- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Ukrainian cancer patients denied pain relief
CHERKASY, UKRAINE (AP) - When his brain cancer pain became unbearable, Vlad Zhukovsky pleaded for a stronger dose of painkiller, but the doctors refused, citing Ukrainian health regulations. Unable to withstand the agony, he tried to jump out of a hospital window, but a fellow patient held him back.
“He wanted to fall head down to be killed right away to stop the torture, that’s how much his head hurt,” his 50-year-old mother Nadezhda said sobbing. “He howled like a wolf.”
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who suffer from terminal illnesses are denied proper pain relief, Human Rights Watch said in a report Thursday, urging Ukrainian authorities to adopt international guidelines for pain management.
Rooted in archaic Soviet-era restrictions and a government campaign to fight illegal drug use, Ukrainian regulations for the use of opioid-based analgesics are among the strictest in the world. Unlike most countries, where patients receive morphine in tablets, the drug is administered in Ukraine only in injectable form and only by a professional nurse. Prescribing morphine requires a team of doctors with hard-to-get licenses.
World Health Organization guidelines dictate that patients must receive as much pain medication as they need. But most Ukrainian doctors cap the daily morphine dose at 50 milligrams _ far less than patients in severe pain need _ based on the instructions of a local pharmaceutical company.
With patients often suicidal from pain, some doctors break the law to alleviate their suffering, risking a prison sentence for illegal possession and distribution of drugs.
Experts say the restrictions have done little to stem the growing use of illicit drugs here and instead have deprived already dying or severely suffering patients of a peaceful, dignified death.
“Medicine is not a hotbed for drugs, but medicine finds itself under greater control than all those drug cartels and that violates a person’s right to medical help,” said Paramonov.
Vlad’s 10-year battle with cancer crushed his dreams of becoming a computer scientist. He died last year at age 27 after being bounced from one hospital to another until he was finally discharged to die at home. He spent three years in excruciating pain, while his mother begged health officials for a higher dose of opiate-based analgesics.
Nadezhda, an administrator at a local fertilizer factory, had to fight off accusations her son was a drug addict and she a drug trafficker, while Vlad’s moans resonated across their apartment building.
After pressure from local lawmakers and activists, Vlad was prescribed the maximum 50 milligrams per day of Omnopon, an opioid-based pain killer similar to morphine. But that wasn’t enough to relieve his pain. Willem Scholten, an expert in controlled medicines at WHO, said a patient like Vlad may require at least 75 milligrams daily and up to 4,000 milligrams per day in the final three months of life.
In a video shot by Human Rights Watch months before his death, an emaciated, pale-faced Vlad, his hair gone after another round of radiation treatment, described his suffering as a “nagging pain as if somebody is sawing through your back.”
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on 'outdated' agencies
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
For moms, dads, kids, tech heads, travelers, kitchen mavens and everyone else on your holiday gift list
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
White House pets gone wild!