Pain medicine versus pain management: ethical dilemmas created by contemporary medicine and business.

In the Know published on May 17, 2013 in Education & Attitudes
Clin J Pain. 2013 Apr;29(4):311-6. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3182516e64.

Loeser JD,*† Cahana A*†

Source
Departments of *Neurological Surgery †Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine,
University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Abstract
The world of health care and the world of business have fundamentally different ethical standards. In the past decades, business principles have progressively invaded medical territories, leading to often unanticipated consequences for both patients and providers. Multidisciplinary pain management has been shown to be more effective than all other forms of health care for chronic pain patients; yet, fewer and fewer multidisciplinary pain management facilities are available in the United States. The amazing increase in interventional procedures and opioid prescriptions has not led to a lessening of the burden of chronic pain patients. Ethical dilemmas abound in the treatment of chronic pain patients: many are not even thought about by providers, administrators, insurance companies, or patients. We call for increased pain educational experiences for all types of health care providers and the separation of business concepts from pain-related health care.

PMID: 23462285 [PubMed - in process]
Last modified: April 3, 2013
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