Responding to Unexpected Urine Drug Test Results: A Phenomenological Approach

Journal of Applied Hermeneutics 2023:1-12 (2023)
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As a response to the opioid epidemic in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain in 2016. This document served as a means to reduce risks and address harms of opioid use by recommending that clinicians conduct periodic urine drug testing for patients on chronic opioid therapy. As an unintended result of this recommendation, providers began using unexpected urine drug test results as a reason to dismiss patients from practice, both out of concern for their patients’ wellbeing as well as their own legal risks. Using Husserl’s and Heidegger’s phenomenology, we argue that this science-based, black-and-white practice does not heed the patient as a whole person. Instead, we recommend a more contextual, patient-centered approach that can help us to better understand and manage patient needs in such contexts.

Author's Profile

Casey Rentmeester
University of South Florida (PhD)


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