Both older adults and minority patients are at risk of undertreatment and mismanagement of pain. Caregivers report that many older adults are in pain before death, and doctors are often less willing to prescribe strong opioids to the dying. Underutilization of narcotics with older minority populations has also been reported. The Canadian population is aging rapidly, and Canada is home to one of the most ethnically diverse cities in North America. In this context, the above findings are unacceptable. Recommendations for improvements in the health care system are made.
Key words: end-of-life care, pain management, racial disparities.
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