Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

Pain Control Doesn’t Kill


This is very good news for dying patients and their families. A new study has been released demonstrating that pain control using opioids (narcotics) in end of life care "poses an extremely small risk of hastened death in this population [hospice patients]."

The results of this study undermines the pro-euthanasia meme that using strong pain control often leads to earlier death, and hence intentional mercy killing is little different than treating pain. Moreover, and more urgently, it should make doctors less reluctant to aggressively treat pain, which remains a problem in the clinical setting. For as the study points out:"Undertreatment of pain is a far more pressing concern than is the risk of hastened death in those with advanced disease, and physicians should be encouraged to use opioids effectively to relieve suffering at the end of life."


Subscribe to National Review