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On April 12, 2011, Maureen Dowd wrote about her brother who died a few years ago from what might have been  a hospital-acquired infection. She reflects on how hard it is to confront another adult who is doing something reckless, or just plain wrong, especially when they are a professional. It is particularly hard when that professional is a doctor. She quotes Elizabeth Cohen:

“There are all sorts of reasons we default to being quiet,” she said. “It is general etiquette not to correct another adult, especially when this is their profession. But when the consequences are so grave, you have to summon up your courage.”

Dowd talks mostly about getting doctors to wash their hands, not exactly a controversial or complex medical issue. But, if people are so reluctant to confront a doctor about something so simple and obvious, just how will the patient-doctor encounter go for a complex and less obvious subject? And, how much will the sick or injured pay if they don’t?

With more difficult medical subjects, we usually get the mysterious, technical, definitive sounding language doctors use. It convinces patients that, well, this medical stuff is just too much for regular people to understand. To cut right to a fundamental problem, we have the absolute, legal monopoly that medical doctors have worked to establish for the last one-hundred years. Medical societies regularly campaigned to get doctors elected to state legislatures in the 1880s to write laws to drive out the competition. Their efforts continue through closed state boards. They do this either because they are certain, absolutely certain, that other practitioners are harming patients and they needed sole responsibility for our health—or possibly, MDs want more money and no competition from others who could demonstrate the MDs’ deficiencies. Take your pick.

This could be interpreted as terribly cynical, but then, everyone has their own medical story. Dowd certainly has hers. Whenever I tell, or hear someone else tell, of a medical problem that was left untreated for years because a doctor, or a series of doctors, clung to their medical school diagnosis rather than probe, think, and treat logically, some listener usually chimes in with something like, “Certainly, no doctor is going to send a patient home sick or harm them! They do the best they can!”. But then, a few seconds later comes their own story. It usually goes like this—a neighbor went in for routine orthopedic surgery and got a horrible infection. Or, someone’s foot was broken and hurt like hell for a year because the doctor didn’t order an MRI (probably because his group gets compensated more by the insurance company for ordering fewer and cheaper tests). Or, someone went to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain and they got a good dose of narcotics that didn’t do anything except clear the ER doc of immediate responsibility and get the patient out the door. (I have heard each of these stories, directly from the person affected.)

Because I am involved with a nonprofit looking at ignored and under-treated infectious diseases, the stories I often hear involve Lyme disease, more correctly called Lyme borreliosis.  I used to say Lyme borreliosis is a disease with the symptoms of syphilis, treatments like cancer’s, and the politics of AIDS. But, the last few years, I have changed this message, particularly the political part. Lyme politics often seems worse than AIDS politics. As one example, doctors are frequently sanctioned by state medical boards for testing too often for Lyme borreliosis. I have yet to hear of a doctor losing his license for ordering too many HIV tests.

Lyme borreliosis has a long and complex history, medical and political, but don’t even start down the road of saying we need to step back and rely solely on science. Particularly in medicine, and especially with borreliosis, science is often just a tool used by commercial and political forces for pushing an agenda. I am all for science that helps us understand our world, but science used to manipulate society for political power and corporate profit is despicable. Unfortunately, that is about all the science we are getting for borreliosis.

The other big problem is how the press reports on Lyme disease. Presenting it as a war between fractious doctor groups fits the current donnybrook reporting model, but does little to educate or inform. And, when the press, and readers, assess the accuracy of an opinion by the celebrity or position of the speaker rather than substance, we all lose, except maybe for the medical politicians working to distort the picture.

Like Dowd, people do have their stories. With Lyme borreliosis, the story is distressingly repetitive: suddenly got sick; went to the doctor; told they were crazy or lazy with nothing really wrong; then, diagnosed with MS, ME/CFS, lupus, or fibromyalgia;  became sicker and sicker;  saw more and more doctors;  finally stumbled upon someone who knew about Lyme borreliosis and associated infections; got treated; and, depending on how long the disease had been neglected and how good the treating doctor was, got better to varying degrees.

I have been asked to write more about some of the specifics of Lyme borreliosis by the Lyme Disease Awareness group here at dKos. We need to remember that specific diseases are but a single manifestation of the disaster of medical care in the U.S. We need a better discussion of complex medical issues than I have seen lately, too.

Good for Maureen Dowd, from her New York Times bully pulpit, for suggesting we need to be more assertive with our doctors. Now the challenge is to shed light on more complicated issues like Lyme borreliosis, a difficult systemic infection like syphilis, hard to treat and hard to understand. Citizens need to ask the right things and assert the obvious at the doctor’s office. They need to report what they experience there, too. Our online world lets us do it. It is a good place to start.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nothing done by humans is going to come out (4+ / 0-)

    perfect.  Doctors need to have the humility to listen to their patients, the nurses that work with them, and others and be willing to learn.

    That said, even if the medical system was improved greatly, medical outcomes are still not always going to be positive and I don't think it is realistic to expect them to be. Humankind does not yet have the knowledge to deal with the complex biological systems around us with wisdom; throw money in the mix and now wonder disasters happen.

    My thoughts on this are probably not coherent - I've worked with doctors and see if from both points of view, I suppose.  

  •  One of the things that continues to (13+ / 0-)

    amaze me, is the difference between medical practice and engineering.

    In an engineering firm, a high level engineer down to a designer or drafter each get used to the culture of review and mark up.  

    The smallest section of a drawing, a specification or a letter to a client written by the project engineer are all reviewed by lower then high level employees.

    If it is a contract altering design piece, tricky letter, or significant spec that may affect other parts of the design, a high level engineer, project manager or firm principal, must sign the document.

    Getting used to 'over the shoulder reviews" red and green pencil markups and sometimes intense arguments are all done to prevent errors, ensure it will work, and not hurt anyone.

    With human lives, one on one in a small room for eight to ten minutes, life affecting decisions are made without review.

    We need to change the model.

  •  I'm glad they drove out the competition. (2+ / 0-)

    The competition are, by and large, harmful quacks. From chiropractors to naturopaths to homeopaths, those people do not practice medicine. At best they might not harm you further, at worst they could paralyze you (e.g. through neck manipulation by a chiro) or kill you (e.g. needle insertion in the chest by acupuncturists).

    I agree with most of the rest of what you said, that patients do need to remember that doctors are not mini-Gods and that they don't know everything, but the part about doctors "driving out the competition" bothered me. I've read up on the fake medicine industries, and they really do hurt a lot of people who don't know better, from supplements that contain harmful chemicals to encouraging not getting necessary vaccinations to paralysis and death.

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:21:37 PM PDT

    •  What happens when an M.D. fails to diagnose? (7+ / 0-)

      There are a bunch of infections very commonly missed by M.D.s because there is a belief that the infection does not exist or is not common.  Do you believe that long-term ommission is harmful for a patient if it causes, for instance, seizures or encephelopathy?

      These are verifiable bacterial infections.  And the patients who live with them undiagnosed often fall out of the workforce because they are not offered treatment.  A good number of them eventually die from the unchecked infection.

      Is this an acceptable situation to you?  

      ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

      by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:31:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What happens when a quack falsely diagnoses? (2+ / 0-)

        What happens when he recommends a "treatment" which, at best, is expensive and does nothing, as you aren't sick with what he diagnosed you with? Or you get worse both from not being treated for your real illness and from the treatment?

        Why on earth would you go to someone who has no medical skills rather than a doctor, a nurse, a nurse practitioner?

        Is this an acceptable situation to you?

        "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

        by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:43:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You guys are both right. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allergywoman, marykk
        •  Twenty-four doctors failed to recognize (5+ / 0-)

          my infection.  It happened to be an M.D. who DID recognize me and tested me for it, but she specializes in overlooked diseases and has an alternative emphasis to her practice.

          The answer to your question is that a person gets information before they choose a provider and if they do not get information or assistance they need, then they make other choices.  Is it perfect?  No.  But in my case the 'definitive' answer from multiple doctors was that I was just depressed and not sick.  The hypocratic oath instructs physicians to first do no harm.  Harm was definitely done to me.

          Which is not to say that I have abandoned the medicine which failed me for many years.  I actually do stay with allopathic medicine, but it has let me down substantially and I have lost a full handful of years of productive life for not being treated.  My infection is KNOWN from positive tests to be infecting nearly 40,000 Americans a year, and CDC says the actual number of infections is likely six to twelve times higher.  

          People with medical skills are great, but they don't always know what they are doing either.  

          ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

          by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:07:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think maybe you are misunderstanding me. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ebohlman, MsGrin, marykk

            I'm sorry if I wasn't clear.

            A very close friend of mine in college suffered for years with rheumatic-type symptoms. It took her nearly thirty years to find a practitioner who noticed the dark circles under her eyes, knew about allergies, and tested her for milk allergy. Sure enough, she eliminated milk from her diet, and her tiredness, regular breakdowns, and other rheumatic symptoms disappeared.

            My main objection is to quacks. While medical doctors aren't perfect, I have seen the harm these pill-pushers do. I've seen "doctors" on the Internet suggesting people with food allergies try to desensitize themselves to their allergies alone at home (NO! best way to end up dead there is). So when I see someone, as the diarist appeared to, saying that medicine needs "competition" from the outside, I am very sensitive to that.

            "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

            by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:14:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sometimes, we have to unravel mysteries (5+ / 0-)

              My osteopath helped my spine considerably when I bruised my tailbone - it reduced a lot of pain.  In my experience, chiropractors can do as well.

              I think there is an art to wellness.  I know that in Europe, alternative practices have substantially more science invoved than they do here.  Aromatherapy, for instance, has quite a respected literature in the U.K. and France and I was stunned to see studies evaluating the relative properties of flower essence depending on rainfall variation.  I thought it was far more woo-woo before I bumped into that information.  Fact of the matter is that our reptilian brain can lead our emotions, and it really seems that there are non-medical ways we can impact that.  In some cases, that stuff works.  I think people should find what works for them.

              'Science' does not always cover all circumstances - I've had a helluva time getting cardiac meds dosed correctly because the studies done on them are typically done on men.  Minimal levels of meds for a mid-sized man have knocked me out.  Doesn't mean I don't need that med, just means it take a doc to work with me who can observe with me how things are working.

              If medicine fails someone, I think it's a good idea to try out other ideas.  Like I said, I go allopathic first - I have an artificial heart valve and am dependent on warfarin, so just about anything I injest or rub on can impact how thick my blood is.  

              But Bach flower essences can help get me to sleep when I'm challenged that way.  I love the idea of placebos, but that's not what's going on for me when I take that stuff.

              The world's an interesting and complex place.  I just want to find what actually works for me.  I hope others find what works for them.

              ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

              by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:30:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And I'm sincerely concerned as well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                that people will waste money on something that at best won't help, and at worst will harm them. I am convinced, for example, that if you allow a chiropractor to manipulate your neck, you're flirting with becoming a quadriplegic. I am convinced if you're having stomach problems, you don't need to pay a chiro for chlorophyll (a "serious" recommendation from the one I worked for).

                I understand the male/female problems...hell, do we even have knee replacements designed for women yet, or are we still stuck with the smallest "male" size? But I also understand that the science just isn't there for most of it, and what there is shows serious risk to people who put themselves in the hands of alternative practitioners.

                If you can just remember I am really acting out of concern for your health, I'll remember you are too. :)

                "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

                by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:54:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I want people to do what works for them (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ZenTrainer, churchylafemme

                  ...and I want people to allow me to do what works for me.  

                  I'm not inclined to throw dollars after things which don't work because I just don't have the money.  But in my state, I'm Contitutionally allowed to choose with my physician what does work for me as long as it is consistent with a school of medicine.  I just want to be free to live as my rights theoretically allow.

                  By all means, please stay safe and well and do what works for you.  :-)

                  ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

                  by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 09:03:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Can't say I agree. (0+ / 0-)

                    The science says all alt "medicine," even the magical European variety, is fake, whether or not you believe it works for you.

                    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

                    by allergywoman on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 08:25:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Your story reminds me (5+ / 0-)

                of something I read a few years ago. Many individuals seem to need about 5% of the dose suggested in the PDR for certain meds.

                I also heard an endocrinologist say he had found two distinct populations in his patients, the two groups responded quite differently to a drug. But, lump them all together and you got a bell-shaped curve when you plotted all their responses.

                Of course, what every prescribing doctor needed to know was did he have an A or B patient. Instead, they were struggling to move everyone to the 50th percentile.

                The world is indeed complex.

    •  I don't want to go off topic. (5+ / 0-)

      In "The Social Transformation of American Medicine" - The rise of a sovereign profession and the making of a vast industry - Paul Starr devotes chapter three 'The Consolidation of Professional Authority, 1850-1930' to this process.

      As we know there are quacks and very harmful practitioners in all aspects of professional society including engineering (my field).

      I used to believe as you do now, but through seeing in others and finally myself the good that can be done by a licensed, supervised well trained chiropractor or acupuncturist I have moved in my understanding and belief.  

      For the record I have had a bad chiropractor, once.  And I have had bad doctors.  I saw a building collapse that my company was working on when the concrete truck kept pouring onto people out of sight, who lost their footing and were buried. Poor construction design.

      I had an acupuncturist for quite a few years (not for several now), and the hair thin needles couldn't have reached my heart in any way.

      You are right about the fake medicine arenas, but it is not black and white which would make it easier for us. People who are not respected in sickness or cannot afford medical care often turn to questionable help. Those who want to help the sick but cannot tolerate check box medicine turn to other types of practice.

      In Europe the use of naturapathic, homeopathy and herbal medicine is side by side and not differentiated as it is in the US.  Citizens, doctors and pharmacies use them all quite comfortably.

      As with lawyers, engineers, or any other profession, especially those working with people, our society needs a new model and thorough rebuilding of our trust.

      •  They need to read Trick or Treatment, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        then. Sadly, all the scientific analyses of alternative medicine at best seem to show it may not physically harm you, but it doesn't help you, either. It's no better than placebo, and it may undermine even that effect when you find that out as well.

        I've had bad doctors, too. I was raised in a natural foods vegetarian household, so I know a lot of doctors aren't very well-educated in nutrition. But that doesn't mean anyone should reject all of scientific medicine just because doctors are sometimes wrong, any more than one should give up having engineers design bridges (or whoever does :D ) because sometimes bridges collapse.

        "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

        by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:10:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You should read (0+ / 0-)

      Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn't.
      Mark Twain

      by phaktor on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 12:31:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So glad you diaried this Joel! (5+ / 0-)

    Was reading her piece today and was hoping someone would  :-)

    There are at least a half dozen bills right now before the Texas legislature about which the Texas Medical Association is taking and interest and a position.  One of them is a bill on Tick-borne diseases - not sure what they're exact position will be on it yet.

    But from what little I have read, they are being EXTREMELY aggressive about turf protection with regards to chiropractors in other bills.  Apparently, they REALLY do not want non-medical-doctors to be offering, for instance, nurtirion guidance for patients with diabetes.  

    From a patient's perspective, especially since word on the street is that nutrition education is generally an elective element in medical school ciriculum, it doesn't seem to make any sense outside of being a financial concern for these providers.  

    ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

    by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:25:05 PM PDT

    •  I worked for a chiropractor. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Trust me, chiros don't know more about nutrition than anyone else. In my experience, they know far less.

      "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

      by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:26:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Chiropractors are best at (3+ / 0-)

        spinal alignment and such.

        When I want an expert on nutrition I go to a Nutritionist.

        And I screen all my doctors. If a nutritionist tells me it's ok to drink soda pop every day I get a new one.

        If a chiropractor wants to give me an adjustment every day I get a new one.

        If my internist wants to give me an antibiotic for every cold I get a new one.

        When an oncologist wanted me to get chemo to improve my chance of survival by 2% I got a new one.

        My surgeon delights in telling his interns that I interviewed him before I hired him. He says "See, she hired me!"

        I don't know if he's pointing out a new medical model that is consumer driven or what an oddity I am, but we get along and he gets that I am in charge of my health.

        Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

        by ZenTrainer on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:03:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The difficulty is getting good information (0+ / 0-)

          to medical consumers. The non-medicine herbal market is as much based on hype and marketing as the regular drug market is, and a lot of people, for whatever reason, don't seem to know that.

          Now, it seems from what you've said you generally have made the effort to get good information (though really? Seriously? Do not let a chiro anywhere near your neck, please?). Good. And you were lucky to find a good doctor.

          Again, I'm not saying people shouldn't keep on searching for better doctors...I'm saying don't get distracted by non-doctors who could end up hurting you.

          "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

          by allergywoman on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:21:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  LOL! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mint julep, churchylafemme

            Chiropractors have been near or at my neck for years and I am alive to tell the tale and much healthier and pain free because of it. (I may be in the majority here which is probably why malpractice insurance for chiropractors is so low.)

            My Acupuncturist puts needles all over me and cures an amazing number of my ailments (and the AMA backs this up.)

            I was not so much lucky to find good doctors as I am good at researching and interviewing.

            I read a lot of medical studies and I check my sources. For example a study of a drug that was funded by a pharmaceutical company doesn't carry a whole lot of weight with me but 2000 years of anecdotal records do.

            I don't have a whole lot of faith in allopathic medicine. It's too new and has the potential to do so much harm. But it does have it's place.

            I am pretty holistic meaning "whole".

            I've noticed with my cancer that some with the same cancer are fine doing whatever any doctor says. I ask questions and want answers that are backed up with evidence.

            But that's just what makes me comfortable, to each their own.

            I will say, as someone else noted, that other countries are a bit more advanced and inclusive when it come to the  medicine. Oddly (or maybe not) almost all of my doctors have also worked in other countries so seem quite open minded.

            Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

            by ZenTrainer on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 10:38:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  With doctors, as with financial (3+ / 0-)

    planners and other professionals, you have to be your own advocate. If one doctor isn't making the grade it's a good idea to seek out alternative opinions. Admittedly other issues--like whether other doctors take certain insurances--make this harder.

    •  We need responsibile choices available (6+ / 0-)

      and two things can keep this from happening. First, you can have artificially maintained monopolies. Second, you can have non-transparency.

      It is not a monopoly based on  MDs, vs naturopaths, vs chiropractors, vs osteopaths, vs other treaters. It is more insidious. With borreliosis, MDs successfully treating the disease are called before boards simply for not conforming. The accuser can be an insurance company or just another jealous doctor. In many states, the medical board proceedings are confidential. The result is patients no longer have access to a successful doctor.

  •  I'm uninsured (6+ / 0-)

    I don't have a doctor

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 06:50:41 PM PDT

    •  Blessings to you (4+ / 0-)

      I hope the recent legal changes are getting us closer to covering everyone.  Be well.

      ‘When you look at the... wealth controlled by the top 1%... it’s tempting to see our growing inequality as a quintessentially American achievement—we started way behind the pack, but now we’re doing inequality on a world-class level’ Joseph E. Stiglitz

      by MsGrin on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 07:13:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you are ok. It is not acceptable (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsGrin, ZenTrainer, marykk, churchylafemme

      in our society to not have access to good medical care. Everyone should be able to have annual comprehensive checkups.

      •  An annual physical (3+ / 0-)

        saved my spouse's life.

        He's required to get one for work (DMV requirement as a professional transit driver), and in the last contract the union got the district to agree that drivers could use their own personal doctor instead of the clinic the district contracts with, as long as the driver paid for it. My spouse prefers our personal care doctor because she does a damn good job, so he went there; during the exam she noted a strange mass in his scrotum and gave him a referral to Urology. A few months later, a cancerous testicle was removed. Fortunately the cancer was non-aggressive and limited to that one testicle, and 3 years later there's no sign of return. But without that check, who knows what would have happened?

        Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

        by Cali Scribe on Fri Apr 15, 2011 at 11:43:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much of medicine is not evidence-based (3+ / 0-)

    If you read medical journal articles, and if you have any research or statistical training, you will be horrified.  On top of that, eight journals in the last few years  have turned out to be drug company productions, that were offering well-known MDs the "honor" of being listed as (uninvolved) lead author on drug-company-written articles.

    Most publishing doctors mean well, I think - they document and report all their research procedures carefully, including the experimental design features and statistical analyses that completely invalidate their conclusions.

    Despite good intentions, though, practicing MDs don't actually know what they DON'T know, and so they don't listen to their patients.  But they do know that they are evaluated on how closely they follow "best practice" recommendations - also usually not evidence-based, and usually involving lots of potentially harmful tests and lots of drug prescriptions.

    MDs also seem to expect their patients to keep getting worse and to die.  They think patients should accept that, too, without fussing.

    We really need to do our own research on everything involving with our own health.

    •  No, much of medicine is "evidence-based" (0+ / 0-)

      I have  no clue what you are talking about. "We really need to do our own research....", where? On the internet? Did you know that all patient literature is written to a seventh grade level? Why? So, you can understand it. With no training and no education, everyone is an instant expert, courtesy of the internet.

      •  Read the journals the MDs read, (0+ / 0-)

        don't read the patient literature.  Besides being written at a 7th grade level, it is often 20 years behind the data.

        A good place to start is Or a Google search.  Or a good library.  It's there and available.  Critical thinking is important, even when dealing with "experts."  It's your body and your life, after all.

  •  Hand washing? Bio of Ignatz Semmelweis, 1818–1865: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Regina in a Sears Kit House

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

    by lotlizard on Sat Apr 16, 2011 at 12:24:48 AM PDT

  •  Nurse checking in here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Regina in a Sears Kit House

    I read Maureen's commentary somewhere else before and to be honest, I was quite offended. So here is my two cents. We are more than aware of the danger and the spread of hospital acquired infections. We have ongoing quality control projects in place to deal with them. We have implemented everything from rigorous testing to complete nurse-pt isolation. Nothing is working. I don't wear jewelry anymore, not evena wedding ring. I haven't had fake nails since 1995. I shower with antibacterial soaps. I scrub my nails. I won't even shake your hand without a glove on. Tell me, what more can I do? How many of you have ever had your nares swabbed? I think you would be surprised what you are carrying up there. Hospitals are where the sick people go. /i have seen people die with influenza, staph infections, etc. We are not oblivious. Sorry for the rant. As for the alternative med. posts on here, if something works for you, use it. Finally, you can trust your healthcare workers. The vast majority of us are not getting rich at your expense.

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