BUFFALO, NY – The latest indictment against Amherst pain specialist Dr. Eugene Gosy has opinion split among the public and several of his patients.
The story continues to gain attention not only because of the nation’s current opioid crisis, but also because Gosy had thousands of patients in Western New York.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced a superseding indictment against Gosy, which now includes charges alleging that his conduct was responsible for six patient deaths.
But whether people believe he is the monster the feds portray him to be, or a healer who went to great lengths for his patients, depends who you ask.
"You would think as a doctor and a pain management specialist he would look at the patient’s overall well-being considering how strong pain medications can be," said Molly Brown.
Brown believes Gosy failed to do that for her father, who she says became addicted to the drugs prescribed to him by Gosy for chronic pain due to a back injury.
Brown recalls her father taking a steady stream of pain killers, which she believes affected his psyche, until he took his own life ten years ago.
Another man who claimed to have been under Dr. Gosy’s care for more than a decade due to chronic pain resulting from a broken neck, said he felt Gosy unnecessarily pushed pain meds on him.
He told WGRZ-TV he recently has tried to wean himself off the medications, fearful of how they were affecting him and his dependence on them.
“I now realize that doctors and pharmaceutical companies have taken 18 years of my life," he said in a text message.
But other patients of Dr. Gosy staunchly defend him.
“To me he’s a hero,” said Chris Abbott of Lockport. “He saved my life.”
Abbot says he contacted radiation poisoning while doing work for the military several years ago, and that it affected his nervous system causing severe chronic pain. He said Gosy is the only doctor who was able to manage his pain successfully.
“And I never had to go to rehab and I never overdosed. Dr. Gosy watched me and took care of me like a hawk,” Abbott said.
Several others contacted 2 on Your Side to say that Gosy and his staff were very watchful of potential signs of addiction when it came to their medical care, in stark contrast to the portrayal of Gosy by prosecutors who accuse him of having been haphazard and criminal in the fashion in which he dispensed powerful narcotics.
“There were very strict rules we had to follow,” said one person who texted to say he had been a patient of Dr. Gosy since 2007. That person, who accused the federal government of conducting a “witch hunt”, claimed that Gosy not only offered a slew of alternative treatments to narcotic drugs to combat chronic pain, but insisted that “people could not just call his office get increased doses, or a change in their medicine or get replacement meds….patients are subject to random pill counts.”
The same patient added; "Blaming Dr. Gosy for any deaths or overdoses is like blaming the car dealership for crashes and deaths."
That sentiment was similar to one expressed by Gosy’s attorney Joel Daniels, who told WGRZ-TV that it was not Gosy’s fault if someone prescribed medicine subsequently misused it, resulting in addiction, overdose, or death.
“But that’s what the federal government is trying to do…to blame the doctor for this,” Daniels said.
While the court of public opinion regarding Dr. Gosy may be split, that's not going to be the one which ultimately decides his fate.
Interestingly, one thing the prosecution and defense both feel, is that if the case goes to trial, it will likely hinge on the testimony of expert witnesses from both sides, and which ones are more credible to jurors.