You'll Be Comfortable after Surgery: The Ethical Imperative of Better Pre-Operative Pain Management for Osteoarthritis
Rutgers Journal of Bioethics, (2016-2017 Forthcoming)
7 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 18, 2016
Based on the author’s own experience as a patient, this essay describes society’s need to effectively address the frequent failure of physicians to fulfill their ethical duty to alleviate the pain of patients with osteoarthritis who are awaiting surgery. While physicians are generous in prescribing opioid medications for orthopedic patients postoperatively, patients’ pre-operative pain often goes unrelieved, as physicians attempt to balance the obligation to act beneficently with their concern about harming the patient by enabling misuse or abuse of potentially life-threatening pharmacological agents.
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