Ethics and pain management: An introductory overview

Linda Emanuel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Professionals cure and comfort, and they do so in a trustworthy fashion. Pain specialists encounter some special issues as they seek to fulfill their professional mandate. Some key ethical issues that arise are described including situations involving end-of-life care needs, physician-assisted suicide requests, terminal sedation, doctrine of double effect, and chronic conditions. Policy issues are also described, including those related to controlled substances and access to pain treatment. This overview is an introductory presentation; it is supplemented by two cases, each with an analysis applying some of the ethical considerations described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalPain Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Access
  • Chronic conditions
  • Comfort
  • Controlled Substances
  • Doctrine of double effect
  • End-of-life care
  • Opioids
  • Pain
  • Physician-assisted suicide
  • Professionalism
  • Terminal sedation
  • Trustworthiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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