I was shocked to hear that an addiction medicine specialist, Dr. Kornfeld whose clinic is coincidentally in my neck of the woods, has come forward (or rather had his lawyer come forward) claiming his team was assessing Prince for possible addiction therapy.
This is from the Minneapolis StarTribune:
Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a national authority on opioid addiction treatment, was called by Prince representatives the night of April 20 because Prince “was dealing with a grave medical emergency,” said William Mauzy, a prominent Minneapolis attorney working with the Kornfeld family.
The StarTribune goes on to say that Mauzy (the attorney) claims Dr. Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld, to “explain how the confidential treatment would work.”
Guess that confidentiality thing doesn’t matter after death?
According to the StarTribune, his son “had a small amount of buprenorphine to give to Prince. However, it was never administered.”
Hopefully they had plans for a local doctor to administer the medication because having someone who isn’t a doctor give a medical treatment on your order out-of-state isn’t something I would do.
This story has been picked up by essentially every news organization and there is no statement from Kornfeld’s camp saying it’s false, so I have to assume that Dr. Kornfeld was called by someone to consider treating Prince for alleged addiction.
This isn’t conjecture after TMZ gets a picture of Andrew Kornfeld leaving Paisley Park, this is the doctor’s attorney making a statement. Talk to the police, absolutely. They have an investigation and the information might be useful to them especially if Kornfeld junior really did discover Prince’s body, but to have your attorney make a statement that you were on a “lifesaving mission” to save Prince is, in my opinion, unethical. There is no HIPAA violation if no physician-patient relationship were established, but still it feels wrong.
If someone contacted me about treating a celebrity who had pain with sex and then the celebrity died before I spoke with them I couldn’t imagine saying a word to the press. If there were a criminal investigation I might contact the authorities and tell them what I knew, but that’s it.
In fact, I couldn’t imagine a situation when I would say anything about a potential patient to the press. In what world is it okay to say that you almost treated someone for addiction or for anything for that matter?
What could a physician who claims dedication to confidential treatment have to gain from releasing such a statement except publicity?