Ethics in Pain Management and End of Life Care

  • Jack M. Berger


“Do the kind thing, and do it first,” said William Osler as advice to physicians. But in 1904 there were limited things that physicians could do for their patients with chronic pain or who were in need of care at the end of life. In their article published in Critical Care Medicine in 1992, Cowley et al. concluded that “Despite the miraculous advances in medical theory and medical practice, the ethics surrounding medical care for the dying are more troubling today than they were in ancient Athens at the time of Plato. In classical antiquity, the primary concerns were for health and living well. The “Middle Ages” saw the emergence of the principle of sanctity of life. To these basic ideals, the “Renaissance” and the “Enlightenment” added the aspiration to prolong life. Finally, in the 20th century, modern science has rendered this aspiration a reality of unclear merit.”


Pain Management Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Life Care Celiac Plexus Block Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Type 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack M. Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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