Medical Protection: Move The Goalposts !
This morning I attended hospital for yet another examination. I was advised that the plan of investigation has changed: one of the tests discussed at my last consultation will not be done I am told. When I returned one of my friends asked “Why? We know that one test is going to show the problem more clearly than any other. Why have they cancelled it?”, before rolling his eyes, slapping his forehead and saying “Doh” – a la Homer Simpson.
Meanwhile I return home to discover that the British Medical Association (BMA) and The Medical Protection Society (MPS) have been looking at my website today. I had never heard of the MPS before but according to their website they are “the world’s leading indemnifier of health professionals. As a not-for-profit mutual organisation, MPS offers support to members with the legal and ethical problems that arise from their professional practice”.
I can only assume, given the recent debacle of the Medical Defence Union trying to take freedomforall.net off the web, that what this means in effect is that they try and help modern doctors avoid the pitfalls of taking responsibility for their actions. I would be surprised if freedomforall.net does not now come under renewed attack from these professionals of whom my former web host said “stick together at any cost” and “Regardless of whether there has been any negligence, the doctors involved are behaving in a way which seems more to do with self preservation that getting to the truth and actually putting right any wrong.”
And that, you see is the problem I have with the test I was due being cancelled. The doctors by acting in this way and cancelling a test discussed as an important one may seem to be acting in concordance with the above statements and not in the best interests of me, their patient. As my friend pointed out we know this test will provide unarguable proof and we know that because we know what is wrong with me. When the doctors change plans after agreeing a certain test it only makes the whole affair look confusing.
So the MPU may sometimes help Healthcare Professionals steer through these tricky waters: How do we ensure we don’t provide neccessary healthcare and at the same time protect our professional reputation? I’ll tell you what guys: get your thinking caps on again – because I assure you this is not a battle you will win.
Edited 15th January 2007