Tag Archives: suffering

Should Doctors Try to Alleviate Pain?

Should Doctors Try to Alleviate Pain? | Cato @ Liberty – Nov, 2017 – By DAVID BOAZ

The rising level of deaths from opioid overdoses is getting a lot of attention, including from a Nobel laureate economist and the White House.

In the rush to find a solution to the problem of opioids, I hope we don’t forget the problem that opioids were intended to cure: chronic severe pain. Living with that kind of pain is awful, and it’s wonderful that science has found ways to help people in pain.

But that’s not the way President Trump’s surgeon general sees it. Continue reading


Rx down & OD deaths up – CDC in Denial

Opioid Crisis Continues to Pressure Physicians, But Patients Bear the Pain – Pain Medicine News – NOVEMBER 7, 2017 – by David C. Holzman

The efforts to crack down on opioids are coming to a head. As a result, patients are hurting—literally.

Payors and legislators are limiting physicians’ ability to prescribe, said Joseph Ranieri, DO, an addiction medicine and pain specialist who is medical director of Seabrook House, in Newell, N.J.

Moreover, even where rules are absent, the specter of monitoring has many physicians caught between protecting their practices and protecting their patient.   Continue reading

UN Says Untreated Pain Is “Inhumane and Cruel”

Editor’s Memo October 2017: United Nations Says Untreated Pain Is “Inhumane and Cruel” – Oct 2017 – Forrest Tenant

The national debate on the proper use of opioids continues to build as the high prevalence of addiction and overdoses fuel the continuing attention to this “public health crisis.”

Much of the anti-opioid rhetoric regarding the “opioid epidemic” implies that pain is a nuisance that really doesn’t require treatment.

Instead of making the focus one of achieving good pain relief, far too much attention has been directed solely at the risks of opioid prescribing and how we must provide naloxone on every street corner where an opioid might be sold.   Continue reading

Why Human Suffering Should Bother You

Why Human Suffering Should Bother You – October 23, 2017 – By Margaret Aranda, MD, Columnist

A recent column in The Conversation by Dr. Andrew Kolodny bothers me because of two sentences:

“They (opioids) are also helpful when used for a couple of days after major surgery or a serious accident.

Unfortunately, the bulk of the opioid prescriptions in the U.S. are for common conditions, like back pain,” wrote Kolodny, who is a psychiatrist, not a pain management doctor.

Let’s look at the different ways that Dr. Kolodny is minimizing pain:  Continue reading

Opioid Guidelines Increase Suffering And Death

America’s Current Guidelines For Fixing The Opioid Crisis Will Increase Suffering And Death, Not Relieve It – by Kat Suricata – Oct 2017

Yesterday afternoon, President Trump declared America’s opioid crisis a public health emergency, and for good reason: the American Society of Addiction Medicine estimates that there’s nearly 2.6 million Americans with an opioid addiction, and the communities affected include some of our poorest and most vulnerable

The only problem:

  • current guidelines by the FDA and CDC are ineffective,
  • based on a factually‐faulty premise unsupported by evidence, and
  • will almost certainly increase suffering and death without significantly improving the numbers for opioid addiction. Continue reading

A World Without Pain Medication

Russian cancer patients are killing themselves because they can’t get pain meds — Quartz – by Katerina Gordeeva – March 27, 2015

This is what the world is like without pain medication:

In Feb. 2014 in Moscow alone, 11 cancer patients committed suicide

There’s no end to the pain. It won’t stop the next morning, or tomorrow, or the day after,” whispers Tanya, 29, a Russian cancer patient. “It won’t disappear if a tooth is pulled out or if drops of medicine are squeezed into your ear. If you don’t relieve the pain somehow, it eats you up right to the end. It’s absolutely unbearable.”   Continue reading

The science and philosophy of the meaning of pain

The science and philosophy of the meaning of pain – Body in Mind  – August 22, 2017 – This is the seventh in a series of posts on BiM about chapters in the edited collection, Meanings of Pain (2016, Springer).

The chapter commences with a reflection on the experience of sitting across from chronic pain sufferers reporting unrelenting pain at the “highest pain imaginable” level, while observing “no tangible, apparent, physical expression to match the elevated scores and the descriptions of a torturous internal state”.

Patients who exaggerate their pain like this make it difficult for any of us to be taken seriously.

If pain is truly the “highest pain imaginable”, a person would not be able to speak conversationally and might be on the verge of losing consciousness. For me, it was when I broke 3 bones in my foot as a kid and all I remember is a bright explosion in my brain and hearing my own screaming.   Continue reading

‘Opiophobia’ Leaves Millions Dying in Chronic Pain

‘Opiophobia’ Leaves Millions Dying in Chronic Pain — Pain News Network – October 13, 2017 – By Pat Anson, Editor

More than 25 million people – most of them poor and living in developing countries – die each year in severe pain because they have little or no access to morphine and other painkillers, according to a new report.

A special commission created by The Lancet medical journal looked at pain care around the world and found major gaps in the availability of opioid pain medication.

While opioid analgesics are relatively available in the United States and Canada, patients in many parts of the world have no access to them. In addition to the 25 million who die in pain, the commission estimated that another 35 million live with chronic pain that is untreated.  Continue reading

Opioids: In defense of the pain pills

 Opioids: In defense of the pain pills – Washington Times – By Cheryl K. Chumley – The Washington Times – August 11, 2017

If you’ve never experienced chronic pain, or been around someone with a pain that just won’t end, it’s easy to dismiss opioids as evil and to make grand calls for their prescription restriction, or even outright bans.

But walk through any hospital’s critical care ward — spend some time with someone whose body has suffered a shock and awe that can’t be imagined — and it’s not to easy to simply say, hey, take an aspirin.

Hey, mind over matter.  Continue reading