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”.
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.