Pain: A Political History
"I wasn't sure what a palliative care doctor was doing reading about the political history of pain, but I soon found it hard to put down... Anyone who works in palliative care and has a broader interested in the political and legal aspects of pain management and physician-assisted suicide will enjoy this book." — Roger Woodruff - International Association for Hospice and Palliative Care
Introduction. Between Liberal Relief and Conservative Care
1. The Trojan Horse of Pain
2. Opening the Gates of Relief
3. The Conservative Case against Learned Helplessness
4. Divided States of Analgesia
5. OxyContin Unleashed
Conclusion. Theaters of Compassion
"In this remarkable book, Keith Wailoo explores the long American struggle over pain. Liberals feel your pain. Conservatives fear entitlement and welfare. Wailoo traces the conflict from the battlefields of World War II to the rise of deregulation, from fetal pain to OxyContin. Beautifully written, broad ranging, deep, wise, unexpected, and endlessly fascinating." James A. Morone, Brown University
In this history of American political culture, Keith Wailoo examines why and how pain and compassionate relief has been a battleground for defining the line between society's liberal trends and conservative tendencies. Tracing the development of pain theories in politics, medicine, law, and society, and battles over the morality and economics of relief, Wailoo points to a tension at the heart of the conservative-liberal divide.
Beginning with the post–World War II emergence of a pain relief economy in response to concerns about recovering soldiers, Wailoo explores the 1960s rise of an expansive liberal pain standard, along with the emerging conviction that subjective pain was real, disabling, and compensable. These concepts were attacked during the Reagan era of the 1980s, when a conservative political backlash led to decreasing disability aid and the growing role of the courts as arbiters in the liberal-conservative struggle to define pain.