I got some feedback yesterday that my blog about the patient who didn't get a needed scan in time now has weeks to live. I said the patient needed to do more and be proactive in their health care. Some one said that we can't blame the patient because we depend on our doctors.
What I see of the issues are the following:
The woman complained of severe headaches and pain down her arm. Her doctor told her it was arthritis and treated it as such. She also complained several other times to nurses and was told she didn't need scans. If the diagnosis didn't resolve the problem, more testing should have been done to get to the root of the problem. This is where the patient could have stepped up.
Also it sounded like she was dealing with nurses often - did they know the extent of her medical history?
And if this doctor wasn't doing anything to help her, she could have gone to another doctor which it did not sound like she did. I mean she did say she had bowel surgery which meant she was going to a gastrointestinal doctor, who wouldn't have been as concerned about something not relating to digestion. What about a neurologist or some one like that?
I don't know all the details here because I am not that patient but it would seem to me in the modern medical world that this patient slipped through the cracks and her complaints were ignored. This is where the patient should have spoken up more.
Yes we depend on our doctors to tell us what is wrong with us and treat us. We depend on them and rely on them. Some times we put our head down and just slog on through things. But need to stick our head up occasionally and see if we are happy with how we are feeling or is ti time to take another tack.