Friday, July 02, 2010

Did the doctor cheat us ?

I got this email from a patient today.

I am 28 years old . I require your help. Recently I had a IVF done through the doctor based in Mumbai. The doctor had extracted around 10 ovums and informed that they were of very good quality.

Ovum pickup was on 1st June and he got 6 healthy embryos and he transferred 3 healthy embryos on 3rd june and advised complete bed rest with progesterone tablets to be inserted in the vagina and other injections and tablets etc. He was saying many times that everything is fine and confirmed 110% pregnancy as everything was fine. My uterus was strong etc. etc. I had blood test done on 19th June and it confirmed pregnancy. I was very happy. Later again on 24th when the blood test was done he said the foetus did not grew properly and got aborted. I started bleeding on 26th and my bleeding was normal like periods there was no heavy blood clots etc. when I checked with the doctor about the next steps to be taken he said I can got for IUI, IVF or even for natural pregnancy as we both are healthy.

I am finding it too difficult to believe that I had a miscarriage when everything was fine.

Doctor can you please help as to why this happened. What can be done next. Did the doctor cheat us ?

It's highly likely that this patient was in fact cheated ! Any doctor who talks about a 100% pregnancy is not likely to be very reliable. But rather than criticise this doctor, I feel this patient was begging to be cheated. She is remarkably poor informed about her treatment and does not even what her blood test result was on 19th June. While patients should trust their doctors, they cannot afford to trust the doctor blindly and a " trust, but verify" policy works best !

I have always felt that there's little point in talking to doctors about ethical medical practise. Good doctors will always be ethical , and do not need to be told anything. Bad doctors will never improve, no matter what you tell them ! The secret for making sure doctors are ethical is for patients to take a proactive approach, and to make sure they are well-informed about what is happening to them. Any doctor who talks about 110% success should immediately raise a red flag that he is over-promising ! It's best to do your homework and be well-prepared, rather than harbor a suspicion later on that your doctor may have cheated you !
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