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Current Pain and Headache Reports

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Ethical Challenges and Interventional Pain Medicine

  • Gary J. Brenner
  • Karsten Kueppenbender
  • Jianren Mao
  • Jeffrey Spike
Invited Commentary

“The relief of suffering and the cure of disease must be seen as twin obligations of a medical profession that is truly dedicated to the care of the sick. Physicians’ failure to understand the nature of suffering can result in medical intervention that (though technically adequate) not only fails to relieve suffering but becomes a source of suffering itself.”

—Eric J. Cassel [1]

We must abandon those orientations that treat pain as an object independently of the being that it affects.

—Giordano and Schatman [2]

Early in their professional careers, virtually all physicians endeavor to practice medicine in an ethical manner motivated by a desire to help patients. It is also clear that a significant proportion of individuals and organizations involved in the delivery of health care in this country are centrally motivated by financial concerns. Our fee-for-service reimbursement system compensates for “doing things” to patients. Because of this, great attention must be applied to assure...

Keywords

Professionalism Medical ethics Anesthesia ethics Fee-for-service medicine Interventional pain practice Evidence-based medicine Ethical principles 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank James Rathmell for his input.

Disclosures

No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were disclosed.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary J. Brenner
    • 1
  • Karsten Kueppenbender
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jianren Mao
    • 4
  • Jeffrey Spike
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Center for Pain MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Center for Pain MedicineMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  5. 5.The McGovern Center for Humanities and EthicsUniversity of Texas Health Sciences Center at HoustonHoustonUSA

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