Access to pain management from a legal and human rights perspective
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Access to pain management from a legal and human rights perspective

Sherri Ogston-Tuck Retired senior lecturer in adult nursing, Institute of Health and Society, University of Worcester, Worcester, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your knowledge of human rights legislation in the UK

  • To understand healthcare professionals’ legal, moral and professional obligations in relation to pain management

  • To consider strategies that nurses could use to uphold patients’ human rights in relation to pain management

Patients who experience pain require adequate pain management provided by healthcare professionals who have access to pain relief medicines and are trained in the assessment and treatment of pain. Patients also need their pain to be acknowledged, understood and believed. These patient needs in relation to pain management can be considered from a legal and human rights perspective. This article describes human rights legislation in the UK, how it affects healthcare practice and what it means for healthcare professionals. It discusses barriers to pain management, the concept of pain management as a human right, the obligation of healthcare organisations to provide pain management and the limits to patients’ rights to pain management. Finally, it proposes strategies that nurses can use to uphold a patient’s human rights in relation to pain management.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11897

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

sherri2@gmail.com

Conflict of interest

None declared

Ogston-Tuck S (2022) Access to pain management from a legal and human rights perspective. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e11897

Published online: 15 August 2022

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