Friday, July 13, 2018

Why do IVF patients feel cheated ?

One of the things which irritates a lot of patients about IVF clinics is that they get inconsistent information from their clinic. Different doctors in the same clinic give them completely different advice. Because there's so much turnover among junior doctors in these clinics, no one says the same thing at different visits, as a result of which patients get completely confused , and don't know whom to believe or trust.
This is one of the reasons why there are so many last-minute changes in their treatment protocol, without any adequate explanation. There’s a complete lack of transparency and the treatment is delivered on an ad hoc basis, depending upon whether the senior doctor is travelling or not. When taking the fees, the clinic promises to do a blastocyst transfer, and then finally ends up doing a Day 2 or Day 3 transfer , without providing any explanation to the patient. This is why patients will often get upset and unhappy, and will feel cheated.
The problem becomes even worse after the IVF cycle fails. Before the cycle, doctors are in sell modem and are happy to tell patients what they want to hear. They want the patient to sign up, so they over-promise and make all kinds of false claim, "Yes, our success rates are brilliant and all the patients we treated last month got pregnant. Don’t worry, of course we will get you pregnant as well – you are young and don’t have any major medical problem." However, when the cycle fails , they end up singing a completely different tune ! They blame the patient for the failure, saying, "Oh, your eggs weren't good ; or your sperm wasn't good because there’s a lot of DNA fragmentation." They then offer all kinds of alternative options , and suggest that patients use donor eggs or donor sperm for the next cycle. As a sweetener, they even offer a discount for the next cycle, so the patient is impressed as to how caring and considerate the doctor is !
Now IVF patients are extremely vulnerable , and many will even say yes because they are desperate. However, it's not surprising that they believe they have been cheated. They many not have the courage to speak up, but they feel, "If there was a problem with my eggs or sperm , why didn't you tell me that when I came to you for the consultation , before I started the IVF cycle? Why are you telling me this now? Are you manufacturing problems to save your own skin ?  Why is what you are you telling me now is so different from what you first told me?"
Unfortunately, it's very difficult to hold doctors accountable. There is very little documentation, and doctors refuse to be transparent or open. Patients feel they're at their mercy , and are forced to do whatever the doctor tells them. This is especially true when doctors in smaller towns take advantage of their patient’s ignorance and exploit their naivete. The tragedy is that all IVF doctors start getting a reputation of being unscrupulous cheats !
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