Promoting Good Pain Management in California
California Health Law News, Vol. XXII, No. 3, Summer 2004
20 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2008
Date Written: September 24, 2008
In recent years, a tremendous amount of attention has been focused on the need to improve pain management, particularly in the context of treating pain at the end of life. One significant catalyst for this heightened focus on pain management was litigation to legalize the choice for physician-assisted dying - in particular, two cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1997, in Glucksberg v. Washington and Quill v. Vacco. The increased attention to improving end-of-life care in general, and pain management in particular, has produced a spate of reports assessing and comparing pain policy among the states. For example, the Pain & Policy Studies Group ("PPSG") recently published its REPORT ON ACHIEVING BALANCE IN STATE PAIN POLICY (2003) (the "Report"), and gave California a grade of "C" for pain policy. As explained below, California deserves a significantly higher grade for its extensive efforts to promote good pain management.
Keywords: pain management, end of life pain, pain care, palliative care, palliative sedation, Quill, Glucksberg, pain policy, California, report on achieving balance in state pain policy, Medical Board of California, elder abuse, Tomlinson, Bergman
JEL Classification: I00, I10, I11, I12, I18, I19, I28, J18, K00, K10, K13, K14, K19, K32, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation