Friday, January 09, 2009

Amazon.com: Patient, Heal Thyself: How the "New Medicine" Puts the Patient in Charge: Robert Veatch: Books

Amazon.com: Patient, Heal Thyself: How the "New Medicine" Puts the Patient in Charge: Robert Veatch: Books: "That's what this book is about: fitting the recommendation to the client's values, not the other way around.

This theme connects the chapters of the book. Veatch argues that doctors should not have a decision-making role because (a) they simply don't have all the information, (b) they are not qualified to make decisions involving resource allocation and (c) they cannot override an individual person's values.

Veatch illustrates with cases apparently used in medical school teaching environments. For example, a young man is diagnosed with liver disease. His HMO decides he is not a candidate for a transplant, but nobody tells him about options elsewhere. He dies soon afterward. He's wealthy so he might have chosen to pay for his own transplant elsewhere.

Veatch focuses on the individual physician's moral dilemma. The real question is, 'Can we rely on just one source for expertise?' People still get advice to 'Ask your doctor.' We'd do better to be told, 'Search the Internet.' The real conflict comes from the typical physician's arrogant attitude combined with the customer's need to fill the gaps on his own. ."

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