Sunday, November 6, 2011

Ask Your Doctor...To Shut Up

Does the diagnosis "Failure To Thrive" sound like something you would want to hear about your infant? If your pediatrician then recommended supplementing your eight-month old's breastmilk diet with formula(!) and solids, which subsequently made him sick, would you be stressed-out? If her sole reason for this diagnosis was that he is in a low weight percentile according to the American Academy of Pediatrics chart, which is heavily weighted towards formula-fed infants, would you get suspicious? If she then told you that her practice sees (not "diagnoses", but "sees", as if it is some objective truth to be observed rather than interpreted) this "condition" in a third of their patients, primarily in families where the babies are exclusively breastfed and the parents are conscious of careful nutrition and physically active, would you start to get pissed?

If you were diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and the doctors recommended surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, and then more of the same when the first round failed, would be feel distressed? If no one mentioned that
  • the studies used to proclaim the "success" of chemotherapy don't count people who died in treatment because they didn't complete the course, 
  • that some research concludes that as many as 80% of tumor cancer patients do not see any meaningful benefits from chemotherapy 1, 2, and that the improvement in five-year outcomes is partly related to the inclusion of non-lethal cancers and early detection (which has nothing to do with chemo), 
  • that prolonged exposure to chemotherapy will cause organ failure and, possibly (probably?) death (no citation needed here, just read the side effects from the drug inserts)
Would you feel betrayed?

If you were a college kid and the doctor told you that you had to have "minor" surgery on your cervix or you would get cervical cancer (and during the surgery she screwed up, and you could see the fear of a malpractice suit in her eyes when she apologized), and then you found out later that this condition and the associated virus often resolve without treatment, would you feel frustrated?

If you suffered from minor medical maladies for years and the doctors all suggested it was psychological and prescribed some superficial treatment, and then you healed yourself by dramatically reducing your exposure to HVAC and altering your diet, would you be annoyed?

If you took your toddler to a doctor for the first time in his life because of odd stools (that ultimately resolved without medical treatment) and ended up in the pediatric urologist's office with a specialist
  • recommending surgery with general anaesthesia for a 22 month old because the fluid around his testicles might annoy him at some point (which it did, of course, after the doctor messed around with it), and 
  • telling you to forcibly break the foreskin adhesions because, er, well, just because, 
would you shake your head and walk away?

If you had personal experiences with all these things, would you stop listening to doctors?

Do I sound unusually negative today? I guess the extent of this malpractice is weighing on me. These are people's lives! Practitioners in the allopathic tradition have either forgotten to stop talking when they don't know, or they have forgotten that they don't know. If you have a doctor, that relationship needs to be a partnership, not a professorship or a dictatorship. If you are a client, listen to your instincts and participate in the diagnosing process; YOU are in charge of  the healing process! So, most respectfully, I suggest that, when the doc says something that sounds strange, you politely ask your shut up. Just for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. Why I never read this til now....perfect timing. Love you. Love your mind. ove your heart. TY.