An Appraisal of the Ethical Issues Involved in High-Technology Cancer Pain Relief
Stoltzfus, Daniel P.
Stamatos, John M.
Journal of Clinical Ethics. 1991 Summer; 2(2): 113-115.
...We will turn our attention to the current state of pain relief technology and the ethical questions surrounding the use of advanced technology, otherwise referred to as "high-tech," pain relief. It is obvious that pain may decrease the quality of life for cancer patients. The availability of long-acting narcotics, such as MS Contin or methadone, affords cancer patients long-duration pain relief at minimal cost. The use of adjuvant medications may also be important. Clinical examples of the effective use of adjuvant medications include the addition of a nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory agent to help patients cope with bone pain and the use of a serotonin blocking agent to reduce the transmission of pain impulses in the spinal cord. Only a small percentage of patients are good candidates for high-tech delivery systems for narcotic administration. In our pain management clinic, all patients are initially placed on oral medications. When the side effects of oral medications become excessive, or the patient becomes unable to take oral medications, high-tech modalities are considered for use.
Autonomy; Beneficence; Biomedical Technologies; Cancer; Consent; Decision Making; Disease; Double Effect; Drugs; Health; Health Personnel; Home Care; Iatrogenic Disease; Informed Consent; Justice; Life; Medical Devices; Moral Policy; Morbidity; Pain; Patient Care; Patients; Quality of Life; Selection for Treatment; Technology; Terminal Care;
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