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July 2011
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More drug war collateral damage

bullet image Dying patient wrongly assumed to be junkie

A very ill man, wrongly assumed to be a “junkie” craving strong drugs, died in agony hours after being discharged from a NSW hospital, a coroner has found. […]

“If, as now seems clear, Mr Sutherland’s bowel was ruptured or on the point of rupturing when he was brought in … his pain must have been very severe indeed,” he said.

Dr Bonney refused pain relief except for a couple of tablets of panadol, which the coroner said was nowhere near adequate to relieve his suffering. […]

The coroner said at one stage Dr Bonney reportedly told a nurse: “What is he still doing here? Get him out of my department”.


bullet image Freedom from Pain

For much of the Western world, physical pain ends with a simple pill. Yet more than half the world’s countries have little to no access to morphine, the gold standard for treating medical pain.

Freedom from Pain shines a light on this under-reported story. “For a victim of police torture, they will usually sign a confession and the torture stops,” says Diederik Lohman of Human Rights Watch in the film. “For someone who has cancer pain, that torturous experience continues for weeks, and sometimes months on end.”

Unlike so many global health problems, pain treatment is not about money or a lack of drugs, since morphine costs pennies per dose and is easily made. The treatment of pain is complicated by many factors, including drug laws, bureaucratic rigidity and commercial disincentives.

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5 comments to More drug war collateral damage

  • darkcycle

    I wish I hadn’t read that.

  • vickyvampire

    More people being treated and stigmatized everyday in America,treated like a piece of Trash.

    I remember W’S Pres George H.Bush talking about a thousand points of light,Some Americans are more like a thousand points of Daggers.

  • thelbert

    i think pappy bush was referring to muzzle flashes of the narks administering nine grams of lead to innocent children, dogs, grandmothers, and anyone else that doesn’t fit their ideas of what an american should be.

  • Windy

    “Dying patient wrongly assumed to be junkie” and “freedom from pain” — both articles are just more examples of the unintended consequences of the war on drugs. I normally do not ever wish pain upon anyone, even my enemies (of which I only consider government thugs enemies), but I’m now wishing every single member of congress who has contributed (overtly, or just by ignoring the subject) to continuing the war on drugs (and that arrogant Dr. Bonney, too) would begin to suffer from pain severe enough to require heavy duty pain meds and not be able to get their doctor to prescribe due to the doc’s fears of being branded a drug dealer, as so many other doctors have. That would get those politicians to change the laws, PDQ!

  • Ed Dunkle

    Better dead than high. I imagine doctors face more legal problems by “over prescribing” analgesics than they do from letting patients suffer. Thanks, DEA!