Patients living with chronic pain require appropriate access to opioid therapy along with improved access to pain care and additional therapeutic options. It's both medically reasonable and ethical to consider opioid therapy as a treatment option in the management of chronic, non-cancer pain for a subset of patients with severe pain that is unresponsive to other therapies (e.g., injections, other medications, integrative strategies), negatively impacts function or quality of life, and will likely outweigh the potential harms. This paper will examine opioid therapy in the setting of the opioid epidemic, why critics feel that the CDC guideline has resulted in harsh consequences for patients and their physicians, and the rationale for opioid therapy as a means of providing ethical and compassionate pain care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Issues, ethics and legal aspects
- Health Policy