ABSTRACT: Prescriptions for opioid analgesics have been steadilyincreasing over the past decade. While these medications have thepotential to provide optimal pain relief for many patients, they do notcome without risk of side effects. The main effects limiting the use ofopioid medications are those associated with the gastrointestinal tract,especially nausea and constipation. Several treatment options exist tohelp manage these side effects, but prevention is the key component forpatients taking opioid analgesics. Nonpharmacologic methods are just asimportant as pharmacologic methods for the prevention and management ofside effects. Pharmacists play an important role in educating patientsabout the side effects associated with these medications and the optionsavailable for preventing and managing them.
In this paper, I am primarily concerned with the ethical concept of discrimination. Legal cases like those I am considering in the following can, therefore, not count as decisive evidence for my argument. It might be that existing legal regulations simply do not measure up to the ethical concept of discrimination. Moreover, court decisions could be based on various considerations or even employ a particular legal concept of discrimination different from the ethical one. However, the ethical discussion on discrimination of recent years which I am taking up is largely guided by an established use of the concept of discrimination which, in turn, is reflected (among other things) in legal regulations and court decisions. Considering them may, therefore, at least provide some evidence. 2b1af7f3a8