All citizens should be treated equally, but they should also be treated promptly

This article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal is a shocking example of healthcare not working, not patient-centred and without compassion. Perhaps it is all the more shocking because this is a doctor-become-patient story. The opening paragraph sets the tone:

‘The old commitment to giving special care to physician colleagues as mentioned in the Hippocratic Oath, is no longer operative and in fact should not be. All citizens should be treated equally, but they should also be treated promptly.’
Baines CJ. Salon: Unnecessary Uncertainty is Unacceptable. Can Med Assoc J. July 3, 2012, doi: 10.1503/cmaj.120437

The comments below are reproduced with full permission of the author:
“What is interesting is how the editors censored this piece even though no hospital or doctor was named. When I told the Fellow he was putting the biopsy needle in an un-anaesthetized area of my neck, he told me to shut up! After probing repeatedly and unsuccessfully for tissue he removed the needle and then it was obvious he was going to insert it again. I said No Way!

The sad thing is that in spite of many unprofessional and inept encounters, so much is done that really is good for patients. Both sides have to be remembered.
Cornelia” – (personal communication, 6 February 2014).

What is remarkable to me is that, increasingly, doctors are speaking out ‘in the name of the patient’. And when doctors and patients join forces their voices are likely to be heard. They become a force for change. But it can take ‘a lot of bottle’.

All power to your elbow, Cornelia!


About bmitzi

Medical writer, author, artist. Cancer campaigner. Aiming always to improve health services and bring compassion into health care.
This entry was posted in Compassion in healthcare, patient safety, rarer and uncommon cancers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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