Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fair and Balanced!

Gee I hope that phrase isn't copyrighted! In the interest of fairness and balance, I am presenting a well thought out opposing view! This comment is from my discussion here;

Jules has left a new comment on your post "Textbook FAIL! First paragraph.":

"Different doctors have different training. They also have different equipment and resources available to them. Doctor number one has most likely not been trained on the DiVinci system. It is not widely available in many areas. Because he performs the surgery differently than doctor number two does not make him evil, money-grubbing, or even incompetent. (I do admit, however, that there are doctors who think the know all and are not to be questioned. That is a reflection on them as people, not on the healthcare community as a whole.)

As for your ideas on informed consent, all I can say is that you sound paranoid. Perhaps this is understandable given your past experiences. I have to tell you, though, that in this EXTREMELY litigious society, doctors can and will do whatever is necessary to cover their butts. No surgeon is going to rationalize doing anything experimental or unnecessarry simply because you signed a consent form. The clause that you are referring to is there for a couple of reasons: 1) If your surgeon is inside of you and spots something that (s)he deems to me life-threatening, (s)he has your permission to remove it. It has to be an immediate threat. If you cross out the phrase, should (s)he ignore the threat? 2) Suppose that during an orthopedic procedure to remove a bone spur that has been causing you pain, the surgeon spots a small cyst that could be contributing to the problem. Should (s)he finish up the consented procedure, close you up, wait until the drugs wear off and THEN mention what was seen? At this point you could sign another consent and have a second procedure, I suppose. Twice the pain, twice the bill, twice the anesthesia? Seems kind of silly doesn't it? If you choose to cross anything off the Informed Consent, please make sure you ask questions and think about the consequences. If you were the patient in one of the above situations, would you be okay with the surgeon following your wishes and NOT doing what should have been done? Or would you awake from anesthesia, find out what happened and become angry and indignant? Things that make you go hmmmmm...

I fully agree that one should seek out second (or even third) opinions. Discuss and weigh your options. But please know that healthcare workers chose their field to help, not to hurt, their patients. Are there doctors out there who are in it for the money? I'm sure there are. But between the lawyers, the student loans, the government and the insurance companies who don't like to pay, I can assure you that most doctors don't take home as much as you might imagine."

Of course I have a rebuttal to this which can be seen below his remarks in situ. Jules makes valid arguments. However, my experience, whether it made me "paranoid" or not, forces me to take the stance that I have. IF my health care workers had given me just half the respect this commenter has, and if they had a thought process like his, this would all be a moot point. I hold Jules up as a reasonable, rational person, that I probably would trust to remove my heel spur. As long as he agreed to a nerve block and pain meds ONLY! Sedation is not an option. G/A is totally unnecessary in extremity surgery if you have competent help. The beauty of doing things MY way, is that I would be able to give additional consent from the OR if things went south. Jules was worried about that. Now he doesn't have to.

1 comment:

  1. I do realize that doctors have varying levels of training and/or proficiency, but to subject a patient to an incision from navel to pubis which necessitates a multiple-day stay in the hospital, requires pain medication for untold days and/or weeks,to blithely tell me I would have to return for further surgery for a related procedure she was not capable of (my surgeon did it all in one visit to the OR), and to have to be off work for weeks, not to mention the increased cost is, to me, out and out patient abuse. Pure and simple. And, in fact, my surgeon said the reason the other wanted to do the slicing was 'she wants the money'!! Very telling that one surgeon would say that about another.

    The DaVinci robot was available at the hospital where the surgeon wanted to slice, but I didn't even know there was an option - she just wasn't willing to hand me over to another surgeon and lose all that money.

    *But please know that healthcare workers chose their field to help, not to hurt, their patients.* That may be true, but somewhere along the way they lost that ideal and now it most certainly is just a job and just a source of income. I have no problem with that, but would it be so hard to treat us with respect and courtesy and dignity.