No one likes bad news, especially when it comes to our health. Learning about a series illness from the doctor is one of the worst fears for more people.
SILENCE CAN BE DEADLY
However, bad news from the doctor is better than the alternative, if the alternative leads to worse problems. Silence can be seriously hazardous or even deadly when the doctor fails to tell you key information about your symptoms, an upcoming surgery or prescriptions.
IS WITHHOLDING INFORMATION ACCEPTABLE?
In a Ghana Medical Journal paper, Dr Ama Kyerewaa Edwin argues that there is no legal justification for so-called “therapeutic privilege,” which is a medical professional withholding essential information from a patient.
There is still significant argument in some states about whether withholding information can constitute malpractice, it is important to know that your doctor might be keeping some essential information from you.
You need to know how to protect yourself.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF?
There are some important steps you can take to make sure you get all the information you need to properly manage your medical care.
- Ask more questions:
The problem is that the medical profession has become a fast-paced business. The faster doctors go through each patient, the more patients they can see and the more money they make. Because of this high-speed approach, doctors are often impatient to answer patient questions and help clients understand their situations.
But do not be intimidated. Too much is at stake. Even if the doctor appears impatient or in a hurry, make sure you get as much information as you need during your visit, or follow up with questions.
- Research your symptoms on your own:
The internet is filled with information about just about anything. You must be careful and trust only reputable sources, of course, but with some smart internet research, you can learn a lot about your condition.
- Get a second opinion:
There is no good reason not to talk with another medical professional, especially if your diagnosis is serious or seems wrong to you. Even if everything seems exactly as you expected, talk with another doctor if possible, just to be sure.
- Talk with an attorney:
Especially if you feel like you made poor medical choices based on information you weren’t given from your doctor, talk with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.