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Correspondence  |   March 1995
Reply: Ambivalence toward Pain
Author Notes
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief, Obstetric Anesthesiology Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100254, 1600 Southwest Archer Road Gainesville, Florida 32610–0254.
Article Information
Correspondence
Correspondence   |   March 1995
Reply: Ambivalence toward Pain
Anesthesiology 3 1995, Vol.82, 800. doi:
Anesthesiology 3 1995, Vol.82, 800. doi:
In Reply:—As Johnstone and Fife suggest, it is ironic that our society extol the work of Mother Theresa and Albert Schweitzer to abolish pain and suffering even as we pay large sums of money to listen to John Mellencamp and Nine Inch Nails sing about it. This illustrates quite well both our preoccupation with the problem and the ambiguity toward it.
Ironically, the work of Schweitzer and Nine Inch Nails also have something in common. Each represents a social response to pain and, therefore, something that unites us. Silimarly, the “gratuitous violence and indifference to pain” in the motion picture “Natural Born Killers” resembles the spectacles staged by the Romans in the Coliseum and may represent another social response to pain, one which has persisted for a long time.
Donald Caton, MD
Professor of Anesthesiology and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief, Obstetric Anesthesiology, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100254, 1600 Southwest Archer Road Gainesville, Florida 32610–0254.
(Accepted for publication December 13, 1994.)