Does the IASP Definition of Pain Need Updating?

PAIN Reports 4 (5 - e777):1-7 (2019)
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The current IASP definition of pain has come under renewed criticisms recently. There is a new momentum for its revision as reflected by the fact that IASP has now a Presidential Task Force dedicated to look into whether there is enough warrant to update the definition. I critically review all the major criticisms of the current definition in detail, and raise new difficulties rarely discussed before. I show that none of the major criticisms has enough warrant to force us to substantially revise the current definition. Combined with the discussion of the new difficulties, there is nonetheless a need to restate the definition using slightly different terminology that will make the original intent of the current definition clearer and more precise. A restatement of the definition is proposed and its potential is discussed in light of some empirical questions that remain.
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Archival date: 2019-08-20
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