The Politics of Palliative Care and the Ethical Boundaries of Medicine: Gonzales v. Oregon as a Cautionary Tale

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 35 (1):158-174 (2007)
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The 2006 term of the United States Supreme Court is now well underway, and the results of the congressional mid-term elections are in. No doubt, decisions will be handed down and national legislation proposed – perhaps even enacted – that will directly or indirectly affect the physician-patient relationship as well as the profession of medicine itself. Of major concern to physicians, patients, and the lay public is the ongoing, rather contentious debate surrounding both patient access to adequate pain control and what constitutes proper physician conduct in treating patients who are experiencing either chronic or end stage disease pain. Those knowledgeable in palliative medicine maintain that an “epidemic of undertreated pain” now exists, and probably has existed for more than a decade. A significant number of patients experience unnecessary pain and suffering, and this disturbing phenomenon is both an individual patient care problem and a public health concern.



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What Is Medical Ethics Consultation?Giles R. Scofield - 2008 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (1):95-118.
What is Medical Ethics Consultation?Giles R. Scofield - 2008 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 36 (1):95-118.

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