Newsbrief: Study Says Terminal Patients Don't Get Adequate Pain Treatment 12/6/02

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


A comprehensive study of end-of-life care released last month and comparing all 50 states and the District of Columbia suggests that the US does only a mediocre job of caring for seriously ill and dying patients. The report issued by Last Acts, a 1,000 organization-strong campaign dedicated to improving end-of-life care, graded the states on eight key elements of end-of-life care and found that most earned Cs, Ds, and even failing grades on most indicators.

The report, "Means to a Better End: A Report on Dying in America Today," found, among other things, that almost half of the 1.6 million people living in nursing homes suffer persistent pain that is unnoticed and inadequately treated. Also, policies in 35 states regarding the use of controlled substances for pain relief "create formidable barriers to good pain management," the authors noted. Furthermore, palliative care -- designed to ease and comfort dying patients -- training is lagging behind the needs of patients and many hospitals lack pain management programs, the report found.

"Dying patients and their families today suffer more than they should," said Judith R. Peres, deputy director of Last Acts and the leader of the report's research team, in a press release. "We still have a long way to go to improve health care and policy for this segment of the American population."

Among the report's recommendations, Last Acts calls for Medicare reform to meet the needs of seriously ill and dying people. It also chided state governments, saying: "In many states, people will suffer needless pain until state lawmakers change the rules that affect doctors' ability to prescribe needed medications."

Visit to view the study, news release, and much, much more online. An interactive special report on Means to a Better End, including research findings, is available at on the web site of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funded the research.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #266, 12/6/02 DRCNet Needs Your Help! | Editorial: Crimes and Minor Accidents | MPP Files Complaints Charging Drug Czar Violated Election Laws | Wisconsin Rave Rebellion: Racine in the Hot Seat as Hundreds Demand Trial on Bogus Bust at Electronic Music Benefit Concert | Bye, Bye, Asa: DEA Chief to Leave for Homeland Security Gig, Will Be Replaced by Career Narcocrat | The Lone Horseman: Texas Ex-Cop Hits the Trail for Marijuana Legalization | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cop Story | Newsbrief: Radical Party Anti-Prohibitionist Wins European of the Year in European Voice Magazine Online Vote | Newsbrief: Study Says Terminal Patients Don't Get Adequate Pain Treatment | Newsbrief: New Jersey Weedman Still Jailed for Thought Crime | Newsbrief: Study Says Few Medical Marijuana Users, Little Impact on Law Enforcement -- Feds, Some Cops Disagree | Newsbrief: Study Says "Gateway Theory" is Bunk | Newsbrief: US Accuses North Korea of Drug Trafficking | Newsbrief: Illinois Prosecutors Use Ecstasy Law to Charge Partiers With Murder | Newsbrief: Canadian House Panel Will Call for Cannabis Decriminalization, Newspaper Says | Newsbrief: Swiss Marijuana Potency Becomes an Issue | Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Set to Increase Ecstasy Dealing Penalties | Anniversary of Alcohol Prohibition | Action Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision, Tulia, Salvia Divinorum | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]