The Pain Patient's Bill of Rights


People living with chronic pain are often “people pleasers,” according to the American Chronic Pain Association. That means they may dismiss their own needs to assist others, or be hesitant to express their needs and ask that they be met.

One of the key steps to finding relief and living well is to know your needs and limits and have people meet and respect them. The ACPA acknowledges 15 basic rights to which every pain patient is entitled.

As a person suffering from chronic pain, you have a right to:
  1. Act in a way that promotes dignity and self-respect.
  2. Be treated with respect.
  3. Make mistakes.
  4. Do less than you are humanly capable of doing.
  5. Change your mind.
  6. Ask for what you want.
  7. Take time to slow down and think before you act.
  8. Ask for information.
  9. Ask for help or assistance.
  10. Feel good about yourself.
  11. Disagree.
  12. Not have to explain everything you do and think.
  13. Say "no" and not feel guilty.
  14. Ask why.
  15. Be listened to and taken seriously when expressing your feelings.
Last Updated: August 20, 2008

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