I am a spiritual person. I'm a Catholic. I treat my patients, the dead patients, as live patients. I believe there is life after death. And I talk to my patients. I talk to them, not loudly but quietly in my heart when I look at them. Before I do an autopsy, I must have a visual contact with the face.
I think the way we think about cancer, the way we treat cancer, has dramatically changed in the last century. There is an enormous amount of options that a physician can provide today, right down from curing patients, treating patients or providing patients with psychic solace or pain relief.
Operating-room errors hold a special terror for patients, if only because they seem like the most avoidable kind of complications. The occasional horror stories of patients who have the wrong leg removed or the wrong knee replaced generate the most headlines, as do tales of patients whose identities are mixed up entirely.
The rhythm of music is very, very important for people with Parkinson's. But it's also very important with other sorts of patients, such as patients with Tourette's syndrome. Music helps them bring their impulses and tics under control. There is even a whole percussion orchestra made up exclusively of Tourette's patients.
A study of over 10,000 patients shows clearly that chemo's supposedly strong track record with Hodgkin's disease (lymphoma) is actually a lie. Patients who underwent chemo were 14 times more likely to develop leukemia and 6 times more likely to develop cancers of the bones, joints, and soft tissues than those patients who did not undergo chemotherapy .
Treating only terminal cancer patients, the Rand (anti-cancer) vaccine produced objective improvement in 35% of 600 patients while another 30% demonstrated subjective improvement. FDA stopped the vaccine's use in a federal court hearing where neither the cancer patients nor their doctors were allowed to testify.
The mind controls so much of the body. We are much more than flesh and blood; we are complex systems. Patients do better when they have faith that they're going to do better. That's why I always tell my patients and their families not to neglect their prayers. There's nobody I don't say that to.
Dr Power stood up. 'Because your staff are not components that can be fitted in, or replaced when they are unpredictable, or when they are simply being human. Because our patients are not playing a game called 'business' with profit and loss and winners and losers. Because patients have no choice, but to be patients and it's our privilege to be in a temporary position where we can help them. And, inevitably, when we ourselves fall ill; when we grow old, then we can only hope that we will receive the help we ourselves need in turn. Because that's the reality of life. And not some self-aggrandising game". - Dr Power, speaking in The Good Shepherd
Money spent on vegetative patients is money not spent on preventive care, such as flu shots and mammograms. Each night in an ICU bed for such patients is a night that another patient with a genuine prognosis for recovery is denied such high-end care. Every dollar exhausted on patients who will never wake up again is a dollar not devoted to finding a cure for cancer.
Jacob M. Appel
In thirty years I have treated many patients. Among all my patients in the second half of life, every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age had given their followers, and none of them was really healed who did not regain his religious outlook.
A study led by the Harvard researcher Nicholas Christakis asked the doctors of almost five hundred terminally ill patients to estimate how long they thought their patient would survive, and then followed the patients. Sixty-three per cent of doctors overestimated survival time. Just seventeen per cent underestimated it. The average estimate was five hundred and thirty per cent too high. And, the better the doctors knew their patients, the more likely they were to err.
"There are one or two elementary rules to be observed in the way of handling patients," he remarked, seating himself on the table and swinging his legs. "The most obvious is that you must never let them see that you want them. It should be pure condescension on your part seeing them at all; and the more difficulties you throw in the way of it, the more they think of it. Break your patients in early, and keep them well to heel."
Arthur Conan Doyle
But being able to talk to so many patients from so many walks of life gives a tremendous window into people's lives. This is not to say I want to write about individual patients, but I think that after listening to the concerns of people who are so different from me, I can more realistically portray characters who are so different from me.
I tell patients that tranquilizers alone never cure anyone. They merely reduce the intensity of the symptoms and make life slightly more endurable. They create a better behaved, chronic dependent person. Only with orthomolecular treatment can the majority of schizophrenic patients hope to become well and normally independent.
Cancer patients are increasingly turning to alternative and complementary therapies to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life and boost their ability to cope with stress. We wanted to see if the creative process involved in making art is healing and life-enhancing. Our study provides beginning evidence for the important role art therapy can play in reducing symptoms. Art therapy provides a distraction that allows patients to focus on something positive instead of their health for a time, and it also gives patients something they can control.
My own studies on the natural history of DID indicate only 20% of DID patients have an overt DID adaption on a chronic basis, and 14% of them deliberately disguise their manifestations of DID. Only 6% make their DID obvious on an ongoing basis. Eighty percent have windows of diagnosability when stressed or triggered by some significant event, interaction, situation or date. Therefore, 94% of DID patients show only mild or suggestive evidence of their conditions most of the time. Yet DID patients often will acknowledge that their personality systems are actively switching and/or far more active than it would appear on the surface (Loewenstein et al., 1987). R.P. Kluft (2009) A clinician's understanding of dissociation. pp 599-623.
Paul F. Dell
The vast majority of people who speak to me say they have had brilliant care. When they are critical, their concern tends not to be directed at the medical side but the ancillary things that surround it, such as helping patients to eat meals, cleanliness, and making sure that when patients have a problem, they are listened to.
I think doctors are really suffering now. They're suffering in the sense that they feel torn between serving their patients in the best way they can and dealing with all of requirements of the insurance companies and the HMOs and the hassles and the paper work and the increasing pressures to do less and less for their patients.
We went through the records and we found over five hundred of his patients who were alive and well five years after their treatment, with no cancer. And Dr. Burton didn't selectively give us these. These were "take what you want. Here are the patients I treated." So there was statistical improvement - more so than any cancer institution in the United States could show.
The main reason why clinicians may not diagnose personality disorders is that they think that doing so supports therapeutic pessimism. Recent research has shown this is not true; most patients get better, either with time or with treatment, that the prognosis is actually better than in many patients with severe mood and anxiety disorders.
The patients often try to starve themselves, to hang themselves, to cut their arteries; they beg that they may be burned, buried alive, driven out into the woods and there allowed to die. One of my patients struck his neck so often on the edge of a chisel fixed on the ground that all the soft parts were cut through to the vertebrae.
If there is one lesson that I have learned during my life as an analyst, it is the lesson that what my patients tell me is likely to be true - that many times when I believed that I was right and my patients were wrong, it turned out, though often only after a prolonged search, that my rightness was superficial whereas their rightness was profound.
In 1975, the respected British medical journal Lancet reported on a study which compared the effect on cancer patients of (1) a single chemotherapy, (2) multiple chemotherapy, and (3) no treatment at all. No treatment 'proved a significantly better policy for patients' survival and for quality of remaining life.'
The USDHEW calculates that 7% of all patients suffer compensable injuries while hospitalized .....One out of every five patients admitted to a typical research hospital acquires an iatrogenic (Caused by the treatment process) disease, one case in thirty leading to death. Half of these episodes result from complications of drug therapy; amazingly, one in ten come from diagnostic procedures.
When the FDA forces an old drug off the market, patients have very little say in the matter. Patients have even less of a say when the FDA chooses not to approve a new drug. Instead, we are supposed to rely on the FDA's judgment and be grateful. But can the FDA really make a choice that is appropriate for everyone? Of course not.
Analysis helps patients put their unconscious procedural memories and actions into words and into context, so they can better understand them. In the process they plastically retranscribe these procedural memories, so that they become conscious explicit memories, sometimes for the first time, and patients no longer need to "relive" or "reenact" them, especially if they were traumatic. (229-230)
Because of the war on drugs, pain patients are treated with skepticism and pain doctors live in fear of being prosecuted for overprescribing. The end result is that addicts still get their opioids without much trouble, while genuine patients often can't find treatment. Those who do must typically be tracked in a database and must schedule frequent, expensive doctor visits for surveillance like urine testing.
We should listen less to the opinions of those who either overtly promote or stubbornly reject complementary and alternative medicine without acceptable evidence. The many patients who use complementary and alternative medicine deserve better. Patients and healthcare providers need to know which forms are safe and effective. Its future should (and hopefully will) be determined by unbiased scientific evaluation.
A central notion in the Affordable Care Act was we had an inefficient system with a lot of waste that didn't also deliver the kind of quality that was needed that often put health care providers in a box where they wanted to do better for their patients, but financial incentives were skewed the other way, we don't need to reinvent the wheel -- you're already figuring out what works to reduce infections in hospitals or help patients with complicated needs.
In the Awakenings movie I found it very interesting that the most profound awakenings in the catatonic patients occurred in 1969, the year that the Aurora Borealis was seen from N.Y. to Louisiana. It seems the patients were getting environmental radiation stimulation in addition to their L-Dopa drug that year. L-Dopa plus radiation therapy may eventually be proven to be a very potent brain stimulant.
Doctors should recognise the importance of the five human values; Truth, righteousness, Peace, Love and Non-violence. Love is the basis for all the other values. Doctors can infuse courage in patients by the love they show towards the patients. If doctors carry out their duties with love they will be crowned with success.
Sathya Sai Baba
In this, then, lies their power of understanding-understanding, without words, what is authentic or inauthentic. Thus it was the grimaces, the histrionisms, the false gestures and, above all, the false tones and cadences of the voice, which rang false for those wordless but immensely sensitive patients. It was to these (for them) most glaring, even grotesque, incongruities and improprieties that my aphasic patients responded, undeceived and undeceivable by words. This is why they laughed at the President's speech.
Aided and abetted by corrupt analysts, patients who have nothing better to do with their lives often use the psychoanalytic situation to transform insignificant childhood hurts into private shrines at which they worship unceasingly the enormity of the offenses committed against them. This solution is immensely flattering to the patients -- as are all forms of unmerited self-aggrandizement; it is immensely profitable for the analysts -- as are all forms pandering to people's vanity; and it is often immensely unpleasant for nearly everyone else in the patient's life.
One of the most appalling comments on our present way of life is that half of all the beds in our hospitals are reserved for patients with nervous and mental troubles, patients who have collapsed under the crushing burden of accumulated yesterdays and fearful tomorrows. Yet a vast majority of those people would be walking the streets today, leading happy, useful lives, if they had only heeded the words of Jesus: Have no anxiety about the morrow; or the words of Sir William Osler; Live in day-tight compartments.
We need money to scale up the services that bring medicine to mothers. The United States government's doing that. There's a global fund that's providing money. mothers2mothers provides for mothers who come in who don't have education, who don't have support. mothers2mothers employs mothers with HIV, mothers who were patients recently in the very same facilities. We take those mothers who were patients who've had their babies, we bring them back, we train them, we pay them, to be health care professionals.
When the Russian delegate this summer indicated the Soviet Union's interest in sending medical equipment, Dr Shigeto went right away to see the delegate and settle the matter tactfully. He is careful to steer clear of the superficial swirl of political maneuvering, but never misses any opportunity to improve the capability of the A-bomb Hospital or to enhance concretely the welfare of the patients. In that sense, he sometimes refers to himself as a 'dirty handkerchief.' That is, he serves to filter political purposes out of relief efforts so that the effect on patients is purely and concretely humane.
Malmo, with its 280,000 residents, is Sweden's third-largest city. To see a physician, a patient must go to one of two local clinics before they can see a specialist. The clinics have security guards to keep patients from getting unruly as they wait hours to see a doctor. The guards also prevent new patients from entering the clinic when the waiting room is considered full. Uppsala, a city with 200,000 people, has only one specialist in mammography. Sweden's National Cancer Foundation reports that in a few years most Swedish women will not have access to mammography.
Walter E. Williams
Physicians do not systematically prescribe placebos to their patients. Hence they have no way of comparing the effects of the drugs they prescribe to placebos. When they prescribe a treatment and it works, their natural tendency is to attribute the cure to the treatment. But there are thousands of treatments that have worked in clinical practice throughout history. Powdered stone worked. So did lizard's blood, and crocodile dung, and pig's teeth and dolphin's genitalia and frog's sperm. Patients have been given just about every ingestible - though often indigestible - substance imaginable. They have been 'purged, puked, poisoned, sweated, and shocked', and if these treatments did not kill them, they may have made them better.
In the spring of 2009, I was the 217th person ever to be diagnosed with anti-NMDA-receptor autoimmune encephalitis. Just a year later, that figure had doubled. Now the number is in the thousands. Yet Dr. Bailey, considered one of the best neurologists in the country, had never heard of it. When we live in a time when the rate of misdiagnoses has shown no improvement since the 1930s, the lesson here is that it's important to always get a second opinion. While he may be an excellent doctor in many respects, Dr. Bailey is also, in some ways, a perfect example of what is wrong with medicine. I was just a number to him (and if he saw thirty-five patients a day, as he told me, that means I was one of a very large number). He is a by-product of a defective system that forces neurologists to spend five minutes with X number of patients a day to maintain their bottom line. It's a bad system. Dr. Bailey is not the exception to the rule. He is the rule.