Perils of patient empowerment threaten to become a disease by itself !
Professional medical practice demands to put always the patient’s interest first. Unfortunately, current practicing methods threaten doctors to yield to patient’s whims & wishes which are influenced by significant non-academic forces. The principle of Informed consent is gradually losing its true meaning. Who is informing what ? and to whom? is becoming a hazy conundrum in complex two-way confabulation based on severely battered evidence-based medicine.
Some of the conversations not heard in silent corridors of big hospitals
Why did you stent his LAD ? , He had triple vessel disease Is’int CABG Ideal?
“Yes , I agree. What can I do , the patient chose to get stented”
Why did you replace his keen joint, it was not that bad isn’t ?
“Yes, I agree but the patient chose it.”
Why did you do the cesarian madam? the pelvis was fine, she was contracting well Isn’t?
“Yes, I agree, what to do. The patient decided it”
Why did you do the endoscopy, you are sure it was simple dyspepsia right?
“I agree. What to do? The patient wanted it”
We all agree patient empowerment is a critical component of health care delivery and management. I am afraid it can very easily go wrong and take a bizarre direction. Many times I felt it has seriously Interfered with professional decision making.
Still, I am not able to come to terms with this awkward situation. “How can patients (or their health care provider) enforce me to do a procedure on them , which I feel is Inappropriate or Injurious to them !
Missing you Dr.Hippocrates