The relationship of pain and symptom management to patient requests for physician-assisted suicide Journal Article


Author: Foley, K. M.
Article Title: The relationship of pain and symptom management to patient requests for physician-assisted suicide
Abstract: Uncontrolled pain and multiple adverse symptoms compel some cancer patients with advanced disease to consider suicide or to request physician-assisted suicide as their only option. Any debate that focuses on the options to terminate life in patients with advanced disease must give adequate consideration to the existing level of care for patients with these distressing symptoms. Numerous studies have described the educational, attitudinal, and legislative barriers that exist and prevent patients from receiving acceptable pain and symptom management during their illness. Lack of knowledge about the use of analgesics, coupled with the lack of sophistication in diagnosing and treating the psychological complications of cancer, are examples of such educational barriers. Existing continuing care programs, like hospice, that manage symptoms in patients with far-advanced disease are currently insufficient to meet the needs of this large population. We need to address the access to expert care of distressing symptoms including pain and psychological distress as well as the quality of life of this patient population before we can fully address the options for terminating life. © 1991.
Keywords: united states; conference paper; neoplasms; quality of life; pain; opiate; psychology; cancer pain; suicide; stress; intention; opioids; morphine; drug abuse; pain measurement; home care; physician's role; analgesia; intravenous drug administration; pain, intractable; psychological distress; family members; euthanasia; symptom control; home care services; technical expertise; suffering; death and euthanasia; cancer; human; clinical approach/source; international aspects
Journal Title: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management
Volume: 6
Issue: 5
ISSN: 0885-3924
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.  
Date Published: 1991-07-01
Start Page: 289
End Page: 297
Language: English
DOI: 10.1016/0885-3924(91)90052-6
PUBMED: 1856503
PROVIDER: scopus
DOI/URL:
Notes: Source: Scopus
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  1. Kathleen M Foley
    193 Foley