Indian Journal of Anaesthesia  
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 768

Pain Management: Medico-Legal Issues

1 Consultant, Dept of Anaesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine & Pain, Apollo Gleaneagles Hospitals, Kolkata., India
2 Hony Consultant, Dept of Anaesthesiology, Perioperative Medicine & Pain, Apollo Gleaneagles Hospitals, Kolkata., India

Correspondence Address:
Gaurab Maitra
63B, Chakraberia Road (North), Kolkata - 700 020
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Freedom from pain has now emerged as a fundamental human right. Pain has long been under treated and physicians have been accused for poor pain management. There are many reasons for failure of physicians to properly manage pain. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations (JCAHO) made pain assess­ment and proper management mandatory. Many statutory regimens have evolved over the time demanding proper pain management and focusing it as a legal right. Standards of care for pain management have evolved and are well established. Websites have also proliferated to help physicians gain user friendly access to these guidelines. Physi­cians are now bound with legal responsibilities to follow pain practice as per the guidelines and to document every­thing in medical records. Not only the physicians, the hospitals are also liable to it patients if it fails to uphold the standard of care to ensure patient's safety. Though pain management has been slow to progress, a convergence of forces have now made it possible to incorporate quality pain management in medical practice.

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