Pain Management as a Human Right.

I just came across a quote that resonated so strongly with me that I wanted to share it. For anyone else who has ever been junkie-shamed (as I call it; humiliated and belittled for use of or desire for prescription narcotic pain medication), as I have, or believes, as I do (and as an emerging body of research supports), that adequate pain management is a right of all individuals, regardless of the potential for opiate addiction.

The quote is from Margaret Somerville, a medical ethicist.

“To leave a person in avoidable pain and suffering should be regarded as a serious breach of fundamental human rights [and] can be regarded not only as unethical, but also as negligence … It also should be treated as unprofessional conduct; that is, it should constitute a basis for disciplinary action by the relevant professional licensing body.”

The article citing the quote, for anyone interested in reading further, is: MacDonald, J. E. (2008). Anti-oppressive practices with chronic pain sufferers. Social Work in Health Care, 47(2), 135-156. doi:10.1080/00981380801970285

I hope your pain is adequately managed today.


8 thoughts on “Pain Management as a Human Right.

    1. jezzybel Post author

      Definitely – I think this is an even bigger problem in cases where there is no identifiable pathology, as is the case in illnesses like fibromyalgia.

  1. rachelmeeks

    This is also encouraging for those of us who “junkie-shame” ourselves – I have a lot of problems with that. Probably comes from believing people who junkie shame you. Ugh.

    1. jezzybel Post author

      I am definitely guilty of this – I get really hard on myself and try and decrease my dosage pretty often, which then results in me being stuck in bed and wondering what I’m trying to prove! I get really paranoid in public too, imagining other people can tell I’m ‘high’. And yes, it comes from a few bad experiences with medical professionals.


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