Quality & Science

Editorial Comment 7/21/2020: The Stifled Voice

by Editor-in-Chief: Dr. William Haning, MD, DFAPA, DFASAM | July 20, 2020



Owing in part to absence, I regret that this week’s commentary is abbreviated, limited to a short quotation.  My choice of material reflects this week’s U.S. Presidential decision, which diverted clinical data needed for successful management of the COVID-19 pandemic away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  I cannot be indifferent to the possibility of similar restrictions imposed on NIDA, NIAAA, and SAMHSA, if data-gathering relating to addiction patients were likewise to be seen as embarrassing or sensitive - and thus be proscribed.


“… this doctor had only come to finish off the sick. I could hear him shouting at them that they were lazy and just wanted to stay in bed. I felt like leaping at his throat, strangling him. But I no longer had the courage or the strength. I was riveted to my father’s deathbed. My hands hurt; I was clenching them so hard. Oh, to strangle the doctor and the others! To burn the whole world! My father’s murderers! But the cry stayed in my throat.” [Elie Wiesel, Night (1958), of his final months at Buchenwald concentration camp in 1945].  If we choose not to speak out, to cry aloud, then we shall reliably bear the consequences.


William Haning, MD, DFASAM