Pain in Society: Ethical Issues and Public Policy Concerns

  • Ben A. Rich


This volume appears in the second half of the congressionally declared “Decade of Pain Control and Research” (H.R. 3244, 2000). Such a declaration by the Congress of the United States generates a perception that we are in the midst of a major national public policy initiative promoting the importance of pain relief to the health and well-being of all citizens who are currently or at some time in the future may become the victims of pain. Such a perception would not, however, necessarily comport with reality. Indeed, the very context in which H.R. 3244 arose was the persistent efforts of the opponents of physician-assisted suicide in general, and the Oregon Death With Dignity Act in particular, to enact federal legislation (under the guise of promoting pain relief) that would make it a federal offence for a physician to provide a competent, terminally ill patient who requested it with a lethal prescription, even if state law and public policy supported it. Such a tension...


Pain Relief Health Care Professional Pain Management Control Substance Skilled Nursing Facility 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CaliforniaDavis School of MedicineSacramentoUSA

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