle crash, reported she has been concerned to resume treatment of her long-term discomfort.
The decide has scheduled a listening to on the motion to dismiss in August. It is unclear when the situation might go to trial.