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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Several years ago, I became romantically involved with a prominent lawyer who represented my in-laws in a bitter legal battle. We secretly began spending lots of time together. I was 24 years old, Catholic, married with one child. He was 50, Jewish, married with three children.

We saw or called each other daily. I became pregnant and delivered a beautiful baby girl who is the spitting image of him.

Shortly after, his family learned about us through his office, and took it very hard. I apologized for the pain our relationship caused them. With great regret, he ended the relationship because he claimed he "had no choice." He has not called me since.

After the breakup, my husband insisted on a paternity test, which clearly proved HE was not the father.

I never told the lawyer that the baby is his, because I care for him and I'm afraid of jeopardizing his license. My husband agreed to raise her as his own, provided I never tell the lawyer he's the father.

Abby, I will be face-to-face with this lawyer at a trial very soon, and I will have to divulge pertinent information on him, and it's possible our relationship and daughter may be exposed. What should I do? -- "BOOB-BIE"

DEAR BOOB-BIE: What a mess! VOLUNTEER no information, but under no circumstances should you lie under oath.

DEAR ABBY: The letter from Dr. Michael Gorback with the Center for Pain Relief in Houston prompts this letter.

It is not as simple as he makes it sound. Narcotics are not dangerous merely because they cause addictive behavior or dependence. Narcotics progressively weaken the brain physically by destroying sleep quality.

Chronic pain patients are already sleep-deprived. That is why they require such large doses of narcotics to soothe. We must find ways to protect restorative healing sleep for our chronically ill.

Poor sleep habits and sleep impairment are major public health problems in our nation. Sleep deprivation causes learning disorders, disease, substance abuse, suicide, violence, and industrial and motor vehicle accidents. We cannot casually use medications that continue to destroy sleep quality. -- EDWARD S. FRIEDRICHS, M.D., BROWN DEER, WIS.

DEAR DR. FRIEDRICHS: Most chronic pain patients suffer sleep deprivation due to pain, and pain medication makes a positive impact on their lives by allowing them to sleep more comfortably. The message in Dr. Gorback's letter was that narcotic pain medication, when administered properly, is restorative rather than addictive. Please read on for another letter from a fellow physician:

DEAR ABBY: I enjoyed the letter you printed by Dr. Michael Gorback. You responded that Dr. Gorback's philosophy may be viewed by some as audacious; nonetheless you thought it was sensible and logical.

Abby, 95 percent of physicians agree with Dr. Gorback. His philosophy is not audacious at all. It is simply common sense and love for one's fellow human beings. The real albatross over the years has been state and federal regulatory agencies and overzealous bureaucrats.

Any person who does not endorse Dr. Gorback's philosophy (simple humanitarianism and logic) is frankly ignorant.

You have done a great service by publishing that letter. I applaud and admire you. -- A WISCONSIN PHYSICIAN

DEAR PHYSICIAN: Thank you for the supportive letter, and for the reassurance that the majority of physicians feel as you and Dr. Gorback do. In the past I have heard horror stories from families of people who suffered and died in terrible pain because their caregivers were afraid of what the law might do to them if they "addicted" a dying patient.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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