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.