Tulsa World editorial, A7: Easing pain: State looks for better ways

Care for the chronically or terminally ill is a complicated balancing act involving multiple caregivers and health providers. Careful coordination is essential to ease suffering and help fragile patients receive the best care possible.

Toward that goal, the state House last week passed, 90-0, legislation that directs the Home Care and Hospice and Palliative Care Advisory Council to identify ways to improve the quality of palliative care delivery and to receive more input from experts.

"A cancer patient may need medicine or treatments to fight the cancer, pain and comfort medications, surgeries, and possibly physical therapy after surgery," said Rep. Pat Ownbey, author of the measure. "These palliative care specialists on the advisory council will help create best practices and policies in the state for coordinated care." The bill specifies membership of the council to include experts in the field.

This is good legislation that is strongly supported by the American Cancer Society and which will help provide patients the coordinated care they deserve. The bill soon will come before the Senate, which ought to approve this bipartisan effort to ease the pain of Oklahomans.

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