Everything on the Topic of Suffering

2007 July 24

Pain Management: A Fundamental Human Right

Filed under: Opioids,Uncategorized — robertdaoust @ 11:16 am

An excellent article at http://www.anesthesia-analgesia.org/cgi/content/full/105/1/205. Title is Pain Management: A Fundamental Human Right. Excerpts:

“First, pain, whether acute or chronic, is inadequately addressed for a variety of cultural, attitudinal, educational, political, religious, and logistical reasons. Second, inadequately treated pain has major physiological, psychological, economic, and social ramifications for patients, their families, and society. Third, it is within the capacity of all developed and many developing countries to significantly improve the treatment of pain.”

“Strategies currently applied for improvement include framing pain management as an ethical issue; promoting pain management as a legal right, providing constitutional guarantees and statutory regulations that span negligence law, criminal law, and elder abuse; defining pain management as a fundamental human right, categorizing failure to provide pain management as professional misconduct, and issuing guidelines and standards of practice by professional bodies.”

“Given the tremendous amount of activity over recent years by preeminent international and national pain bodies and the raising of awareness about pain, it is now time for the UN to consider the declaration of an International Year of Pain Management. Doing so would have several advantages. It would harness the momentum of the current activity and advance the efforts made by national and international bodies. It would serve to place pressure on nations without pain policies to address this issue, and to oppose restrictive opioid regulations. It would encourage medical and nursing schools to integrate pain management within their curricula, and possibly, too, the establishment of postgraduate educational programs such as pioneered by the University of Sydney (147) and Tufts University School of Medicine (148).”

“Further, the Montreal Statement on the Human Right to Essential Medicines in 2005 expressly linked the international right to health with a universal access to WHO essential medications (150). This statement, presented in November 2005 to a high level task force of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, has a clear relevance to pain management, especially in the accessibility and affordability of opioids.

(A good part of the article deals with the politics of opioids, which I linked hypothetically to the war in Afghanistan in my blog article A venturesome view on the politics of suffering.) 

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