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Allow clinicians to do their jobs

DR Cathal O Suilliobhain is absolutely right in denouncing the waste of millions spent in mandated urine testing of patients receiving methadone (Sunday Independent, October 24).

Urine toxicology in these patients should have precisely the same role as all lab tests in every field of medicine -- they are relied on to confirm clinical impressions, where necessary, or to alert the clinician to a problem that may have gone undetected.

Neither of these purposes is served by urine tests slavishly performed according to a state-mandated frequency.

Bottom line: clinical decisions should be left to clinicians!

Robert Newman

Director Baron Edmond de Rothschild, Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Centre, new york