Saturday, March 26, 2005

Pain Management Caught in the Cross-Fire

An op-ed in the NY Times about how doctors (and patients) are caught in the cross-fire when the issue is control of pain. Zealous enforcement of the law means doctors whose patients abuse prescribed narcotics are liable to face criminal charges. Meanwhile, advocacy groups have been pushing for more aggressive treatment of pain, and physicians have certainly faced malpractice suits for perceived undertreatment of pain as well. Certainly, physicians should neither over- nor under-treat pain. But also we certainly need a more rational way to set standards for pain treatment that make medical sense and put patients' welfare first.

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