Local veteran brings Department of Veterans Affairs to Federal Court

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A local marine veteran is fighting for his right to access opioids to manage his chronic pain.

Veteran Robert Rose of Gray, Tennessee is trying to get a federal judge to stop the Department of Veterans Affairs from continuing its Opioid Safety Initiative.

The Opioid Safety Initiate was adopted by the VA last year. It works by tapering veterans off opioids to help lower the number of opioid related deaths.

Both Rose and representatives of the VA are set to appear in Federal Court in Greeneville tomorrow.

Rose says he has evidence that proves the VA is interfering with his chronic pain treatment.

"In April of this year, a nurse put in writing that my primary care doctor would not prescribe me opioids-- not because they didn't want to-- but because of the Opioid Safety Initiative," said Rose.

Rose has been dealing with chronic pain since he injured his legs, hips and ankles in a training accident. He was tapered off opioids in December.

"We have veterans that are dying from untreated pain, from heart disease, from cancer, you name it. Veterans are dying because of these policies," said Rose.

Rose says without opioids, the chronic pain he suffers with is crippling. But he says this fight is not about him, this is a fight for all veterans.

"The federal government cannot come between a doctor and their patient," said Rose.

Rose's hearing is Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. He will be representing himself.

In court filings, the VA claims Rose is lacking evidence of constitution violations.

Congressman Phil Roe is also named as a defendant in the case, but has been excused from attending tomorrow's hearing.

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