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How Does The Bonafide Relationship Effect Caregivers


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I'm curious, being that a care giver really has no way of knowing if there is a bona fide relationship between patient and certifying doctor, can they later be charged if a court rules there was not a bona fide relationship



It would be a real stretch to charge a caregiver with "delivery" to a patient who lost his legal status due to a bogus certification. In fact, I think it may prove to be impossible to charge a patient with illegal possession due to a bogus certification. In fact, I think it may be impossible to win a conviction against a doctor for providing a certification to a "questionable" patient.


Anybody know what is happening to Dr. Harwell?

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It would be part of a section 8 defense of a caregiver that had more than the limit.  


The basic scenario is this


A caregiver gets caught with 73 plants.  The prosecutor will pull each patient in to see if they were legitimate (the certification process) and try to counter the caregiver's argument that the patient z needed x number of ounces in y form.  The easiest way for the prosecutor to counter the claim patient z needed x ounces out of the 73 plants in y form (as claimed by the caregiver and his/her experts) is to invalidate patient z's certification by questioning the dr/pt  relationship or some other aspect of the patient's compliance with the MMMA.


When it comes a choice between a prolonged battle of the experts on how much a patient needs/a caregiver can justify vs challenging the validity of the certification, the prosecution will take the easy way out every time....  In this case the low hanging fruit is the certification.


Dr. Bob

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I don't know.


 I've seen them go to the patients when they had the caregiver, but not the other way around.  Not long ago we had some issues with caregivers making straw patients simply to get the plants.  I would suspect that if they got one of those patients they might trace it back.  But if there was a legitimate caregiver/patient relationship and the patient was in trouble for reselling meds, I don't think they would try and involve the caregiver in that, unless they had very good evidence the caregiver was involved.  The other instance where a caregiver could get involved would be if they found a 'daisy chain' system- they might try to trace that upstream.


That is the best answer I can give based on what I've seen in court and a little speculation in response to your comment about tracing back to the caregiver rather than the other way around.


Dr. Bob

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It would depend on the facts. Whether a caregiver can be charged having been defrauded by a pt who has committed fraud, for instance not engaging in the required bona fide Dr./pt relationship, would be one instance. A question might arise that asks if the caregiver can be proven to have engaged in fraud. There are other possibilities. It is difficult to qualify your question because it is too generalized, and very specific facts are always in question in court.

Edited by GregS
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