Show Summary Details
Page of

Pain and Symptom Management at the End of Life 

Pain and Symptom Management at the End of Life
Pain and Symptom Management at the End of Life

Robert C. Macauley

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 23 November 2020

The pendulum of pain treatment has swung from stoic acceptance before the widespread availability of opioids, to embrace of opioids as pain became the “fifth vital sign,” to significant concern in light of the current opioid epidemic. The use of opioids for chronic pain should be differentiated from their use in palliative care, where there still exists significant concern for hastened death when high doses are used (i.e., opiophobia). While clinicians should be familiar with the Rule of Double Effect to justify such use, the rule is not truly needed because of the rarity of respiratory depression when opioids are used appropriately. Appropriate pain treatment is a human right, and as such surrogates should not be able to refuse it based on their own views, and global inequities prompt significant justice concerns.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.