A Philosophical Discussion of the Problem of Chronic Pain and Recommendations for Change
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I have a deep interest in chronic pain because my career goal is to become a physician with a specialty in anesthesiology and subspecialty in pain management. Writing about chronic pain from a philosophical standpoint has allowed me to broaden my knowledge base with respect to the philosophical issues involved in chronic pain management, such as the freedom and autonomy of the person in pain. The goal of this paper is to change the ways in which society and the pain management community think about chronic pain. Thinking about chronic pain in dualistic terms causes the treatment methods currently available to patients to be ineffectual. Cartesian dualism does not appreciate the rich notion of being-in-the-world that explicates the way in which pain functions in human existence. I strongly believe that changing our current way of thinking about pain will allow for the development of effective methods of treatment for chronic pain.