Pubdate: 11 Jun 2001
Source: Albuquerque Tribune (NM)
Copyright: 2001 The Albuquerque Tribune
Author: Clifford A. Schaffer
Note: Title by MAP editor


My mother is a chronic pain patient who suffered through years of
trying to find a doctor who would give her adequate pain relief. On
several occasions she called me to ask me if I would understand if she
committed suicide. Thankfully, she finally did find relief through a
doctor who would listen.

The way we treat pain patients in this country is often a crime in
itself. A few years ago the U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services issued a report saying that two-thirds of all terminal cancer
patients do not recieve adequate pain medication. The numbers for
nonterminal patients must be even higher. They called it a "national
tragedy". I would call it disgrace, fit only for Dr. Mengele and his

If you want to know how we got into this mess, read "Jailing the
Healers and the Sick" by Rufus King at
It is a story of the horror of narcotics enforcement gone wrong.

Clifford A. Schaffer
Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy
Canyon Country, Calif.
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MAP posted-by: Andrew