Friday, June 26, 2009

Open Letter to My Future Doctor

I believe that Informed Consent goes both ways. Here is a list of my expectations when I seek medical help. Please let me know if you are comfortable with these expectations.

1) Believe me. I am taking time out of my busy schedule and money out of my budget to seek medical help. I have no motive to lie and my memory is excellent.

2) Inform me.
A) Tell me about treatment options. Even if I specifically ask for one treatment I have heard of, you may know of an alterative I would prefer.
B) Tell me any information about my dis-ease that might be useful in living with less pain or recognizing problems..
C) If you want to do a test or a procedure, don't just do it. Tell me what you want to do and why. Tell me the risks and possible benefits. Tell me the expected pain level. And if I choose to allow the test or procedure, tell me what you found out.

3) Ask my Permission. Do not do anything to me without my permission. If I give permission for a test, procedure, or examination, I continue to retain the right to stop it at any time. If any clothing, such as shoes or socks must be removed, allow me to remove them. I find it demeaning to be undressed like a child.

4) Help me Keep my Body a Drug-Free Zone. I would much rather do exercises and stretches than take pills or allow injections. If you feel the desire to offer drugs, please do so only once. If I reject a treatment, please consider the topic closed. If I change my mind, I will bring it up.

5) Respect me. I am a strong, active, healthy person. I exercise daily. I eat a healthy diet. I am not litigious. I only seek your help in order to be more comfortable. It is my time, my money, my body and my choice.

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