Proclaim Pain Care Providers Day

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the-med-school-apA little HELP from advocates PLEASE! Dr. Murphy shares the humanistic reality.
In a twist of fate, here we have a pain specialist reaching out to the world for help.
Instead of the the more usual scenario of the suffering, downtrodden patient with persistent unrelenting pain reaching out to the doctor (or even politicians) for help, the shoe is on the other foot as they say.  Many of us pain management and primary care providers alike certainly can “feel his pain”!  Today we welcome guest blogger Dr. James Pat Murphy from KENTUCKY.  Below is his initial blog as it originally appeared [with his permission]
HERE.

This is what Dr. Murphy had to say…


Another headline today. Another physician indicted. I read the phrase “faces life imprisonment” and it pierces my suddenly fragile psyche like a spinal needle. My resolve threatens to hemorrhage, figuratively but painfully, leaving me wondering why I do this. Why do I treat chronic pain?

newspaper_1

I’ve seen headlines like this too often. But I know the doctor in the headline this time. We work in the same hospital. And though I do not know details, I do know that he does not dole out handfuls of pills for cash. He is not getting rich on Medicaid. He is merely a solo practitioner willing to embrace suffering people, many of whom are among the most marginalized, downtrodden, and castoff in our economically blighted community. I hope and pray that truth and justice will prevail. But my confidence is fragile.

Yesterday, my fifteen-year-old son and I were driving in the car, and he asked about this doctor because it was “all over the news.” My son knows what I do for a living. He’s heard me lament about how frightening the heavy hand of regulatory oversight by non-medical types can be for us medical types. I can only imagine how news of another pain specialist facing life in prison must make him feel – how it must make my wife feel, my other children, my parents, my friends, my employees, my patients…all those who depend on me, care about me, love me.

But I don’t dare go into the deep dark honest place in my heart to ask how it makes me feel. I can’t. I have work to do.

I have “Mama P” in my exam room right now. Despite the indescribably painful metastatic cancer that has invaded her spine, she manages a warm smile, offers me her outstretched trembling arms, and we embrace. She is here and she needs me. And as my moist tears well up, I realize that, today, I need her. And I know, again, why I do this.

And I know what we must do to make sure that she and every other suffering soul has hope. We must let pain care providers feel our powerful and uplifting embrace – the embrace of the fragile people they serve – because, in reality, we are all fragile suffering souls. We all need each other.

murphy_2

Let’s do this.

Let’s start right now.

Let’s make PAIN CARE PROVIDERS DAY happen.

Pain Care Providers Day is March 20, 2015, the first day of spring. It will be a day to recognize our caregivers from all walks of life who do what they can to ease the pain of others.
(JF: And what a coincidence, as this date is smack in the middle of the American Academy of Pain Medicine’s 31st Annual Meeting, and of all places, in DC!)

Ways to make this day special might include dropping off a nice thank you note for your therapist, baking some cookies for the clinic staff, sending flowers to the person who schedules your appointments, blogging, or writing a letter to the editor in support of better access to effective pain care for all. Unleash your creativity and spread the message.

A powerful way to raise awareness is by asking your friendly neighborhood municipal leader to officially proclaim March 20, 2015 as Pain Care Providers Day.

NPPD_3


proclamation is a formal public declaration often written by government officials to commend individuals or to raise awareness of upcoming events, celebrations, and issues of significance.

Pain Care Providers Day is a prime opportunity for us to secure proclamations honoring our caregivers from all walks of life who labor, often under duress, to alleviate suffering in our communities.

Here’s how it can be done…

  1. Identify the best person/office to approach for the proclamation, such as: city leaders, state representatives and/or members of congress.
  2. Contact the offices to request a proclamation.
  3. View official websites for instructions on how to submit a formal request; a form may be available for online submission.
  4. Use the draft proclamation language below as a guide for submission with the understanding that the final language may change to conform to standard protocols.
  5. If possible, meet with the official for the signing of the proclamation. Take a photograph and obtain permission to use the photograph to further increase awareness of Pain Care Providers Day.

PAIN CARE PROVIDERS DAY
We can’t just want it to happen – We have to make it happen!

Below Dr. Murphy’s biosketch is a draft proclamation.  As always, comments are welcome!

headshot

James Patrick Murphy, MD, MMM is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English from Missouri’s Westminster College, Dr. Murphy attended the University of Louisville School of Medicine and was Vice President of the Class of 1985. His internship was at the San Diego Naval Hospital in the Department of Psychiatry, after which he completed Aerospace Medicine training in Pensacola, Florida.

Dr. Murphy served as a Naval Flight Surgeon with Carrier Air Wing Eleven onboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise until returning to Louisville in 1989 for residency training in Anesthesiology.  He practiced in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, before moving to Rochester, Minnesota, in 1997 for a Pain Management fellowship at the Mayo Clinic, returning again to his hometown in 1998 to practice Pain Management.  During this time he participated in several overseas medical missions as an anesthesiologist with Operation Smile.

Dr. Murphy is Kentucky’s first physician to achieve board-certification in Pain Management and certification in Addiction Medicine. He is also the first and only Kentucky physician to be honored by selection for the Mayday Fellowship– advocating for pain care concerns.

In May 2013, Dr. Murphy was awarded a Master of Medical Management from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Dr. Murphy is President of the Greater Louisville Medical Society (2013-2014), Medical Director of Murphy Pain Center, Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, and is on the board of the International Association for Pain and Chemical Dependency.  Recognized as a potential candidate for public office, Dr. Murphy has been selected by his peers to attend the 2014 American Medical Association’s “Candidate Workshop.

Dr. Murphy contributes to numerous publications, has presented before national and international audiences, and consults with a wide spectrum of agencies and individuals regarding pain, addiction, and the future of healthcare in our country.

You can read more about Dr. Murphy in the June 2013 Louisville Medicine.


DRAFT

PAIN CARE PROVIDERS DAY PROCLAMATION

WHEREAS, PAIN is a universal feeling, which for millions becomes chronic, impacting every facet of life; and affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined; and is cited as the most common reason Americans access the health care system; and
(Ref: 1, 2; see comments section)

WHEREAS, there exist regulatory, legal, institutional, financial, educational, and geographical barriers that impede access to pain care; barriers that contribute to increased suffering along with feelings of despair, futility and shame on the part of people with pain; and
(Ref: 3, 4, 5)

WHEREAS, in the face of this national pain epidemic there is less than one board-certified pain specialist for every twenty thousand pain sufferersand these pain specialists are subject to tremendous stressors, leading to a high rate of professional burnout, interpersonal difficulties, suicidal tendencies, and even life-threatening physical harm; and
(Ref: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

WHEREAS, because of the shortage of pain specialists, the vast majority of our nation’s pain care must remain the duty of a vast array of dedicated but increasingly anxious medical professionals, kindhearted laypersons, and overburdened loved ones who bravely and compassionately persevere in treating pain as best they can;
(Ref: 7)

NOW, THEREFORE, I, [name, title], do hereby proclaim March 20, 2015, the first day of spring, as PAIN CARE PROVIDERS DAY throughout [city or state name] and encourage our citizens to recognize all who professionally, clinically or emotionally offer more than their expertise -that is, they offer their hearts- and therefore are deserving of our gratitude, encouragement, and support so that they might carry on, empowered to provide care and comfort to those suffering.
Please use social media to the fullest extent and tweet with the hashtag #WhyPCPD

and

If you want to connect personally with Dr. James Pat Murphy about Pain Care Providers Day, he can be reached at: paincareprovidersday@gmail.comThank you. Yours truly,  Dr. James Pat Murphy

References:
1. Pain Med. 2010 Oct;11(10):1447-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00961.x. The First National Pain Medicine Summit–final summary report. Lippe PM1, Brock C, David J, Crossno R, Gitlow S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21199301.
2. Fact Sheet: Pain Management. National Institutes of Health. http://report.nih.gov/nihfactsheets/Pdfs/PainManagement(NINR).pdf.
3. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Institute of Medicine; June 2011. http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2011/Relieving-Pain-in-America-A-Blueprint-for-Transforming-Prevention-Care-Education-Research/Pain%20Research%202011%20Report%20Brief.pdf.
4. Silent Pain Sufferers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. February 2006 Volume 81, Issue 2, Pages 167–171. http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)61665-0/abstract.
5. How the War on Rx-Drugs Victimized Pain Patients. Pain-Topics News. Wednesday, June 20, 2012. http://updates.pain-topics.org/2012/06/how-war-on-rx-drugs-victimizes-pain.html.
6. Chronic Pain in America: Consequences, Addiction and Treatment. Hazelden Betty Ford pain and addiction report, 10.14.14
http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/uploaded-assets/pdfs/painandaddictionreportfinal101414.pdf.
7. Who Really Treats Chronic Pain? The Necessity of Pain Management in Family Practice: By Michael E. Schatman, PhD, CPE |  Health Care Professionals Network: April 21, 2014.
http://www.hcplive.com/publications/family-practice-recertification/2014/April2014/Who-Really-Treats-Chronic-Pain-The-Necessity-of-Pain-Management-in-Family-Practice.
8. Pain Specialists Show Increasing Burnout. Pain Medicine News. ISSUE: NOVEMBER 2014 | VOLUME: 12(11)
http://www.painmedicinenews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Policy%2B%26%2BManagement&d_id=83&i=November+2014&i_id=1120&a_id=28644.
9. A killing in Kentucky, How the shooting of one rural physician threatens thousands of patients: March 05, 2010, By Gregory A. Hood, MD, FACP. http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-feature-articles/killing-kentucky?page=full.
10. An epidemic of chronic pain, by Judy Foreman  DECEMBER 08, 2013 The Boston Globe. http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/12/08/crackdown-prescription-drug-abuse-treats-wrong-problem/Sj3FrZvDKeaMOykCHSswjK/story.html.

16 thoughts on “Proclaim Pain Care Providers Day

  1. Ya i was on high dose high pain,after 10 yrs now I’m getting messed with 3 pain clinics later and im on Butrans patch says last 7 days try 2 days and my pain oeeks threw,cost me $400 when my 13 oxycodone 30 cist $50 and 150 mg of methadone were cheap,but cause she is scared and she is a good doctor and means well,She is up against a wall.she knows my pain 10 yrs.6 months ive been jumping loops and these patches are a joke by 3rd day there falling off,One fell off i didnt know it that was $59 im in social security.I cant take it I have not left cause 10!yrs she knows my history why start new ,when no one will help,they will think 10 yrs and she stopped that many meds at first cold turkey ,That a lot ,then said ok ill give u perks back ,then took away when i was almost getting relief,this past two years i was doing good with meds abd pt,i was going out had my life back thats why was on meds hopeing that would happen after 8 years in bed.I just dont understand,if you doctors dont stsnd together there not just taken are lively hood there taken your jobs,Thats your life.If u know u are not a quak,given to any person who gives a sad story,but soneone like me medal in both ankles ,was told u will never walk ,lets fuse u i say kets not,so at least i can rotate my ankles,a brainhemridge witch was worst think ,I could of died,ny back shattered,18 hrs of surgery,all medal and fused,my eye fell in my cheek ,they fixed that with medal they went under ny lip,how clever.you get the point ,I an messed up,and just this summer i was walking the beach every day with ny dog ,who was by my side threw all this since 2 months ,to 11 yrs old.Wow.I’m so tired she even said a few times ,I didnt think u weren’t coming coming ,i said why ,she said most people dont come back ,ya after being put threw ringer,What choice do i have ,Im fuse so shots is a no no ,i was told by multiple pain clinics,yet same pain clinic,said no 4 years ago but yes now ,i always said ill never get shots,I was forced buy being threating that my script would be taken away,ok.So i do shots,after 40 minutes doctor says are u fused i said ya u have the notes the nurse wrote i was fused,he was trying to get in ran out off novicane when i said what get a wan he hit me in the ass with these needle hurt back or not I jump 3 ft of table from my head facing down,imagine that.Then when i was in agony he say sign what he did was ok ,u do that before u get it done not after,So now i get shooting bith legs not one,my ass us shooting my hips,everything the nerves he hit ,when my left leg was fine,now that one is shooting,Been 3 months if was just inflamation is gone.I can’t do this much longer ,I got a taste if life ,now im punished.I’m tired of my story.Really tired,Can’t keep being in my room but if i go out nerves get agervated more,I can’t win. thanks for letting me share,I sent this to my doctor,This link.Said was cause didnt want me to overdose i would be happy to go in my sleep,Thank you,I said i signed contract your more than covered,i said ill initial were says if over dose not responcible ill sign right next to that< and draw arrows.Talk about depression,stress,just more pain.What i learned and new is dont be forced to do anything u dont want to do,I was asked 5000 times why not get shots,but i stuck to no until my scripts were threating with script.Opps i mean medication.No I mean my perks-ahhhhhhh He said PERKS-aaaaahhhhhhhh no dont say the word,What PERKS-Aaaahhhhhhhh.Im over feeling like a criminal when do have PERKS-and treated like a piece of trash,or a junkie.I'm close to done if not for my daughter who just got scholorship to Amherst and Curry collage So proud.I fight on.Like all of you.We are not week ,I don't know anyone who would go threw this willingly ,Why really to watch tv.My elbo's are purple from laying on my side cause its only position i can lay down.Thank even though I tell this story every day in my head first time I wrote it down.Thanks Sean-PERKS AAAAAAHHHHHHH HE SAID PERKS-

  2. I get a phone call today from one of My Doctors office personnel informing that MY Doctor will no longer be able to help me with my severe chronic pain, Dr Guerrero. Thanks to Dr Guerrero I have had about a year and half of a pretty normal life. Well that is gone now thanks to the modern Inquistion of DEA et al.
    I’m not going into a lengthy medical history suffice say I have plenty of medical documentation. When informed of my dismissal as a Patient of Guerrero I immediately realizes that my life has changed for the worse, I also realized as bad as my pain is, it is probably miniscule compared to Dr Guerrero’s pain, ie legal accusations, his staff losing jobs, his patients needless suffering due to a misguided and uncaring legal system.
    As the Cliche’ goes a Ham Sand-which can be indicted, so I have no doubt Doctor Guerrero will prevail in this injustice. I also noted another pain specialist out of Evansville indicted with almost the same accusations as Dr Guerrero was perscuted in like manner about the same time frame Jan 20 2015. Seems very cookie cutter to me.
    In the meantime Families are hurt, Patients get the very clear message that those in charge care little about your pain, What motivates them other then misplaced and irrational fears and maybe a justification for collecting the goverment salaries?
    The Doctors get the message to from the authorities, the message appears to be that pain is not a disease, that they (Gov) don’t think American Patients have the right to have relief from pain.

  3. I’ve been trying to think of what to write over this past week and did a extensive search on this subject,
    “Human Rights in the United States”.
    The way all of us that suffer from chronic pain are being treated like we don’t matter and are being filled with fear is so unjust its quite sickening that law enforcement doesn’t care what they are putting us thru. To add to the misery of our suffering and loss of most everything people like us own over the years it seems this unjust treatment from law enforcement has gone way too far.
    To add to this out of control bizarre and outrages way we get treated our compassionate doctors that find it their heart to treat us are also taking a huge hit, their being filled with FEAR.
    We all know what needs to be done ,this needs to be brought to attention of “’Human Rights Abuses of the United States”. We must add a version to this list of Human Rights for those suffering in chronic pain and the doctors that treat us be free of the fear from being incarcerated.

    This Wikipedia page goes in to great detail , we need a Lawyer or a Lawyer Firm to step up to the plate and abolish this act to terrorize us that suffer from chronic pain and the doctors willing to help us.
    To Terrorize is to fill somebody with feelings of fear over a period of time.

    link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_States

  4. And while we are on the subject…

    Review of the movie “Cake”
    January 24, 2015

    I saw the movie “Cake” tonight. I felt it was my duty. I am, after all, a pain specialist.

    I’d read that it was gritty, honest, and accurate, and that Jennifer Aniston was very convincing. I found all that to be true.

    It’s the show’s first weekend in Louisville theaters, and the crowd at this 5:30 pm showing was decidedly mature, reverently attentive, and noticeably equipped with more walkers and canes than I’m accustomed to seeing at the cinemas. I almost felt like I was in a pain support group. Perhaps in a way, I was.

    I went in expecting to not like the movie. And if it had been a movie just about chronic pain, then I might not have been won over. However, “Cake” is not so much a story about chronic pain as it is a story about dealing with loss.

    Claire, played by Ms. Aniston, initially comes across as an angry, bitchy, sarcastic, and self-centered woman, who clearly has legitimate pain and the scars to prove it. But as the story unfolds and it is gradually revealed to us the degree to which Claire’s life has been altered by tragedy, a sad empathy takes root.

    It’s not that Claire doesn’t have people in her life who care about her. On the contrary, is seems that everyone in her life is trying to help her. In fact, I wouldn’t say there is a real villain in the story. Claire is struggling to climb a mountain. And we, like the people in Claire’s life, feel powerless to help. So we just watch, hoping she can hand on and have some sort of epiphany.

    Where the movie begins, Claire is several months removed from the tragic event that caused her life-changing pain and loss. She is clearly living the chronic pain existence: from her pleasant but over-booked doctor, to the impersonal waiting rooms where she winces as her number is called instead of her name, to the group therapy from which she is “fired,” to her continuous pre-occupation with obtaining pain pills – often times via demeaning and risky methods.

    As a pain physician, I felt myself wanting to treat her – wanting to provide for her a regimen that was not insulting, dehumanizing, or uncaring. And I hope all health care providers who see this movie are moved in such a way that they see their patients as people who, more than pain, are grieving over what they have lost: autonomy, freedom, happiness, self.

    And despite the script’s inclusion of so many themes common in the lives of patients with chronic pain, I hope that those people in the audience who were there with their canes and walkers understand that this movie is only about one person’s journey – not theirs. We all suffer loss. We all have pain. We all have a journey. And the journey is specific to the individual. There are no villains, but there are mountains to climb.

    I thought it was a very good movie for general audiences -and a great movie for pain patients and pain care providers. My advice: just make sure you allow yourself some time to process it afterwards. Then you might find it really was a pain support group after all.

    – James Patrick Murphy, MD

  5. Thank you, Dr. Fudin, Dr. Murphy and Dr. Anonymous. Obviously, the DEA and FBI have been targeting people believed too vulnerable to speak out or fight back, i.e. chronic pain patients and solo doctors, for the most part. Their war against patients and physicians is so bizarre, I cannot see any explanation except to redirect attention from the failed war on drugs. Unfortunately, their actions have been documented to have produced what someone has called “unexpected consequences” of increased heroin deaths, heroin OD calls for Emergency Medical Services, and increased crime related to drugs, specifically to heroin. It is hard to understand why they write off historical and international evidence that when recreational drugs and alcohol are removed from the legal market, it is an open invitation for organized crime to move in. Far from fighting the problems of drugs, the DEA and FBI are exacerbating the problems exponentially. Worse, they have caused unimaginable suffering for legitimate physicians and pain patients and even endangered the lives of some patients by removing the source of their formerly legal medications, and providing no recourse for some other than to buy street drugs. Yet, as Dr. A. points out, addicts in treatment are protected by law and allowed to receive treatment.
    What these enforcers need to learn is that legitimate chronic pain patients and their legitimate doctors DO have voices and not only large numbers but additional numbers of citizens who are willing to stand up for them and speak out for them. I agree that his has become both a legal and constitutional matter of discrimination, false arrests, and wanton endangerment. First, let us Proclaim National Pain Care Provider’s Day to show our gratitude for those who not only care for us, but stand with us. Next, let us raise our voices against this abusive treatment of patients and their physicians. We have suffered our pain in silence too often and too long.

  6. Dear Dr. Murphy,

    What an amazing, touching, and scary article. My heart breaks for your friend and colleague, as well as his family. I shall pray for them every day.

    Seems Kentucky doctors are suffering even more than physicians in Florida, my home state. For a couple of years I had great difficulty getting adequate pain care until I was referred to my current physician. He’s amazing, intuitive, and really understood my dilemma. My doctor contacted my geneticist and did his due diligence to know how to best treat my rare genetic collagen vascular disease. So when I read of physicians facing PRISON for helping people like me, it makes me sick (no pun intended)! Just the thought of MY physician ever facing prison is horrifying.

    It seems the sweeping hand of injustice has a sledge hammer in it! “Let’s pound the doctors if those pesky pain patients won’t go away,” they seem to say. And should they die? Throw them in jail? ABSURD!!!!!

    Your suggestions are marvelous! I will endeavour to do my part to make PAIN CARE PROVIDERS DAY a success in our county.

    Also, thank you, Dr. Fudin for your blog, and allowing this courageous doctor to guest blog this month.

    1. Yes the Drug Authorities seem to be a huge hammer going around smashing and wrecking lives. The closest analog to this is the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials. Both misconceived and irrational injustices that we thought were histories of a darker human past. Apparently not.

  7. Thank you Dr. Fudin for your advocacy and for providing this social media platform to raise awareness. Here are the references pertaining to my guest blog.

    REFERENCES:

    1. Pain Med. 2010 Oct;11(10):1447-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2010.00961.x.
    The First National Pain Medicine Summit–final summary report.
    Lippe PM1, Brock C, David J, Crossno R, Gitlow S.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21199301

    2. Fact Sheet: Pain Management. National Institutes of Health

    3. Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. Institute of Medicine; June 2011
    http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Report%20Files/2011/Relieving-Pain-in-America-A-Blueprint-for-Transforming-Prevention-Care-Education-Research/Pain%20Research%202011%20Report%20Brief.pdf

    4. Silent Pain Sufferers. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. February 2006 Volume 81, Issue 2, Pages 167–171.
    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(11)61665-0/abstract

    5. How the War on Rx-Drugs Victimized Pain Patients. Pain-Topics News. Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
    http://updates.pain-topics.org/2012/06/how-war-on-rx-drugs-victimizes-pain.html

    6. Chronic Pain in America: Consequences, Addiction and Treatment. Hazelden Betty Ford pain and addiction report, 10.14.14
    http://www.bettyfordcenter.org/uploaded-assets/pdfs/painandaddictionreportfinal101414.pdf

    7. Who Really Treats Chronic Pain? The Necessity of Pain Management in Family Practice: By Michael E. Schatman, PhD, CPE | Health Care Professionals Network: April 21, 2014
    http://www.hcplive.com/publications/family-practice-recertification/2014/April2014/Who-Really-Treats-Chronic-Pain-The-Necessity-of-Pain-Management-in-Family-Practice

    8. Pain Specialists Show Increasing Burnout. Pain Medicine News
    ISSUE: NOVEMBER 2014 | VOLUME: 12(11)
    http://www.painmedicinenews.com/ViewArticle.aspx?d=Policy%2B%26%2BManagement&d_id=83&i=November+2014&i_id=1120&a_id=28644

    9. A killing in Kentucky, How the shooting of one rural physician threatens thousands of patients: March 05, 2010, By Gregory A. Hood, MD, FACP
    http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/medical-economics/news/modernmedicine/modern-medicine-feature-articles/killing-kentucky?page=full

    10. An epidemic of chronic pain, by Judy Foreman DECEMBER 08, 2013 The Boston Globe. http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/12/08/crackdown-prescription-drug-abuse-treats-wrong-problem/Sj3FrZvDKeaMOykCHSswjK/story.html

    *

    PA Week Proclamation template:
    http://paconnect.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Proclamation-And-Template.pdf

    National Pain Care Providers Day (blog article on Confluential Truth)
    http://jamespmurphymd.com/2014/08/26/national-pain-care-providers-day

    1. The thanks goes to you Dr. Murphy for sharing a very personal side of the problem and providing insight from a provider’s point of you. Too often the agonizing and daunting risks that come with doing the best that clinicians can do gets burried in the rhetoric of legal paradigms and the media. Just as many pain patients lay awake at night wondering if someone will write or fill their next legitimate prescription, so too do providers lay awake wondering if the medication they prescribed remains in hands of their patient and when the next legal hatchet will fall even while trying to do what’s best for the patient. Is there any other specialty area of medicine that comes with such angst?

    2. To both Dr. Murphy and Dr. Fudin. As a participant in the PainsProject.org I am sending the following to my fellow advocates.

      Dear fellow advocates,

      Please read this guest article on Dr. Fudin’s blog. Often forgotten are the people who treat chronic pain because they are primarily motivated by desire to help others.. Pain physicians and treatment teams now find themselves in the same crossfire patients experience. They too are now the target of a governmental policies. We must come to some common ground. This war must stop before caring physicians throw up their hands and say it’s not worth it. But in the meantime, there is something we can do to support Pain Care Providers.

      As a writer, when readers tell me I have helped them live a better life, I am lifted up. My personal pain takes a backseat and I am motivated to continue. Here is an opportunity to do that for those who help so many live a more productive life.

      How can we at PAINS make this happen? How can we support the proclamation?

  8. It is a good idea. BUT . . . Here is the real issue:
    Dr. Murphy mentioned that the doctor who was indicted was a “Solo” physician. It seems to me that most of the truly CHRONIC care for the least desirable pain patients, e.g., the hardest to manage, is by default left for some good hearted solo physician.

    And that is the modus operandi of the drug warriors: Go after the older, solo doc who is providing a service that few others will provide. The CATO institute and the Washington Post have published articles identifying this modus operandi as stated by a former DEA investigator. (I do not have the exact citations at hand)

    Add to that the fact that the federal legal standards literally equate addiction and physical dependence and you have the makings of the current disastrous pattern of limited treatment of chronic pain. Perhaps some smart lawyer will someday recognize the harm that is inflicted on disabled Americans by this misbranding of the pain patient. It is a crime to misbrand a medication, but apparently it is not a crime for the DEA and FBI and other police agencies to misbrand or mislabel the person who uses those medications appropriately.

    While it would be a good idea to honor those doctors who have survived the federal dragnet would you also honor those who have been mislabeled but who simply cannot afford to fight the weight of the federal enforcers? While the concept is good and it may be a good start, much more is needed to reverse the assault on the people with chronic disabling pain who have become physically dependent but not addicted.

    When the misbranding of pain patients and their doctors stops, we will all have something to celebrate.

    1. I have wondered why the inadequate treatment of chronic pain patients is not something that could be persued in a court of law. It is surely illegal to treat any one group of patients in the “cookie-cutter” fashion that has become the acceptable way patients requiring medications that happen to have the scheduled or controlled stigma that assigns us all to the “suspicious”, or “soon to be a drug addict” designation.

      It’s medication profiling that leads to patients doing without proper care. Patients spend years in pain, suffering brain damage as shown per MRI results, become couch potatoes as they are deprived of any semblance of the ability to function doing normal, low-impact activaties such as grocery shopping, washing clothes, cleaning the house and other things that one MUST do to maintain a residence.

      It would be a dream come true for many of us to see THIS battle fought in court. Most of us likely thought our biggest challenge would be our chronic pain conditions. Turns out, it’s actually just trying to get some pain relief through the obstacle course the FDA, DEA and other polically and monetarily-driven entities have set out for us, knowing full well, many of us are too ill to even play the game.

      Respectfully Submitted,
      Kimberly Miller

      1. Well said Kimberly! I too believe that some legal action will be needed. I believe there are numerous instances of violations of the constitutional, civil and human rights of chronic pain sufferers and the dwindling number of doctors who are willing to treat them. Ironically, that attitudes and patterns of care that are now dealt to chronic pain victims have been declared unconstitutional when applied to addicts. For example it is unconstitutional to force an addict in jail to take a urine test without a court order. In the absence of a court order an addict cannot be forced to produce a urine for testing as a requirement for medical treatment. The same standard obviously does not apply to the non-criminal pain patient. But then it takes time and money to pursue these issues in court. There are at least a few organizations who get funding for sustaining the rights of addicts…..but none for the chronic pain patients. Come to think of it, that is another constitutional violation: there are huge sums spent by the feds on people with addiction, but only a pittance if any on people suffering pain. Perhaps if there were an organization that could be funded, pain patients could demand equal or at least equitable funding. (Didn’t women athletes do just that a number of years ago when all of the athletic scholarships were going to men?)

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