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Alexander DeLuca, M.D.
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Unraveling the Paradigm of "Balance"
Comments of Dr. Fisher on Dr. Fishman's LTE: Pain Treatment Does Not Equal Drug Abuse

Frank Fisher, M.D.; Pain and Social Policy listServ; Pain Relief Network; 2005-07-29; Posted: 2005-07-29; Modified: 2006-06-26.


Related resources:
War on Drugs, War on Doctors Journalism archives
See also:
Pain Treatment is Not Equal to Drug Abuse -
Scott Fishman, M.D.; Wall Street Journal; 2007-07-28
The Trials of Dr. Fisher: the Cost of Exoneration - WAR ON PAIN SUFFERERS Collection #7; 2006
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The Letter to the Editor of the Wall Street Journal from Dr. Fishman covers the bases concerning the pain crisis, as they are currently understood. The subject itself is a bit confusing, as one would expect, because society is in the midst of a paradigm shift around the way it regards the victims of chronic pain.

While there is now a perception of a problem around the treatment of chronic pain, the sources and the solutions aren't yet apparent because sick people suffering from chronic pain have yet to emerge into our collective awareness as a group with the same rights as the rest of us. This is why sick people's needs for medical care can still be mentioned in the context of protecting willful substance abusers from the consequences of their own reckless actions. The prevailing paradigm assumes that it is morally acceptable to attempt to "balance" the needs of these groups.

Our collective focus in dealing with the pain crisis remains, for the time being, on the role that physicians play, and on protecting physicians from unwarranted prosecution. 15 years of this approach has not resulted in an appreciation the rights of those with severe pain to receive treatment that allows them to function and survive.

The pain crisis is not primarily a medical issue, it is a civil rights issue. Solutions will arise when we realize that pain sufferers comprise a group of people whose civil and human rights have been systematically violated by the current paradigm we understand as the "principle of balance".

Frank Fisher, M.D.; Pain Relief Network



Dr. DeLuca's Addiction, Pain, and Public Health Website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted: 2005-07-17

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Most recently revised: 2006-06-26
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