Sir: I greatly regret the widespread reports on Michael Jackson's addiction to pain-relieving drugs, not only for Mr Jackson but for the many millions who may hesitate to seek relief for their pain for fear of addiction. A genuine triumph of medicine, especially from the hugely caring doctors in the hospice movement, has been the successful introduction of effective pain-relieving medicines without the danger of addiction.
I trust that those who falter will consider the bizarre circumstances of this much-publicised case and the consequent social and financial pressures that lead incompetent and irresponsible doctors to overprescribe. It is our good fortune that this is not a situation that the vast majority of doctors and patients share.
PATRICK D. WALL