It’s an issue we’ve talked about a lot on the National Pain Report—patient abandonment and suicide from chronic pain.
We see it in statistics, we report it in stories, and we see alarming threats of it—many threats—in our commentary section.
(Some so alarming, that we’ve contacted the folks and tried to make sure they were talking with mental health professionals.)
That’s why our radar went up over the weekend, when chronic pain advocate Terri Lewis, Ph.D., sensitively but directly asked people on Twitter to share their stories about loved ones who may have been abandoned by their doctors and/or have chosen to end their lives from chronic pain.
What she is looking for specifically are;
- Deaths post passage of the CDC guidelines in March 2016 and suicides or deaths from inadequate care among those who completed the survey
- Confirmation of physician abandonment, under treatment, imposition of step therapy with an unsatisfactory outcome, insurance and/or pharmacy restrictions.
Here is the thread she published:
“I have a grim request. As I begin the analysis on suicide data for persons who chose to end their lives due to unrelieved pain or involuntary taper, I am searching the survey data for persons who submitted & have since deceased.
We know that many remain SKEPTICAL that anyone might make a well-considered decision to end their misery or refuse treatment. I am particularly interested in deaths post adoption of CDC’s guidelines March 2016.
If you have last communications that you are willing to share that document the reasons for their decision or death, please communicate with me so I can follow up with you?
I want to treat these folks as a special data cohort and respectfully address their submissions, their choices, and identify the unique questions that might be raised.”
This survey that she talks about has been promoted heavily by us at the National Pain Report. The survey, which is now closed, had an estimated 5,000 chronic pain patients respond—the largest chronic pain patient survey yet conducted.
If you filled out that survey and have a story to share—email, her email@example.com
If you also are comfortable in sharing those comments—or have your own story to tell that may not fit what Dr. Lewis is looking for and that you are willing to share—please do in our comments section.