Wednesday, January 02, 2008

This is just wrong

Take a look:

CHICAGO - Emergency room doctors are prescribing strong narcotics more often to patients who complain of pain, but minorities are less likely to get them than whites, a new study finds. Even for the severe pain of kidney stones, minorities were prescribed narcotics such as oxycodone and morphine less frequently than whites.

The analysis of more than 150,000 emergency room visits over 13 years found differences in prescribing by race and ethnicity in both urban and rural hospitals, in all U.S. regions and for every type of pain.
Even with the increase, the racial gap endured. Linda Simoni-Wastila of the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Pharmacy said the race gap finding may reveal some doctors' suspicions that minority patients could be drug abusers lying about pain to get narcotics.

The irony, she said, is that blacks are the least likely group to abuse prescription drugs. Hispanics are becoming as likely as whites to abuse prescription opioids and stimulants, according to her research.

I've had enough experience with severe pain to know just how horrible untreated pain can be. And what really gets me here is the self-righteousness involved. So what if some people are lying? If I were a medical person I would rather take that risk than not treat someone in severe pain.

Addicts are going to find their drugs one way or another. But the non-abuser who is just in pain will simply suffer. And that's just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.


  1. Anonymous8:20 PM

    Unfortunately, you fell into the other category of discrimination in regards to administration of pain medication--female. Studies have shown that women are less likely to receive pain medicine than men. Women's physical complaints are less likely to be taken seriously in general than men.
    Carolyn L.

  2. Anonymous8:25 AM

    Unfortunately, any reason can be used to deny medication. Once I held out the whole four hours assuming then they wouldn't play games with me, but my mentioning that it had been four hours was interpreted to mean I was asking because of the time and not because of the pain, and I did not get the medication without an argument.

  3. Anonymous7:54 PM

    "Older" women are known to medical professionals as "cranks." We are seen to have nothing better to do than to go to the doctor complaining of all sorts of maladies when all we really need is "something to keep us busy" and not bothering them... I've been known to change doctors for this very reason, but female doctors are just as prejudiced as male doctors. Any complaint of pain is viewed suspiciously and doctors today are very afraid of getting a reputation for being "liberal" with pain-killers -- and hence do not prescribe pain-killers at all or limit their patients to ibuprofen or another NSAID... ineffective for my sciatica.

  4. It's nice to have you around, Classof65. I'm class of 67, by the way. (I'm assuming you mean high school!)

    I hope you keep coming back!


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