Have you ever been to the doctor and been prescribed a medication, never ask about the possible side effects only to suffer from one of them later?
For some, this can be fatal mistake.
In this day and age we are faced with more medical decisions than ever before. And with so many amazing advances in technology and medicine we have access to more options in treatments. This is wonderful news in most cases because who doesn’t love options, right?! But there’s a scary reality in America concerning our healthcare…
Medical malpractice is the 3rd leading cause of death in our country.
Shocking, huh?? We likely have all faced medical decisions in the past and chances are high we will have to again at some point. Knowing this and knowing that atrocious statistic the next question we should ask ourselves is…
How do we make the right choices for ourselves??
I recently read the book Your Medical Mind: how to decide what is right for you by Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband and it talks all about just that. There are so many factors that go into why we choose or decline certain treatments. This book really dives into all this and I can’t recommend it enough. But what it all boils down to is this:
Informed choices and informed consent.
Being able to give informed consent to a procedure or medication means that you have been fully informed of all your choices, and that includes the always available option to accept no treatment at all. Of all your options, you weigh the risks and benefits and that information makes it easier to decide what is best for you and your family.
Of course, there are times when life happens so fast that we don’t have the time or luxury to compare all our options. Sometimes we have to simply trust in the medical professionals that we have chosen. But I also believe that nobody knows ourselves and our kids better than we do and as such, it is our duty to be as aware and educated as we can when it comes to our health and those who help us manage it.
If you are interested in reading this book (and I think everyone should!), you can check it out here: