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Patrice Queneau, Gérard Osterman

Easing Pain Listening, Believing, Care-giving

Montaigne once launched, in his essays, a violent indictment of the doctors of his era, accusing them of neglecting the suffering of their patients. 400 years later, one would think that things had changed. But the medical world still seems at a loss when it comes to the pain suffered by its patients. How can pain be measured, and how can it be relieved? Backache, migraine, post-operative pain--what can be done? Should morphine be used in the most serious cases? What about alternative medicine? Remedies may exist, but it is also necessary to change our mentalities.Patrice Queneau is a professor of therapeutics at the Saint Etienne Medical School. Gerard Ostermann is a professor emeritus of therapeutics.