Monday, January 6, 2014

Lump on a lung

I have spent the last ten years of my life doing what I was taught is a stand up and ethical profession with focus on treating others medically when they are in need. In the ten years I haven't learned near enough to have a truly respected opinion, however I will try to put that aside and tell it from my current understanding of what medicine is, and it's affects on our world. This is going to be perceived as a double edged sword and may even get me fired from my current profession, but as I lay in a hospital bed as a patient for the first time, wondering if my lung biopsy results will be horrible news, I feel incredibly inclined and morally obligated to speak my mind and the truth as it is seen by not only me, but many people in the lower echelon of healthcare.
Like any business or organizational structure there must be decisions made that often times border on unethical and or immoral. These decisions I venture to guess are much deeper and more involved than I wish to understand, but I do empathize with the folks in high up positions making these decisions.  First, they are making decisions that affect hundreds, sometimes thousands, of employees lifestyle and employment. This amount of pressure on one person I can only imagine leads to a very defensive, nervous, and paranoid personality. As the leader, you know you are constantly disappointing the people that work for you. This cannot be easy on individual psyche.

So, the upper aspect of any business is typically going to have it's immoral behavior, that seems to be a given with any large enterprise.  Where this potentially causes problems is when big business is associated with healthcare. So many people are sold into the idea of becoming a healthcare worker because the TV ads, commercials, billboards, magazines, parents, school counselors, friends, etc. All of them tell you it is a noble position where you can make a difference in the world.  I am not here to say you won't make a difference in the world, because you absolutely surely will, but it will be within the guidelines and under the auspice of the current medicinal structure as accepted worldwide. We in America have access to state of the art imaging, medicine, nuclear medicine, physician networks. We are very lucky. Medicine is not what I am trying to convey as the evil aspect of this obviously biased writing. What I truly believe drives medicine is money, dirty dirty money. If you are a healthcare worker you will understand what I am about to say.

Today's financially driven and greed based patient care has given birth to false hope for the ignorant. It is very convenient for those making the money, adding on to their hospitals, buying new jets, etc, but do not forget this money comes from very few places.  The primary source of funding the.greed is patient care. Now I question you this:  your grandmother is 97years old, is unable to speak as she has a trach in place and is dependent upon a mechanical ventilator.  She receives continuous feedings in a tube in her stomach, however continues to show degradation of health, losing weight, and beginning renal failure.  Over the night She slips out of the bed and breaks the greater trochanterich head of her left femur, with distal pulses, pallor, motor function, and sensory remaining present after the fall. STOP... I would like to know what you think is proper humane treatment of this woman at this point. Please comment if you would like. On to my rant:  here we have a lady that is going to be without question incredibly uncomfortable, not to mention malnourished, probably with skin breakdown from ulcerations from her bed ridden state. What if I told you I took this lady to get surgery to repair her femur? This is where we are filled with fake hope typically. We take such a beautiful opportunity to properly treat a human being, properly pad, and medicate her until she is in absolutely no discomfort. Instead, we take her to surgery, where chances r better she will develop some sort of life ending infection, and the focus will be consistently on the minor problems... The infection, the bones, the full Foley bag, the Shitty diaper, etc. This woman did not need this, and I have yet to meet a person who would appreciate such treatment.

I challenge all of you to look at death as beautiful as life, to adore death the way you adore birth, they are both complete beauty if done properly within our society's guidelines. No more dirty money. As life ends, in medicine, we need to learn to say no, not only for ourselves, but our loved ones too.

1 comment:

  1. So true. I'm speechless right now. But your words ring so true.