Monitoring your unborn baby’s activity
August 17, 2015
Irregularity of your periods explained
August 27, 2015

Avoid making hasty medical decisions

Not a single medical intervention is entirely risk free. It doesn’t matter whether it’s swallowing some pills, or having a minor surgical procedure done. There is always a chance that something could go wrong. Medical interventions are an interplay between benefits and harms. Luckily, the majority don’t come into real harm.

But a few may end up with permanent unintended effects, or even death.

Save for emergencies, most of what ails you is never immediately life-threatening. Most conditions can usually wait for informed decisions. Taking time to consider several options, and eventually settling for the most applicable is always advisable. But why do some individuals rush to make harried medical decisions? How often do you hear of an individual who walked themselves into a hospital in good shape, only to end up with harried interventions, eventually walking out maimed?

Varied factors can influence your decisions. It may be you got an unbalanced opinion, swaying you to agree to an immediate intervention when this was not absolutely necessary. Or are some doctors in a haste to recommend certain medical interventions for some reason?

Is it driven by ignorance, negligence or personal gain? No single non-life threatening medical condition warrants immediacy of action without due consideration of alternate options. And there is always more than one option of managing any condition, including doing nothing. So why the haste on your part, or your healthcare provider?

You must always be proactive in your own healthcare. Don’t leave all the decisions to your doctor, or your relatives, or friends, or whoever. Make sure you understand, at least to some extent, what you are ailing from. Is active treatment absolutely necessary? Can you live with it? Is surgery really necessary? And what would happen if you didn’t make decisions today, or tomorrow, or even in a lifetime?

You must ask questions, and get satisfied with the answers. The balance of proposed treatment must always be in favor of benefits. Any potential harms you would be unwilling to contend with must always trigger a second thought.

Somebody told me recently they made hasty decisions on a medical intervention that eventually led to grievous harm because they felt intimidated by their doctor. Such an argument does not wash. Who’s undergoing the intervention?

And whose body is it? Who’s paying? You alone decides what gets done to you, no amount of intimidation can sway you. The negotiation between you and your doctor is always in your favor. If they are unhappy with your decisions, so be it. You can get similar care, or even better next door.

So take full charge of your medical decisions. Get all the facts together, and balanced opinions. And be aware of all options open to your specific circumstances before final decisions. Then live with whatever you decide, in spite of what others may think, including your own doctor.

Dr Murage is a Consultant Gynecologist, based in Nairobi.

Take a fertility test today

Not a single medical intervention is entirely risk free. It doesn’t matter whether it’s swallowing some pills, or having a minor surgical procedure done.

There is always a chance that something could go wrong. Medical interventions are an interplay between benefits and harms. Luckily, the majority don’t come into real harm.

But a few may end up with permanent unintended effects, or even death.

Comments are closed.

error: