Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Educated Consumer

Things have changed since 1950, when Guys and Dolls premiered on Broadway and "Adelaide's Lament" entered musical comedy history. Patients and their families have become much more aggressive about asserting their rights in determining the course of medical care. Not every patient is a passive lump who will agree to whatever the doctor wants done. Today's educated consumer:

  • May have done enough research on a topic to know as much or more about a health issue than the primary care physician.

  • May be able to read a chart and understand what has been written in it.

  • May have drafted a living will in order to avoid being kept on a respirator.

  • May be ready, willing, and able to "fire" the physician of record.

  • May have damned good personal reasons for disagreeing with a doctor's proposed course of treatment.

Next: A Nation In Denial

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