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Dr. Kapoor: Methadone OK for Pregnant Anna

2/16/2007 5:20 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A lawyer for the doctor who prescribed drugs to Anna Nicole Smith in the late stages of her pregnancy says giving methadone to Smith was "medically sound and appropriate."

The lawyer for Dr. Sandeep Kapoor responded to allegations of medical misconduct today in a statement to TMZ, saying, in part, "Medical research and protocols confirm that methadone is approved for use by pregnant patients." According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, methadone treatment for pregnant women can "save [a] baby's life" and can "allow [one] to regain...quality of life." The government also says that using methadone while pregnant "will not cause birth defects for [a] baby."

The lawyer also defended the doctor's use of an alias for Smith's methadone prescription, explaining, "The media frenzy surrounding Smith's life and tragic death underscores why public figures may choose to use pseudonyms in order to protect the privacy of their medical treatment."

Kapoor's attorney didn't discuss the specifics of his treatment of Anna Nicole, citing the confidentiality of medical records, saying only that the "treatment program for Anna Nicole Smith was at all times medically sound and appropriate."

According to the statement, Kapoor "will cooperate with any inquiries by the Medical Board of California," which said yesterday that it would investigate the doctor's prescribing Smith's drugs to an alias. Kapoor's lawyer also says he is "saddened" by Anna's death and offers his condolences to her family.

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