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Monday, April 16, 2012


Yep, there really is one.

Pain Patient Bill of Rights

1.Patients have a right to proper, respectful, informed and nondiscriminatory pain management and care.

2.Patients have a right to choose and access health care providers who can provide proper, respectful, informed and nondiscriminatory pain management and care.

3.Patients have a right to have their pain managed with collaborative and multidisciplinary efforts.

4.Patients have a right to have their questions and concerns about pain and pain treatments addressed.

5.Patients have a right to ask for and receive a referral to a pain management specialist.

6.Patients have a right to receive accurate and understandable information about their pain, their health, their diagnosis, their prognosis, their treatment, their health care providers and the facilities in which they receive treatment.

7.Patients have the right to receive knowledge and information about all pain treatment options available to them before giving informed consent.

8.Patients have the right to participate in their pain treatment decisions. If patients cannot fully participate in their pain treatment decisions, patients have the right to be represented by conservators including family members and/or guardians.

9.Patients have the right to make informed decisions about their pain treatment.

10.Patients have the right to speak confidentially with their health care providers about their pain conditions and concerns; however, the privacy of this information can be compromised in certain situations such as a workers' compensation claim.

11.Patients have a right to have their pain and the conditions that cause their pain examined regularly and their treatments adjusted for continued or improved pain management.

12.Patients have the right to read and make copies of their health information, pain history and relevant records.

13.Patients have the right to ask their health care provider to amend or correct any information (both pain-related and not) in their health records with the understanding that a health care provider cannot change an original report.

14.Patients have the right to refuse suggested methods of pain treatment.

15.Patients have the right to have their pain-related medical bills and costs explained to them.

16.Patients have the right to complain about or appeal issues related to their pain treatment, health plans, health care personnel and health care facilities.

17.Patients have the right to objective and timely internal and external reviews of any complaint or appeal related to their pain treatment, health plans, health care providers and health care facilities.


  1. "14.Patients have the right to refuse suggested methods of pain treatment."

    Thanks to the DEA that is no longer a right for pain patients, at least not in FL and WA state, and probably other states. In my experience (and others have reported similar issues) I am not allowed to refuse any method that is suggested by my doctor. If I refuse, I am dropped from their practice and no med refills.

    Steroid injections no longer help my lower back or broken SI joint, possibly because of the amount of new damage (degenerative disc disease, and herniating/rupturing discs etc. etc.). At most I get none to very little improvement and that only lasts for a maximum of 7 to 14 days. That is not counting the 3 bedridden days as a side effect of the shots themselves. Also I react badly to the standard steroid dose and am told that I am developing an allergy to it.

    When my doctor decides it is time to repeat these injections, even though he clearly admits they do no good for me and is aware of the reaction, if I remind him they do not work for me I am told "If you aren't willing to do injections, then I will no longer refill your pain medication." I have also been told that if I refuse any other procedure (some of which are dangerous) he recommends, then I will no longer receive any pain medications and will be dropped from his practice. I've been a patient of this office for a little over 10 years, never any trouble at all (no early refills, never "lost" a script or bottle of pills, never failed the urine test).

    This has even gotten worse as, in Florida, thanks to new laws, a pain patient has no privacy of their medical records. Law enforcement does not even need a warrant to get the record. Even worse if a law enforcement officer requests my record, I am immediately dropped from the practice which I have been going to for over 10 years now. With no follow up services required of their physicians, such as weening me off the medications I am on. This terrifies me as I would go into severe withdrawal and that is dangerous for a person with high blood pressure as it can cause strokes or heart attacks.

    It is getting worse. And none of it has stopped the addicts.

    I wish these rights were actually written into law.

  2. I was not aware of this. It is draconion and as you wrote in the other comment - you wouldnt treat a dog this way.
    If you can consider writing to your state legislators as well as to the newspapers and talking/writing to your local TV stations.
    The more people who speak out the greater the chance things can be changed.
    It occurs to me you might also start a petition on care2 or facebook, just as 2 places, I know there are a lot more. (The white house has a page for petitions, not sure if you could do that there.
    I am always amazed at how many signatures these petitions can get and I have seen changes come about because of them.
    Thanks Carol