Thursday, July 17, 2008

Can you keep a secret?

In the medical world, every time a patient walks in the room, the doctors are supposed to ask about the patient's history - basicly about the patient's sign and symptoms, the patient's past illness, any admissions to the hospital before or any surgeries done, social history, family history and so on.

This is because the patient's history does affect the type of treatment and the outcome of the treatment. Often the trouble comes when asking the social history of the patient. This is because the type of questions asked may sometimes change the perception of the doctor(or the public in general) towards the patients.

For instance, the MUST ASK questions include :

1) Does the patient smoke?
2) Does the patient take alcohol?
3) Is the patient sexually promiscuous?
4) Does the patient take recreational drugs?

Most patients would actually admit doing any of these (if they actually did), but some of them, a handful would actually deny doing it (although to be proven wrong when the investigation results come.)

Even me, if I were to be asked these questions, most probably I would deny doing any of it, even if I did. (But now as a medical student, if I did any, I would actually own up to it, because I know how it will affect the treatment.)

Bottomline - be responsible for your actions, accept the consequences later on.



Why do these patients act that way? Because the social stigma we have, the unwritten rule that people who do these sort of stuff are bad people, those who can't be successful in life, those who couldn't care less about anyone else but themselves.


Somehow, that is not exactly true. Many of those I've met actually have work, earns a decent living, takes good care of their children (if they have any) and actually respect others.


I know some people who actually lead the so-called decent lives : do not drink, not sexually promiscuous and does not take recreational drugs, but looks down on others. For instance they go to the mamak shop; treats the waiters like shit as if they are the only people who have money in the world, in the hospital; demands to be treated earlier than those who waited hours before they came, shouting for attention from the hospital staff, cursing under their breath, complaining about how crappy government hospitals are.

So much for being "good".

That's why those who actually are "social", those who actually answer yes to the 4 questions above would deny when asked these questions.

Because too many people would think differently about them.

Because they are afraid that people might treat them less as humans, as if they are second class beings.

Because maybe the loved ones might not be able to accept them as who they really are, but only the image the loved ones want them to be. (most of the times the loved ones don't even know that the patients do these stuff - until the doctor asks the patient, and the patient admits in front of the family member)

So if you actually know the truth; can you keep the secret?

Or would you be one of those ignorant people, turning your back against them asking for help, looking down on them and bad mouthing them to everyone as if you are so much greater of a human then they are?

1 comment:

Niss said...

u've been tagged!