TRUST YOUR DOCTORS BUT MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS
This was the topic given to the students to write and it was written by one student of senior secondary school...I loved it and like to share with u all..
When we are sick or hurt and life is more focused on not feeling well, or being in pain, it's very alluring to let others make our decisions for us. When those others are people who love us, like a spouse or parent, or people we trust like an advocate we've hired, then taking their opinions or suggestions into consideration might work well, as long as they have considered the pros and cons, working their way through the decision-making process. But doctors or any other healthcare professionals are not to be included in that list of people you should default to. That is not to say that your doctor is not trustworthy and shouldn't be included -- not at all. In fact, your doctor is absolutely your first resource, your front line for advice giving and helping you look at all sides of your options. But advice giving and decision making are two completely different things. Defaulting to your doctor's advice without looking into it further is like asking your doctor to make your decisions for you. And that's not an empowered patient approach.
Would you ask your auto mechanic to decide whether you should replace your engine or buy a new car? Probably not. You might ask him all the questions that will help you make the decision yourself, and his input will be valuable. But you are the one who will make the ultimate decision. However, that raises another question. Just how objective do you think the auto mechanic will be? If you decide to replace your engine, he'll make a nice profit from doing that work for you. But if you decide to buy a new car? Not only will he not make a profit on the work, but your new car may be under warranty, meaning, he won't see any more business from you until your warranty runs out. So which advice do you think he'll be more likely to give? Further, your mechanic doesn't know what your personal plans are preferences are. He doesn't realize that you've promised your son he can drive that specific car when he turns 16, or that it belonged to your grandmother and it brings back great memories when you drive it. He doesn't understand your values in relation to that car. Nor does your doctor understand your values in relation to your healthcare. Your doctor's job is to keep you alive as long as possible. That might be in conflict with your preference to live a better quality life for less time.
Once your diagnosis has been determined, your doctor will consider options for your treatment. As part of that process, your doctor will share the one she thinks will work best for you. As a wise patient, you will discuss those options, and then spend some time researching the possibilities, including options your doctor may not have recommended. A wise patient understands that, similar to the auto mechanic, sometimes our doctors' decisions may be influenced by business, not just medicine. This is not to suggest a doctor would recommend a treatment he didn't think would work; rather, when two or more treatments will have a similar rate of success, the doctor may make a recommendation that is better for his business, and not necessarily better for his patient.
When it comes to taking responsibility for making your own medical decisions, then it's important for you to listen to your doctor. She has the education, the experience, and the skills needed to make good recommendations, and she will be able to answer the questions you have about her recommendations. But objectivity is very important. You need to do your research, too, to find out about all the options available, and then find the professional you think can give you the most objective advice. Further - your own preferences, based on your values and beliefs should influence your decisions, too. Your doctors will give you information and advice about treatment. You have the right to choose. You can say "Yes" to treatments you want. You can say "No" to any treatment that you don't want - even if the treatment might keep you alive longer. Your doctor must tell you about your medical condition and about what different treatments and pain management alternatives can do for you. Many treatments have "side effects." Your doctor must offer you information about problems that medical treatment is likely to cause you. Often, more than one treatment might help you - and people have different ideas about which is best. Your doctor can tell you which treatments are available to you, but your doctor can't choose for you. That choice is yours to make and depends on what is important to you. Once you have all the possibilities to choose from, it's time to make the decision that works best for you and your goals, knowing that you are making the most objective decision possible for your situation. And once you've made that decision and begun the treatment, it's up to you to follow it through to find your best outcome.