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SLA victim's son loses medical license for prescribing drugs over the Internet

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ The son of a woman slain by Symbionese Liberation Army members in 1975 became the state's first doctor to have his license revoked for prescribing drugs over the Internet without an examination.

The revocation for Jon Steven Opsahl, who has been licensed in California for eight years, takes effect Feb. 21. His license was suspended last May.

Board spokeswoman Candis Cohen said she hoped the case serves as a cautionary tale for doctors who fill prescriptions over the Web without conducting an examination.

Opsahl, 42, vowed to appeal, saying the patients often had long-diagnosed problems with pain management that he determined by reviewing medical records sent by them.

``I did not do anything wrong in treating these patients,'' he said. ``There was no physical exam that could have been done on these patients that would have altered the treatment.''

Documents released by the state Medical Board on Wednesday said Opsahl was accused of filling more than 11,000 prescriptions.

The drugs included the antibiotic Cipro, the painkiller Vicodin and codeine, the medical board said, and prescriptions often included large and numerous refills.

He charged $60 for a consultation, regardless of whether he filled a prescription, the board alleged.

In 1975, Myrna Opsahl, a 42-year-old mother of four, was gunned down during a botched bank robbery in Sacramento in 1975 as she was trying to count church receipts. Opsahl was 15.

William Harris, Emily Harris Montague, Michael Bortin and Sara Jane Olson pleaded guilty in November to murder.

Opsahl was instrumental in keeping the case alive.
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