We Are The Enemy

Tom Jackman, Washington Post - June 23, 2015

(Via Eschaton)

I feel like this is another example of something disabled people encounter a lot from the medical profession … an underlying, mostly unstated belief that patients are the enemy.

We are stupid. We delude ourselves. We just want drugs. We crave attention. We whine and whimper and we should learn to suck it up. There’s always a “real story” we’re not telling. We lie.

I think this is part of medical culture, and it affects everyone. But disabled people experience it more often, because by definition we are harder to treat and figure out. It takes more effort to treat us, and almost nobody really likes having to work harder on the job. Plus, if our symptoms and complaints don’t match up with familiar patterns, it must be because we’re not telling things right, or maybe it’s all in our heads.
"The doctors then discussed “misleading and avoiding” the man after he awoke, and Shah reportedly told an assistant to convince the man that he had spoken with Shah and “you just don’t remember it.” Ingham suggested Shah receive an urgent “fake page” and said, “I’ve done the fake page before,” the complaint states. “Round and round we go. Wheel of annoying patients we go. Where it’ll land, nobody knows,” Ingham reportedly said."
I’m not saying that everyone in the medical profession thinks or acts the way the people in the article did. Most doctors and nurses are better than this, most of the time. But I think everyone in the profession recognizes the attitude. Other than outright greed, it is the medical profession’s principal dark side … seeing patients as obstacles or enemies to be overcome or outwitted.


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