Treating a Patient As If They Were Your Mother

I am not sure why cardiologist Haider Warrich is surprised that the most compelling argument in favor of taking statins, for a particular unsophisticated patient, was the revelation that he had made the same recommendation to his father in a similar medical situation.  After all, isn't one of the best questions for those with limited medical research skills and limited time in which to ask questions the one that asks the provider what they would recommend were their mother the patient? Appears to cut right to the chase, doesn't it?

Of course, there is a lively dispute about whether doctors who treat every patient like their mother actually are more likely to harm their patients. So, there may well be  dangers in saying "treat me as you would your mother" but are those dangers as great as relying on what Warrich calls "Google medicine?" 

If there are good evidence-based reasons why we urge health providers not to provide care to close relatives, maybe none of us should want to be treated as any provider's mother would be. And maybe Dr. Warrich's solution is no solution at all. 



2 thoughts on “Treating a Patient As If They Were Your Mother”

  1. Interesting indeed . Yet , it is really missing the point , to claim that , I quote :
    empathy impairs our ability to rationally weigh evidence and make decisions free of cognitive bias.
    Or , on the other hand , I quote :
    being caring and empathic are qualities which are necessary in order to effectively perform one’s function as a physician, but are not goals to be achieved for their own sake
    End of quotation :
    This is because , the right model is the issue , not given alternatives. And what is the right model ?? Simply the understanding , that in order to achieve the best functioning , you must rely on emotional drive ( that is to say sympathy among others ) but , manage your feelings or mood management so , that one wouldn’t interrupt the other .
    One way to observe it indeed , is to observe actually , the medical negligence cases , and understand , that the amount of cases where physicians neglected the duty of care , is really substantial . Why it does happen ?? It does happen not once , because physicians lack the absolute dedication ( whether the passive one , means : not offering the highest standards of treatment , or , active one , that is to say , that the medical treatment , has fallen short or deviated from the commonly accepted standards ) .
    But, the emotional drive , with good or effective mood management ( separating the emotional perception , from the practical one ) may constitute the best model . Lacking dedication , absolute commitment , may affect also practically the performance .
    It is all in the head ( or mind or perception ) sometimes .That’s life ! When one is alerted , concentrated , dedicated , caring and loving , his intellectual capacity also , shall be in the highest shape . One can’t miss it .But , Just to separate it when needed. For this is the meaning of being , a real master , real professional .Being Emotionally seized , and intellectually or practically cool .


  2. Just one ( negligible ) illustration ( how emotional drive , may yield practically , better performance ) :
    It is well known , that constantly , there are new practices or new innovations in medicine . But, not all of them , are at once or instantly , granted general acceptance of course ( for example , the official approval of the F.D.A ) .
    But, when a physician is emotionally committed , he shall exhaust every cost , for exploring the best or newest methods for better treating his patient .
    Example :
    Removing tumors in the spinal cord , but , without hurting or damaging nerves ( and causing paralysis actually ) by using the utmost current sophisticated monitoring or imaging during the surgery for the removal of the tumors ( there was already a case , not in the US , where a patient , has claimed tort in court , because of not using new method not yet accepted , but lost partly ) .
    So , one needs sometimes , go beyond accepted standards , and explore further new literature or researches , or procedures , in order to at least offer , the utmost current and updated treatment .
    This is , one illustration , of emotional commitment , yielding also , best practical performance naturally .
    Here for example , good article ( but just mentioning the potential tort also , in looking and exploring for new methods ) and here is the abstract :
    Early adoption of a new medical device by a physician carries
    with it some degree of malpractice liability risk. The legal standard
    for malpractice varies from place to place, but generally requires an
    evaluation of the physician’s conduct either against that of a hypothetical “reasonable physician,” or else against professional custom.Where the use of a new device involves a significant departure from traditional modalities of care, and a bad clinical result follows,
    questions may arise about whether the legal standard for malpractice
    has been violated. We suggest that a liberal interpretation of the
    malpractice standard of care is appropriate, and even necessary to
    avoid the potential for perverse disincentives to technical innovation
    in medicine.
    Here :


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