You can’t spend over 35 years representing the injured and giving voice to their complaints and rights without appreciating that pain is the common disabler of good people. And, you have to realize that many people in pain never obtain relief.
A post on RSD – Nothing Left To Chance quotes extensively from a NY Times article by Jane E. Brody who reports that the drugs are available to provide relief but actions by the federal government are keeping many of the patients from the care they desperately need.
Let’s Get Serious About Relieving Chronic Pain
Patients with debilitating pain from chronic illness, accidents, surgery or advanced cancer have long had problems getting adequate medication to control their pain and make life worth living.
Now the federal government, and especially the Drug Enforcement Administration, is working overtime to make it even harder for doctors to manage serious pain, including that of dying patients trying to exit this world gracefully.
In an article in the current New England Journal of Medicine titled “The Big Chill: Inserting the D.E.A. into End-of-Life Care,” two specialists in palliative care, Dr. Timothy E. Quill and Dr. Diane E. Meier, state that despite some physicians’ commitment to treat pain and despite the effectiveness of opioid drugs like OxyContin and morphine, “abundant evidence suggests that patients’ fears of undertreatment of distressing symptoms are justified.”