Doctors Dilemma: thread.

Chemistry professor. Wrote textbooks we read in class 11 & 12.

Had a heart attack & I performed a ‘life saving’ angioplasty that night. Family consults me even for common cold since then.

He comes down with Cancer
Surgery, several months of chemotherapy ensue. Cancer docs & children decide not to tell him the diagnosis. Has a remission fir a year.

Relapses a year later. Chemo again at a reputed onco centre in Bangalore. Still not told openly that it’s a cancer.
One fine night, son calls me to tell that the Professor is too sick & the docs told the family that he needs ICU care.

“Can you help”.

Of course, get him over.
In the next three days before he died in an ICU surrounded by strangers & machines, I asked these questions to the family.

1. You think a textbook writing Prof went to ‘Cancer hospital’, received monthly injections not realising he has cancer?
2. If he’d known he was dying, would he have planned his remaining life: wrote a will; told his wife he loved her; made up with a friend he trivial-fought 25 years ago; visited his favourite temple near Mangalore?
3. Why do you children think you’re smarter than your parents?

We doctors should have the courage to say we don’t know if a therapy will make a difference in such cases.

Families should know that the choice of accepting a treatment remains with the patient. Please don’t HIDE facts from them.
My point in the original post was about success rate of therapies, how aggressively doctors should push such treatments to avoid public retribution and the need for legally defensible scientific guidelines for management of (at least) diseases of public importance

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