Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
In Reply.—I agree with Dr King that psychiatrists
may play multiple roles in the process of evaluating a patient's request to
die. One of those roles may be in the management of appropriate analgesia
or in the addition of adjunctive medication in the relief of pain such as
antidepressants. He is also accurate in his description of the frustrating
dilemma regarding those patients who do not receive adequate treatment for
pain. Since pain is a subjective experience, there cannot be a separation
between the physical and the psychological elements; however, the inclusion
of a pain diagnosis in DSM-IV does not make all psychiatrists
experts in pain control.
Muskin PR. The Role of the Psychiatrist in a Patient's Request to Die—Reply. JAMA. 1998;279(17):1346. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-17-jbk0506
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