When is it a crime to shop for doctors?
Your professional relationship with your physician is undoubtedly one of the most important ones you have. After all, you must be able to discuss sensitive matters with your doctor, often when you are not feeling well. If your doctor-patient relationship is not working, it might be time to find a new physician.
With few exceptions, you probably are free to interview as many doctors as you want. Still, if you engage in certain activities, seeing more than one physician might violate the law. That is, you may be guilty of doctor shopping.
What is a controlled substance?
Thanks to modern medicine, health care professionals often have many different ways to alleviate pain and to treat medical conditions. Sometimes, they prescribe controlled substances. According to the National Cancer Institute, controlled substances that have medical uses, like morphine, require a prescription.
What is doctor shopping?
Some controlled substances are both easy to misuse and have serious side effects. As a result, federal and state laws place restrictions on when and how doctors may prescribe them. If you attempt to obtain multiple prescriptions by visiting more than one physician, you might violate the law. The same may be true if you fail to disclose material facts, like the existing prescriptions you have, to the doctors you see.
Doctor shopping is a serious criminal offense in the Sunshine State, as a conviction can come with both prison time and stiff fines. Ultimately, if prosecutors charge you with the crime, it is advisable to explore all your legal options as soon as you can.