By Tim Bonfield
Enquirer staff writer
Too many people in Ohio with terminal illnesses and severe chronic pain are not getting proper pain-control treatment, according to a state task force report released Wednesday.
There's a widespread shortage of pain-management specialists, especially in rural areas. Too many people, including patients and doctors, worry too much about the potential risks of addiction posed by narcotic pain medications. And families providing care to dying or chronically ill relatives need much more support than they get now.
These are some of the many findings made by the Ohio Compassionate Care Task Force, which was created in 2002 after a bill was passed declaring assisted suicide to be against state policy.
The task force, which included more than 40 participants, made nearly 30 recommendations, ranging from improving how doctors are trained to urging that regulations be rewritten to make it easier for hospice organizations and doctors involved in pain management to do their jobs.
The report estimates that 931,000 adults and 231,000 children in Ohio suffer from severe chronic pain. That includes as many as 35 percent of people with cancer who suffer from uncontrolled pain and as many as 47 percent of people with chronic pain from non-cancer conditions, said Dr. Warren Wheeler, co-chairman of the task force.
A full copy of the report can be found at http://www.ohiopaininitiative.org.
TOP LOCAL HEADLINES
Allen admits to affair with employee
Kmart victim's family baffled by shooting
Smoking ban debate begins
Lawsuit: Public Defender's Office fails
Iraqi girl's open-heart surgery called a success
Pain-control treatment found in need of reform
Middletown Guard unit may be heading home
Gay marriage poll a surprise
Baby starved to death; mother sent to prison
Death sentence upheld by Ohio Supreme Court
Dentists aid victims of domestic violence
T-shirt slogan 'cruel,' W.Va. governor says
Officials link casings to suspect
Kenmore man dies after police scuffle
Food's ready; there's no need to stop driving
Judge extends timber sales ban
Cleves man, 24, dies in single-car crash
Local news briefs
Sewer plant a step closer
Owls culprits in cat deaths
Florence Y'all fest on hiatus, but not parade
Free Levee lunch parking begins in Sept.
Jockeys want fees paid for ad patch lawsuits
New Spanish classes help officers relate
State holds hearing on overtime rules
Tobacco buyout forum's focus
Suspect in killing hunting a skunk
Jobless rate declines, but manufacturing weak
Ky. election fraud trial starts
Worker hit in head by 400-pound weight
Cuts force students to find rides or walk
Charter schools suit reinstated
Lakota support staff gets 35-cent-an-hour raise
Medical expansion starts
A Fest for Tobacco?
W. Chester OKs $1.4M ballfields complex
Butler Co. tries to embarrass its child-support scofflaws
Loveland eases gun law
Nader campaign set back
Warren auditor guilty of DUI
GOOD THINGS HAPPENING
Hawaiian ride helps with AIDS
N.M. Hodapp, district manager
Nellie Smith never let child go hungry