Human Rights Watch call out Russian agencies following ban on press reporting on pain-related suicides

Categories: In The Media.

Apparently, this ban originated with the Russian consumer protection agency. The reason given was that reporting on these cases would promote suicide.

However, the causal link between reporting on desperate measures to end excruciating cancer pain, and increasing suicide among the Russian population was not explained by either agency.

According to Human Rights Watch: “It’s not clear how a news article that describes how untreated cancer pain drove two people to take their own lives promotes suicide. What is clear is chronic, untreated pain from cancer causes some people to see suicide as the only way out.”

In Russia, it is extremely difficult for patients in need of pain relief to access opioid medications. Restrictive drug laws and unnecessary bureaucracy impede the prescribing and dispensing of these essential medicines, and health workers often do not prescribe them as there is a risk of prosecution should they make even the smallest error.

Human Rights Watch have stated that: “It is deplorable that instead of addressing the issue, the authorities make critically important public discussion impossible.”

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