Skip Navigation LinksHome > February 2012 - Volume 18 - Issue 1, Peripheral Neuropathy > Opioid Administration for Severe Neuropathic Pain in a Patie...
CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology:
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000411563.41709.e3
Ethical Perspectives

Opioid Administration for Severe Neuropathic Pain in a Patient With Depression and Prior Heroin Use

Elliott, Kathryn J. MD, JD, MSc

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Abstract

The treatment of pain can raise ethical dilemmas. This article presents a case of a young woman with a pain crisis from severe neuropathic pain that is complicated by comorbidities of depression and prior (but not active) heroin use. Medical and ethical justifications for either withholding or providing opioids for her pain are examined. State and federal laws governing opioid prescriptions by physicians for pain management are reviewed.

© 2012 American Academy of Neurology

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