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A researcher's prescription for better health care: A dose of humility for doctors, nurses and clinicians

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By Barret Michalec

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What I would like to see is a renewed dedication towards robust informed consent. Laying out most expected and reasonable outcomes that can go right with a treatment or therapy, alongside known adverse reactions of all types and potential declines in body functions, alongside those things that may potentially leave patients vulnerable to other conditions and diseases. And to enhance communications so as patients may understand their options, including any option or instance that a treatment plan could lead to a diminished quality of life.

For example, in oncology, where compounding assorted drugs will often reasonably extend life for an anticipated amount of time? But what will life be like during that time?

The challenge for a professional overseeing treatment is not only to help the patient understand the proposed treatment plans and goals, and likely outcomes, and to enlist the patient’s assistance in increasing the changes for a positive outcome, it is also important to make sure that consent - if given - is voluntary and willing, and not as a result of undue influence or coercion by family or others. And if the plan is rejected, to be understanding and respectful of that choice, and provide palliative care as needed, without installing guilt or shame over the exercise of their rights.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The article is completely correct, but it is not describing new concepts or something that is changing (towards a better health care). It is actually something that has always happened even if known by other names. Hospitals run by teams and not by doctors, treatments that include everybody involved in the decision (of course also the patients, and their families), professionals that take their time to listen and to explain instead of just imposing an opinion. It has been always what constitute good health care practices or professionalism, and what make doctors, hospitals, nurses, doulas, etc. have long lists of patients that go to them instead of more convenient or cheap options.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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