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Wednesday, September 28th 2011

Freedom From Pain

I like Al Jazeera, I think it does some really good reporting. They have a documentary series called People & Power which a couple of months ago ran a piece on pain control in the developing world.

The conclusion of the piece is really incredible. They find that the main obstacle to pain control for patients in most of the world is not costs or drug availability, it is the stigma of opiates and the war on drugs.

Overall, Freedom from Pain reveals that bureaucratic hurdles, and the chilling effect of the global war on drugs, are the main impediments to a pain free world. Patients will continue to suffer until global bodies actively work with countries to exclude medical morphine from the war on drugs, and change the blunt drug laws that curtail access to legitimate medical opiates worldwide. Uri Fedotov, the executive director of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, admits in the film that the war on drugs is cutting people off from pain medication, but offers little in the way of concrete proposals for changing the status quo.

If you have the time it is well worth the 30 minutes to watch the piece.

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