Currently, end-of-life patients in pain have to be admitted to the hospital before being able to receive relieving sedative drug, Midazolam. New regulation will now allow general practitioners to admit the pain alleviating drug to patients.
Within four months general practitioners will be able to prescribe Midazolam, a strong sedative, to help ease end-of-life patients’ pain.
France’s health ministry stated that the drug will only be prescribed by mobile general practitioner teams and by hospitals and will require a second opinion from another doctor. Some general practitioners have indicated that these barriers are still too complex and unnecessary.
‘President of doctors’ La Fédération des Médecins de France, Doctor Jean-Paul Hamon, said that he thinks that only the doctor, the nurse, the patient, and the patient’s family should be involved in this process and not another doctor who is not informed about the situation.
Other doctors have indicated that it’s always good to have a second opinion, like Doctor Pierre Robin, a general practitioner in Marseille. He said that doctors can also get it wrong and as a doctor close to patients you can have demands that do not correspond with reality.
Head of the union for pharmacists in France, Doctor Gilles Bonnefond, said they will be helping many patients and local pharmacies with this drug.
Opinions might be divided on the changing regulation and the exact implementation of it, however it is expected that unnecessary stress will be lifted for end-of-life patients who will not have to be consulted in a hospital anymore to ease their pain. In addition, hospitals will reduce time and costs spent on services that could be better treated by other medical professionals.