Florida investigators spent two years building a “pill mill” case against Dr. Jacinta Gillis. It consumed more than 700 hours of Pinellas County sheriff’s detective work and cost the department $30,000. Still, says the St. Petersburg Times, murky legal questions about pain management make any conviction an uphill battle and Gillis could walk free.
Putting a doctor behind bars, even with what seems like a slam-dunk case, is far more complicated than the typical arrest. In another case, at least three patients died of prescription drug overdoses, several people were put on probation, but no one spent a day behind bars. In general, major legal questions include whether a doctor believed his or her patients were in legitimate pain and needed drugs and what is the standard that doctors must follow when it comes to treating pain.