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Letters: Who gets pain relief?

April 02, 2013

Re "Deaths tied to painkillers rising in U.S.," March 30

As a retired physician, I am aware of the dangers of misusing painkillers. As a patient with severe, chronic pain from a degenerating lower back, I know the value of those same painkillers to enable me to live a meaningful life.

The idea that legislators in Sacramento or Washington think they

can decide whose pain is "legal" to treat, how effectively to do so and for how long is terrifying to me. To propose that only cancer patients can obtain long-lasting pain relief while those with other causes of pain should just live with it is egregiously callous.

Donald E. Williams, MD

Costa Mesa

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