California Pain Laws

Pain, and why you should "not" have to suffer in California.
By: Mark Norwood

In my own experiences as a patient and a nurse, I have found that too many States do not allow the use of narcotic analgesics as treatment for patients with chronic intractable pain.

Patients all over the US are suffering needlessly from doctors who are too scared to prescribe narcotic pain medication for fear of having their license revoked. Other doctors are just not properly trained in how to treat patients with the use of narcotic analgesics. Their are also those doctors from poor or third world countries who do not believe in treating patients adequately for pain. They usually come from a back grown where (in their own culture) pain is something that you just have to get used too and learn to live with. This is a Travesty!

Treatment of patients in severe or chronic pain with the use of narcotic analgesics is not only safer today with the new "hi tech" long acting narcotics, it is also more practical. Patients are far less likely to overdose with these new classes of long acting narcotics than 10 years ago when repeated dosing of short acting narcotics was the routine of the time.

I myself am tired of hearing patients tell me that their doctor has told them that they are just going to have to learn to live with the pain, (or) go in to some type of pain program. Pain Programs/Clinics Do Not use narcotic therapy as a part of their treatment plan and the worst thing is that referring doctors know this!! The use of narcotics as a part of there therapy is forbidden and other ways of controlling pain such as mind over matter as an example are the routine of choice. You can not take a patient in severe chronic intractable pain and try and tell them that they can out think it! To those doctors that use this approach I say, cut off your right finger, or better yet go out and get hit by a truck and then come back and try one of these therapies! Only then will they understand.

And to those doctors that say you are a drug seeking patient, Or he has a drug seeking personality, I say to you YES I am seeking drugs for my pain! What am I supposed to do, act like I do not really need them?

What doctors have to understand is that patients who are labeled drug seeking are just that! They are seeking to get out of pain. Studies have shown that patients suffer from chronic intractable pain, are not the typical drug addict looking for a fix! Rather they are looking for relief and to just live a normal life with some type of control over their pain.

And those doctors who do give out lets say 25 (or) 50 pills a month and have a patient sign a drug contract I say ("it just does not work that way")  If a patient is in more pain on a certain day he/she is going to need more pain medication to make it through that day. Before the patient knows it he has used up his supply, And all he gets for his/her trouble is a lecture from the doctor. PAIN CONTRACTS DO NOT WORK!!

Better yet put your patient on a longer lasting pain medication like Oxycontin or a narcotic patch like Fentanyl, and give your patient a supply of short acting pain medication for break through pain. This will not only make the patient more comfortable but less likely to ride the roller coaster of ups and downs that short acting pain medications can cause.

California NOW is one of the most recent states for adopting a law to treat patients with chronic intractable pain. The law states that doctors will not be prosecuted for treating their patients with opiate pain medications. Patients also have the right to Not under go corrective surgery (if available) to treat the patients pain, and remain on narcotic pain management if it is their wish to do so.

Doctors here in California NO longer have to fear of loosing their license to treat such patients, And No longer have an excuse for Not treating their pain patients accordingly and humanely with opiate agonists.

Please read the SB 402 The California Pain Patient's Bill of Rights below and show it to your doctor or congressman to get the relief that is constitutionally yours.

 


  As of January 1/ 1998 SB 402 takes effect. 

 WHAT THIS MEANS IS DOCTORS SHOULD NOT HAVE ANY MORE PROBLEMS WITH THE-  STATE, IN BEING ABLE TO WRITE  PRESCRIPTIONS FOR NARCOTIC PAIN DRUGS-  OR TRIPLICATE  NARCOTIC  PAIN MEDICINE. NO MORE EXCUSES!!   CHRONIC PAIN  SUFFERERS SHOULD NOT HAVE TO  SUFFER ANYMORE!!!!

 Excerpt from Health: opiate drugs text...

    Existing law, the Intractable Pain Treatment Act, authorizes a physician and surgeon to prescribe or administer controlled substances to a person in the course of treating that person for a diagnosed condition called intractable pain, and prohibits the  Medical Board of California from disciplining a physician and surgeon for this action. This bill would establish the Pain Patient's  Bill of Rights and would state legislative findings and declarations regarding the value of opiate drugs to persons suffering from severe chronic intractable pain. 

SB 402

           California Senate Bill No. 402                  CHAPTER 839  An act to add Part 4.5 (commencing with Section -124960) to  Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to health.

          [Approved by Governor October 9, 1997. Filed            with Secretary of State October 10, 1997.]

          LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SE 402, Greene. Health: opiate drugs. Existing law, the Intractable Pain Treatment Act, authorizes a physician and surgeon to prescribe or administer controlled substances to a person in the course of treating that person for a diagnosed condition called intractable pain, and prohibits the Medical Board of California from disciplining a physician and surgeon for this action. This bill would establish the Pain Patient's Bill of Rights and would state legislative findings and declarations regarding the value of opiate drugs to persons suffering from severe chronic intractable pain. It would, among other things, authorize a physician to refuse to prescribe opiate medication for a patient who requests the treatment for severe chronic intractable pain, require the physician to inform the, patient that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain with methods that include the use of opiates, and authorize a physician who prescribes opiates to prescribe a dosage deemed medically necessary.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

 SECTION 1. Part 4.5 (commencing with Section 124960) is added to Division 106 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:

      PART 4.5. PAIN PATIENT'S BILL OF RIGHTS

124960. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following: (a) The state has a right and duty to control the illegal use of opiate drugs·. (b) Inadequate treatment of acute and chronic pain originating from cancer or non cancerous conditions is a significant health problem. (c) For some patients, pain management is the single most important treatment a physician can provide. (d) A patient suffering from severe chronic intractable pain should have access to proper treatment of his or her pain.

 

Ch. 839                 -2-

 (e) Due to the complexity of their problems, many patients suffering from severe chronic intractable pain may require referral to a physician with expertise in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain. In some cases, severe chronic intractable pain is best treated by a team of clinicians in order to address the associated physical, psychological, social, and vocational issues. (f) In the hands of knowledgeable, ethical, and experience pain management practitioners, opiates administered for sever acute and severe chronic intractable pain can be safe. (g) Opiates can be an accepted treatment for patients in severe chronic intractable pain who have not obtained relief from any other means of treatment. (h) A patient suffering from severe chronic intractable pain has the option to request or reject the use of any or all modalities to relieve his or her severe chronic intractable pain. (i) A physician treating a patient who suffers from severe chronic intractable pain may prescribe a dosage deemed medically necessary to relieve severe chronic intractable pain as long as the prescribing is in conformance with the provisions of the California Intractable Pain Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions Code. j) A patient who suffers from severe chronic intractable pain has the option to choose opiate medication for the treatment of the severe chronic intractable pain as long as the prescribing is in conformance with the provisions of the. California Intractable Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions code (k) The patient's physician may refuse to prescribe opiate medication for a patient who requests the treatment for severe chronic intractable pain. However, that physician shall inform the patient that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain with methods that include the use of opiates. 124961. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter any of the provisions set forth in the California Intractable Pain Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions Code. This section shall be known as the Pain Patient's Bill of Rights. (a) A patient suffering from severe chronic intractable pain has the option to request or reject the use of any or all modalities in order to relieve his or her severe chronic intractable pain. (b) A patient who suffers from severe chronic intractable pain has the option to choose opiate medications to relieve severe chronic intractable pain without first having to submit to an invasive medical procedure, which is defined as surgery, destruction of a nerve or other other body tissue by manipulation, or the implantation of a drug delivery system or device, as long as the prescribing physician acts in conformance with the provisions of the California Intractable Pain Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions Code.

 

-3-               Ch. 839

 (c) The patient's physician may refuse to prescribe opiate medication for the patient who requests a treatment for severe chronic intractable pain. However, that physician shall inform the patient that there are physicians who specialize in the treatment of severe chronic intractable pain with methods that include the use of opiates.  (d) A physician who uses opiate therapy to relieve severe chronic intractable pain may prescribe a dosage deemed medically necessary to relieve severe chronic intractable pain, as long as that prescribing is in conformance with the California Intractable Pain Treatment Act, Section 2241.5 of the Business and Professions Code.  (e) A patient may voluntarily request that his or her physician provide an identifying notice of the prescription for purposes of emergency treatment or law enforcement identification.  (f) Nothing in this section shall do either of the following:  (1) Limit any reporting or disciplinary provisions applicable to licensed physicians and surgeons who violate prescribing practices or other provisions set forth in the Medical Practice Act, Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 2000) of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, or the regulations adopted there under.  (2) Limit the applicability of any federal statute or federal regulation or any of the other statutes or regulations of this state that regulate dangerous drugs or controlled substances.

 

 Previous (or) Old Bill

 SB 1802

   Senate Bill No. 1802

   CHAPTER 1588

  An act to add Section 2241.5 to the Business and Professions Code,   relating to physicians and surgeons.

   [Approved by Governor September 30. 1990. Filed with     Secretary of State September 30, 1990.]

           LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST  SE 1802, L. Greene. Physicians and surgeons.  Existing law makes it unprofessional conduct and grounds for disciplinary action for a physician and surgeon to perform repeated acts of clearly excessive prescribing, furnishing, or administering of drugs or treatment, as specified.  This bill would authorize a physician and surgeon to prescribe or administer controlled substances to a person in the course of treatment of that person for a diagnosed condition causing intractable pain, as defined, and would prohibit the Medical Board of California from disciplining a physician and surgeon for that prescribing or administering.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

 SE(-=IION 1. Section 2241.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:  2241.5. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a physician and surgeon may prescribe: or administer controlled substances to a person in the course of the physician and surgeon's treatment of that person for a diagnosed condition causing intractable pain.  (b) "Intractable pain," as used in this section, means a pain state in which the cause of the pain cannot be removed or otherwise treated and which in the generally accepted course of medical practice no relief or cure of the cause of the pain is possible or none has been found after reasonable efforts including, but not limited to, evaluation by the attending physician and surgeon and one or more physicians and surgeons specializing in the treatment of the area, system, or organ of the body perceived as the source of the pain.  (c) No physician and surgeon shall be subject to disciplinary action by the board for prescribing or administering controlled substances in the course of treatment of a person for intractable pain.  (d) This section shall not apply to those persons being treated by the physician and surgeon for chemical dependency because of their use of drugs or controlled substances.  (e) This section shall not authorize a physician and surgeon to prescribe or administer controlled substances to a person the

93 60

 

Ch. 1588               -2-

physician and surgeon knows to be using drugs or substances for nontherapeutic purposes.  (f) This section shall not affect the power of the board to deny, revoke, or suspend the license of any physician and surgeon who does any of the following:  (1) Prescribes or administers a controlled substance or treatment that is nontherapeutic in nature or nontherapeutic in the manner the controlled substance or treatment is administered or prescribed or is for a nontherapeutic purpose in a nontherapeutic manner.  (2) Fails to keep complete and accurate records of purchases and disposals of substances listed in the California Controlled Substances Act, or of controlled substances scheduled in, or pursuant to, the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. A physician and surgeon shall keep records of his or her purchases and disposals of these drugs, including the date of purchase, the date and records of the sale or disposal of the drugs by the physician and surgeon, the name and address of the person receiving the drugs, and the reason for the disposal of or the dispensing of the drugs to the person and shall otherwise comply with all state record keeping requirements for controlled substances.  (3) Writes false or fictitious prescriptions for controlled substances listed in the California Controlled Substances Act or scheduled in the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.  (4) Prescribes, administers, or dispenses in a manner not consistent with public health and welfare controlled substances listed in the California Controlled Substance Act or scheduled in the federal Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.  (5) Prescribes, administers, or dispenses in violation of either Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 11150) or Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11210) of Division 10 of the Health. and Safety Code or this chapter.  (g) This section shall not apply to treatment of any person in a health facility, as defined in Section' 12;50 of the Health and Safety Code.  SEC. 2. This act shall be known and cited as the Intractable Pain Treatment Act.

9380

END

Latest Article: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Is CFS a psychological illness? While fatigue is a common complaint, those individuals who have chronic fatigue lasting more than six months and who meet the CDC criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome have a condition than can be serious and disabling. Recent research does show laboratory abnormalities in the CFS patient population, although the search continues for a specific...

Related Articles: