You may have heard me say before that there is abuse in the current medical system. I am often amazed at the caring citizens I see routinely defend this very broken system. They say: "No Obama-care for me. I like my doctor. I don't see any need for change. It will cost too much. Why should the government meddle in my business?" I wondered why would a caring citizenry take such a stance. When it comes to patients rights you even hear, "I won't say anything. It will only make matters worse if I disagree with my doctor."
A few nights ago I was speaking with the former wife of an alcoholic. As the child of an abusive alcoholic, I could relate to the conditions she described. We were amazed at the parallels between the current outcry against health care and the coping strategies used in an abusive home.
It is not really happening. Many families use a form of denial to live in abusive relationship. They pretend to everyone around them it is not that bad, ignoring the elephant in the room. Saying, "We have a good medical system," these individuals ignore the under staffing, the unhygienic practices, the lack of consultation, the inefficient paper work and the lack of access to patient information. They are so frightened they can see no other option of how to live than their current abusive lifestyle.
It will cost too much. I have known many women in my life who have stayed with abusive husbands because of money. "It will cost too much to leave him. He has the job. He could get the house and the kids." I always council people that the emotional cost is far greater. Imagine the harm to your mind and soul and to that of your children. When a situation has become abusive it is your duty to stand up and make things right. Now, as a nation we are making this choice. What is the harm we inflict to our national soul if we stand aside, and because of money, allow abuse to continue?
Why should the government meddle in my business? The government meddling is called regulation. Regulation can be a very good thing. It has lead to clear nutrition facts labeling, the clean air act, required seat belt use, and other amazing laws that save lives every day. We used to live in a world where it was okay to beat your spouse and kids. Go further back and it was okay to whip your servant. It is now against the law. The law of the land can change things for the better. I am not for big government. I am for best government.
It will only make matters worse if I say anything. We need immediate and real-time access to our medical record. We need this so we can speak out about what is going wrong and take ownership of our medical situation. We need patients to feel empowered to know that their thoughts are valid and they will not be penalized for speaking out. We need patients who will keep talking till someone listens to them. The abused child will often tell more than one adult about the abuse before he is believed and someone acts on his complaint. Patients and caregivers need to bravely step forward again and again to talk about the abuses in the health care system.
It is very hard to break a cycle of abuse and neglect, but it can be done. We must all step forward and say this must stop. We will not allow it to continue.
This quote from the Declaration of Independence is part of the mural I am now working on:"Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed."
What does this mean? That we should so fear and dread change, that we accept the current health care system? I think not....