By A. Phoenix
Doctor, please don’t kill me.
This is not a joke. It is not sarcasm. It is not meant to be inflammatory. It is a legitimate request.
And while we’re at it, can you please not harm me either?
I would strongly prefer not to be intimidated, belittled, or coerced into any medical procedures, and I would sure love it if you would disclose the risks of the procedures accurately and leave the scare tactics at home.
I would also like not to be bankrupted to come see you. Can we discuss what your recommendations are going to cost me before I agree to be billed for them?
I have a legitimate health concern, and I could use some help. If you’re interested in helping me heal, I would be much more comfortable as your patient if you would be willing to guarantee that you will abide by these requests.
I have very good reasons for making these requests. I have been harmed by doctors. Not just once, but many times in my life. From the injury at birth that left me half-deaf for life, to a botched surgery to correct the birth injury, to misdiagnoses that almost killed me, to a birth trauma that left me scarred and almost paralyzed and my infant daughter almost killed, a vaccine injury that permanently disabled my nephew, my daughter’s arm wasn’t set right and had to be surgically rebroken and reset… sadly, I could keep going. I have been harmed by more doctors in my life than I ever care to remember.
After 5 years of a steadily worsening mystery condition, that I had to admit my home remedies were not addressing, I finally went back to a doctor to try and get some help. My new doctor says I have PTSD from doctors. Given my history of harm and my obsession with preventing medical harm, and my total avoidance of doctors and anxiety and losing sleep when I have upcoming appointments, uncontrollable shaking and crying while in a doctor office… I can see it. Sounds like an accurate diagnosis to me.
Too bad that the current testing I did consent to revealed nothing useful, was mishandled, caused a couple new wounds, and cost me an unconscionable fortune.
I can take consolation in the fact that I am not alone. Medical harm is the 3rd leading cause of death (1) in this country. Medical mistakes that harm but don’t necessarily kill patients occur 40,000 times per day(2). Despite the astronomical rate of errors in a medical setting, the doctor is unlikely to ever tell you about it (3). These errors are also astronomically costly in terms of money, with estimates of $1 Trillion spent per year on medical mistakes (4). All of these are likely underestimates of the actual toll of medical harm in the US.
This system has no incentive to change. The more mistakes they make, the more medication and procedures they sell, the more money the system rakes in, the more the shareholders are happy. The system profits off its inefficiencies, inaccuracies and lack of cures. Please show me which pharmaceutical executives and hospital boards would willingly give up that $1 Trillion in market share.
Not only that, but the system is moving to kill all competition from safer and cheaper alternatives. Health reporting is becoming criminalized (5), access to natural supplements is being threatened (6), and there is a big push to mandate risky medical procedures across the entire nation for every man, woman and child, no exceptions or exemptions (7).
So I am very serious in my request that you please don’t kill me. Deadly serious.
Do you take my request seriously? Do you take the oath to “First do no harm” or had that part of the teaching been expunged by the time you got your degree (8)? Do you properly perform informed consent (9) on all procedures that you do? Or do you shortcut that part if you feel it is in your patient’s “best interest” when the law conveniently allows you not to do so (10)?
Given how dismal the track record of doctors has been in my own life, and the likelihood of harm statistically… I am far more likely to be killed by a doctor than by any communicable disease (1) … how can you call what you do “health care”? Should an industry labeled “health care” be the 3rd leading cause of death? If this is the reality, can you agree that there is something very wrong with this picture?
Are you willing to take responsibility for the unintended consequences of the system in which you practice?
So I ask you again… Doctor, can you please not kill me?
Let’s start our relationship right there. Because I could actually really use some help.