WHO HAS THE LAST CALL – YOU or YOUR DOCTOR?
There is a wonderful essay in today’s New York Times, about the balance between a patient’s request, and doctor’s policy. What if the two are in conflict – who wins?
We see it often in Nursing Homes. Families will request a test, or treatment, the physician says is not necessary. On the flip side, we have seen physicians request a consulation with a physician the family thinks is unnecessary. It is the right of the individual and or his medical power of attorney, to make all health care decisions, based upon the advice of physicians. Sadly, that does not always occur. And as a family member, or patient yourself – FIGHT.
A neurologist refused to prescribe my mother a new and unique treatment for her MS because he didn’t know much about it (actually – he said something about the pharmaceutical companies not making it and he wouldn’t prescribe without a rep). She said she wanted it – and would gladly sign a release, anything to try the treatment. He refused – so she took her literature elsewhere, and now has a wonderful neurologist who will monitor the new treatment, and learn about it with her. The good news, its a great treatment – and her fighting paid off.