Case and commentary: Should "pain clearance" be routine for elective surgery?

Alexandra M. Dunham, Casey Jo Humbyrd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


For elective surgery, preoperative planning for patients with comorbidities tends to address risk stratification, cardiac clearance, and anticoagulation. This commentary suggests that chronic opioid use should be normalized as a comorbidity requiring "pain clearance" prior to elective surgery. Doing so would likely enhance team communication, optimize patient care, decrease stigma, and facilitate care transitioning and long-term planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)664-667
Number of pages4
JournalAMA Journal of Ethics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy


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