For more information contact: Boonshoft School of Medicine, Judi Engle, Office of Public Relations, (937) 775-2951

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2002

Annual Law-Medicine Symposium Examines
Medical-Legal Aspects of Palliative Care and Pain Management

DAYTON, OHIO--"Medical-Legal Aspects of Palliative Care and Pain Management" will be the topic of the 12th Annual Law & Medicine Symposium on Wednesday, February 6 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the Mathias H. Heck Courtroom in Keller Hall at the University of Dayton School of Law.

The Law-Medicine Symposium is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged. To pre-register or for more information, contact Wright State's Office of Geriatric Medicine at 937/775-3392.

The Law & Medicine Symposium is presented annually by the University of Dayton School of Law and the Wright State University School of Medicine. It is endowed by Gregory C. Gibson Co., L.P.A.

This program will use a hypothetical case to facilitate a frank, spirited discussion of the medical legal aspects of palliative care and pain management. Participants will make up an expert panel representing a wide range of perspectives, experiences, and
viewpoints. There will be ample chance for audience participation in the dialogue.

This will represent a few of the many actions that have taken place over the last few years in the public and private sectors that attempt to address and improve widely acknowledged shortcomings in the quality of palliative care and pain management received by many patients. Here are a few examples:

In June, 2001 a jury in California issued a verdict, for the first time in the United States, finding a physician liable for elder abuse based on undertreatment of a patient's pain. It awarded $1.5 million in damages to the patient's family.

In 2000, the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) promulgated extensive new Pain Standards which, among other things, encourage the monitoring of pain as an additional vital sign.

In July, 2000 the American Bar Association's House of Delegates adopted a policy resolution urging state, federal, and territorial governments to remove legal barriers to quality pain and symptom management, and to support a patient's right to effective pain and symptom evaluation, management, and ongoing monitoring as part of basic medical care.

An array of social, economic, psychological, political, and educational factors help account for those shortcomings. This program will provide an opportunity to identify and analyze the particular ways in which law and the legal system-in both perception and reality-either enhance or impede optimal clinical care for patients experiencing or at risk of serious, chronic pain.

The University of Dayton School of Law has accredited this program for two credit hours of Continuing Legal Education. Wright State University School of Medicine, accredited by the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACME), designates this activity as meeting the criteria for two credit hours of Category 1 of the physician's recognition award of the American Medical Association.