June 8, 2017 7:01 pm
Updated: June 9, 2017 11:50 am

COMMENTARY: Chronic pain sufferers terrified and (they will tell you) terrorized

Updated opioid-prescribing guidelines released earlier this year encourage doctors to avoid giving the powerful narcotics as a first-line treatment to patients with chronic, non-cancer pain.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - McMaster University
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As much as I might prefer, it’s not possible to let go of, as an issue, the agony suffered this and each minute of the day by up to perhaps 1.5-million Canadians.

Perhaps more.

Since my interview last Saturday with Canada’s federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott, contact from chronic pain patients has outnumbered other issues we are addressing, including terrorist violence against the unsuspecting.

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Canadians considering dying at their own hand over arbitrary and intolerable reduction or elimination of prescribed medication are themselves utterly terrified.

READ MORE: COMMENTARY: Dear Federal Minister of Health Jane Philpott: Are chronic pain patients victims of government attack?

Sunday you will hear a Canadian you may well be familiar with. This Canadian has a prepared suicide plan, carefully detailed so as to not involve a blameless spouse.

Laboratory pain experts and political collaborators dispense reams of opioid overdose statistics to willing media. Statistics which have little, if anything to do with chronic pain patient appropriate and prescribed use of fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine.

It is the chronic pain patient who is marginalized, whose family often turns against him or her and whose use of opioids is suspiciously viewed as a gateway to death on a street corner.

As a British listener wrote, “Bollocks!”

It appears federal Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Philpott has failed to acknowledge my interviewing her.

I won’t.


READ MORE: Opioid education program

E-mails (mostly) and tweets challenge Dr. Philpott. One e-mail from a well-known physician in the field of pain control dismisses the case made by Minister Philpott. The doctor stands squarely with pain patients. You will hear this physician Sunday.

A Canadian, who confessed to tearing up hearing my interview with Minister Philpott and who will be immediately recognizable to many, has prepared a suicide plan detailed in a manner that allows the patient to die alone so the spouse is not criminally charged.  You will hear this person.

First, Do No Harm!  (Line 1 of the Hippocratic Oath)

I will speak with Canadians facing the twin screws of pain and indifferent public health officials. “It’s like a clothing iron on high being pressed to my face 24/7,” writes one.

WATCH: Ask the Doctor: chronic pain and the opioid crisis

Canada’s Opioids Guide, released just a few weeks ago, promotes multi-disciplinary teams of health professionals to care for each chronic pain patient.  Seriously?  With millions of Canadians already unable to locate even a primary family physician?

I asked federal Minister of Health Dr. Jane Philpott, “if a chronic pain patient requires opioids for the remainder of his or her time in order to have some basic quality of life, who cares?”

I am hearing increased determination in the voices of the severely pained.  Reduce or eliminate that patient’s successfully working opioid medications without patient consent and prepare for a Charter challenge at least.

Preliminary steps toward a class-action lawsuit are being taken.

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