There was a letter in our town newspaper on the war on drugs and opiates. I was compelled to write a letter to the editor. Please tell me what you think of my submission.
"Do no harm"
These words are in a Doctors Oath. It is hard to imagine that a Doctor would intentionally ignore that statement. However, at times, a patient is misdiagnosed, or seen as a patient who complains or imagines symptoms and is brushed off as a hypochondriac, or far worse a drug seeker.
Thousands of people live with chronic pain. The sad fact is some people need some type of medication to have a quality of life. The problem is that many physicians will start a patient on some form of medication and Over time, the dosage will need to be increased and the patient sooner or later is labeled a drug seeker and is either dismissed from the practice with nothing more than a letter stating that they can be no longer be seen by that Doctor.
Admittedly, there are some patients who jump from doctor to doctor seeking only pain medication. But, there are many who suffer daily with some form of pain and now because they were dismissed by a Physician no other doctor will treat them, not even in an Emergency room even address the issue of chronic pain.
The war on drugs is a great way to help eliminate some of our drug problems. However, we have created another. Millions of people who are in chronic pain, are now without medication, labeled drug seekers and suffer daily without medication. Please know, that these people will not be on our streets buying illegal drugs. Those people who seek only drugs will get them no matter what or how they obtain them.
Chronic pain suffers are drug tested, scrutinized and pills counted. If they for some reason come up short on medication, they are dismissed and left without a doctor.
So I ask all of you, who are fighting the war on drugs, please do not forget the millions of people who suffer every day from debilitating diseases.
My question to any physician would be, if this was a family member suffering chronic pain, what would you do for them? Why is another patient not deserving of the same treatment?
Do no harm? What happened to your empathy? Your compassion? Not all patients before you are drug seekers.