Pain, Chronic Pain, and Suffering

Authored by: Valerie Gray Hardcastle

The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Medicine

Print publication date:  October  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138846791
eBook ISBN: 9781315720739
Adobe ISBN: 9781317519850


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The impact of pain on our lives is staggering. Chronic pain affects approximately 116 million adults in the United States annually, and this figure does not include people in long-term care facilities, the military, or prison. It costs up to $635 billion a year in (largely ineffective) health care and lost wages (Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education 2011). This is more than the costs for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined (Pizzo and Clark 2012).

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