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DR. ERIC M. CHEVLEN 'Power Over Pain'



Published: Sun, July 28, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



BIOGRAPHY

Dr. Eric M. Chevlen, a 1967 graduate of Youngstown Rayen High School, is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, hematology, pain medicine, and hospice and palliative (pain and symptom control) medicine.

He is a community leader in anti-euthanasia activities and was an expert witness for the prosecution in the 1996 "People vs. Kevorkian" trial.

He is medical director of Hospice of the Valley, a medical advisor for the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force and an assistant professor of internal medicine at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine.

Dr. Chevlen, 53, is married to the former Laurel Zlotnick of Youngstown. They have two sets of twins: Tamara and Jacob, 10, and Dorie and Abraham, 9.

QUOTES

Here are quotes from the book Dr. Chevlen co-wrote, "Power Over Pain -- How to get the Pain Control You Need."

"Effective pain diagnosis and control require effective communication. The patient must be able to communicate to the doctor what the pain feels like. At the same time, doctors need to be open to their patients' communications."

"... the same stimulus can cause different people to experience different levels of pain."

"Pain is subjective, but it is measurable. Unmeasured pain is likely to be untreated or under treated pain."

"Sadly, contemporary medicine often does a terrible job of treating serious pain. As a consequence, far too many people have helplessly watched loved ones writhe in pain, or have suffered such misery themselves."

"Most scandalous of all is that much of the cause of this medical under performance is the prejudice and ignorance among both doctors and patients about the most effective family of pain-controlling medications available today, leading to their massive under use and, hence, the inadequate treatment of serious pain."

"Simply put, morphine and other opioid drugs kill pain by 'mimicking' naturally occurring pain killers in the human body."

"A primary reason for the under use of opioids is that certain myths hamper doctors from prescribing them aggressively. Similarly, and tragically, many patients are more afraid of morphine and other opioids than they are of their own terrible pain. Making matters worse, nurses and other support staff may worry that proper dosing of morphine in hospitals is improper, leading them to resist cooperating with proper medical protocols. The consequence: Pain exercises power over people instead of people exercising power over pain."

"Opioids virtually never cause addiction when taken to treat chronic pain."

"The under-utilization of opioids is one of this country's great silent tragedies."

"If we really want to control chronic pain, we must keep the pain-causing network permanently off the air, rather than try to shut it down once it begins broadcasting."

"To treat chronic pain with only 'as needed' therapy, guarantees that the therapy will fail."

"Chronic pain is pain that is not going to get better by itself."




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