Some January Healthcare Thought-Provokers


Not sure what it looks like where you live, but it’s cold outside where I live in Upstate NY, and we’ve got plenty of the white stuff on the ground.

Whereas some friends might curl up with a good book, I tend to gravitate to puzzles and thought provokers when I’m indoors and have some time on my hands.   So I thought I’d provide you with a few links and summaries.  I’m curious about your opinions:

1.  Scenario:  Your Uncle Henry lives in Rural-alia and needs prostate surgery.  His primary care doctor refers him to a general surgeon who provides Henry with a list of all the side effects and describes the surgery and potential, probably outcomes, including incontinence and impotence.  Uncle Henry settles on a date for the surgery, but confides in you that he’s really frightened and does not want to live with those side effects.

Questions:  Do you suggest to Uncle Henry that he go into the city to find a second opinion?  Do you tell him there are newer forms of surgery that may minimize the chances for those outcomes?  Is it up to the surgeon to explain to Henry that there are other hospitals and surgeons that can do a better job?

BackgroundShould patients be told of better care elsewhere?


2.  Scenario:  Aunt Genevieve has been hobbling around for years on that bum knee of hers.  She finally lets you talk her into visiting an orthopod, and he tells her she really needs to have her knee replaced.  She follows through, the surgery and recovery are a bear, and she begins to have real problems almost immediately with the knee not really working right.  Then, as you dig into more information for her, you find out her surgeon is actually one of the inventors of the knee which was used in the surgery.

Questions:  Do you confront the surgeon about the problems?  What do you ask him to do about them?  And does it matter that he owns the patent (and therefore makes money) for the artificial knee?  Should he have disclosed that fact to Aunt Genevieve?

BackgroundDon’t be a victim of  medical marketing


Thoughts on either one?  Just hit the “add a comment” button below…

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Trisha Torrey
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