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Pain Med. 2004 Jun;5(2):214-7; discussion 218-28.

The debate on elder abuse for undertreated pain.

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  • 1Compassion in Dying Federation, Affiliate Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law and Seattle University School of Law, Perkins Coie, Of Counsel, Seattle, Washington 98101-3099, USA.


Presented is a review of the pain management provided to an elderly male patient dying of mesothelioma in an acute care hospital and, subsequently, in a nursing home. Discussed are the medico-legal aspects of the case, including the patient's survivors' efforts to hold the treating physicians, hospital, and nursing home accountable for inadequate pain management through complaints submitted to the state medical board, the state department of health services, and the Center for Medicaid/Medicare Services, and in state court.

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