Technological advances have greatly increased the available options in administering opioids. One of these, Patient Controlled Analgesia (PCA) (a pump which can deliver a continuous infusion of a drug such as morphine, as well as allow patient-activated doses for breakthrough pain), eliminates the delay in receiving pain relief caused by having to wait for a nurse to administer the necessary medicine. Studies have shown that PCA may actually lower the amount of medicine administered to patients, while providing them with a safe and effective way to have more control over their treatment.
Dr. Daniel Sulmasy is the Kilbride-Clinton Professor of Medicine and Ethics in the Department of Medicine and Divinity School at the University of Chicago, where he serves as associate director of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics and as director of the Program on Medicine and Religion. Sulmasy was appointed to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues by President Obama in 2010. His research interests encompass both theoretical and empirical investigations of the ethics of end-of-life decision-making, ethics education and spirituality in medicine. He is the author or editor of six books, including Safe Passage: A Global Spiritual Sourcebook for Care at the End of Life . He also serves as editor-in-chief of the journal, Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics .