“Tell me about-- when my father was dying, and in horrible pain, his doctors couldn’t legally give him any more medicine, because he would be receiving addictive levels. This was WEEKS before he died.”
Rowan, times are a-changin’. Doctors have been undereducated about pain control and many still fear giving too much morphine. If a doctor does prescribe adequate amounts, he may fear an audit- the big guys wonder why this doctor’s prescribing scads of the stuff.
As the hospice movement gains speed, people won’t have to suffer like your father did (mine did, too). There are many great methods available for various types of pain and doctors are starting to see the value of improving quality of life, rather than merely prolonging suffering. If you or a loved one is ever terminally ill, demand a hospice consult. Hospice doctors are angels sent to relieve your pain, and they know their stuff.
If you are in pain, large doses of morphine are unlikely to cause addiction. Ironically, if you’re in pain and the doctor prescribes an inadequate dose of morphine you are MORE likely to become addicted: you can’t think of anything else besides getting the drug so your pain will go away. You begin to crave it, physically and mentally, so that when your body heals it still craves the fix.