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March 2, 1984

The Care of Patients With Severe Chronic Pain in Terminal Illness

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Drugs, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1984;251(9):1182-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340330040021

The care of terminally ill patients with severe chronic pain should provide treatment that permits these patients to close their lives with dignity and purpose. Analgesics, both opioid and nonopioid, are available and when properly used can provide effective relief of pain for most terminally ill patients. It is incumbent on the physician and on all others who care for the dying patient with severe chronic pain to understand clearly the dynamics of the pain experience, the clinical pharmacology of analgesics, and the needs of the patient, family, and friends.

(JAMA 1984;251:1182-1188)