Travis Rieder -

Oct 8, 2020, 5:30 pm


Travis Rieder

Book Title

In Pain: A Bioethicist's Personal Struggle with Opioids

Statewide Region


Join us for an Evening Ethics Discussion facilitated by Travis Rieder that focuses on the ethical challenges posed by opioids and their use in the US healthcare system.

Join Zoom:
Password: 789209

If you have learned about America’s opioid crisis primarily from the media or politicians, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the problem is a rather simple one. We must stop excess prescribing of opioids and prevent heroin from coming in over the southern border or fentanyl from coming through the US Postal Service from China. The problem is not simple, however. This laser-like focus on drug supply is an outdated War on Drugs approach to fighting addiction and overdose, and it simply doesn’t work. Indeed, it often makes things worse. For this reason, I argue that it takes genuine effort to determine what we should do in response to America’s drug problem. That is: we need to do ethics. Solving America’s opioid crisis is not a problem just for public health, or for medicine; it’s a problem for ethics and policy. And on my view, in order to determine what we should do, we need to better understand the nature of drugs and addiction. The goal of this discussion is to touch on all of these topics.

Background Readings:

“What Chronic Pain Patients are Deeply Afraid Of,” in the NYTimes, here:

“Solving the Opioid Crisis isn’t just a Public Health Challenge—It’s a Bioethics Challenge,” forthcoming from the Hastings Center Report

Recommended Reading for those Interested in Dr. Rieder’s broader story and view:

In Pain: A Bioethicist’s Personal Struggle with Opioids

This event is made possible with the support from Utah Humanities, The King's English, and The Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah School of Medicine as part of the Evening Ethics Discussion Regularly Scheduled Series.

Disclosure: None of the faculty or planners or anyone in control of content for this continuing medical education activity have any relevant financial relationships since the content does not cover any products/services of a commercial interest; therefore, there are no relevant financial relationships to disclose. AMA Credit: The University of Utah School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s) TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. All attendees are encouraged to use the CME system to claim their attendance. Physicians will be awarded AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™; all other professions will be awarded attendance at a CME event credit that they may use for their re-credentialing purposes. All users will be able to print or save certificates. For questions regarding the CME system, please contact the UUCME Office. For questions regarding re-credentialing process or requirements, please contact your re-credentialing organization.
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