"Adequate pain treatment and follow-up may be thwarted by a mix of uncertain diagnosis and the societal stigma that is applied, consciously or unconsciously, to people reporting pain, particularly if they do not respond readily to treatment. Questions and reservations may cloud perceptions of clinicians, family, employers, and others: Is he really in pain? Is she drug seeking? Is he just malingering? Is she just trying to get disability payments? Certainly, there is some number of patients who attempt to 'game the system' to obtain drugs or disability payments, but data and studies to back up these suspicions are few. The committee members are not naïve about this possibility, but believe it is far smaller than the likelihood that someone with pain will receive inadequate care. Religious or moral judgments may come into play: Mankind is destined to suffer; giving in to pain is a sign of weakness. Popular culture, too, is full of dismissive memes regarding pain: Suck it up; No pain, no gain."


Institute of Medicine, "Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research" (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2011), pp. 46-47.