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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


SARUWATARI ZAVALA, G.  y  SIQUEIROS-GARCIA, J. M.. Pain relief: Is it a human right?. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2012, vol.19, n.3, pp.147-156. ISSN 1134-8046.

This paper analyzes the article "Pain relief a human right, "written by F. Brennan and M. Cousins, in which the authors claim the formulation of a new fundamental right, and review various international human rights instruments, to support the argument that the patient should be protected from the inadequate treatment of pain. Several authors and organizations have denounced the reasons, due to various factors, why the pain is not treated in its entirety. Regulatory factors lie in the authorization and/or prohibition of the distribution, consumption, use and marketing of drugs by government agencies. Economic factors are related to many causes such as access to health services and medicines. It is identified as a serious public health problem, as not enough resources are allocated for the implementation of units for the treatment of chronic or temporary pain or for research on this topic. Lack of education and updating of health professionals is another major problem. Among the social causes are the inequality in access to health services, poverty, lack of medical coverage and discrimination against certain social groups. The text is a brief tour of the main international human rights instruments. The instruments reviewed by Brennan and Cousins, are taken into consideration, adding up the regional documents of the American System of protection of Human Rights. For Member States of the Organization of American States (OAS), which suffer from problems typical of developing countries: large number of necessities, high population density and scarcity of resources, it becomes urgent to raise the Right to Health under new perspectives. Think solutions that not only revolve around the economic factor, but that impact on the cultural, social, legislative and public policy relating to the subject of pain. We believe that pain relief is and has been throughout the history of medicine, one of the great human aspirations, but its formulation as a legal right could stay such as abstract and unreachable, while the right to access pain management is a more attainable right that relates to other rights to health, to integrity, to not be treated inhumanely and to enjoy an adequate level of living and quality, which have been recognized and signed by the countries in the international treaties. This means that these Human Rights have already mechanisms of protection and legal ways in which may be asserted against the State.

Palabras clave : Pain; Health; International human rights instruments.

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