http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602260.html This article will upset you. Woman wakes up after surgey to realize part of her uterus has been removed. Did she know she was going in for a hysteroctomy? YES… but didn’t have the reading ability to read the papers she signed regarding the surgery.
If you are reading this blog, then I am guessing literacy is not a daily struggle in your life… but maybe you know someone who cannot fully understand the details of a medical procedure – or its ramifications. What do you do?
Grandmother have dementia? Think she understands the medications she is on, or surgeries that have been proposed? What about a family member or friend where English is a second language. If our health care providers don’t take the time to explain procedures, their ramifications, etc (AND MANY, NO MOST OF THEM DO!) then we need be advocates and investigators for our friends and family. You know, my Mother’s doctor recently got mad at me – because I had done so much research on a medication, I scared my Mother into stopping the med… WELL, that was not my intent, but at least now her decision is one based on research, knowing both sides, and weighing her options.