Healing Power in Seeing Your Own Medical Data

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    Apr 01, 2015 1:35 AM GMT
    NYT: There is evidence that letting patients see their medical files helps them take better care of themselves, but the medical establishment still resists sharing the data.

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    Apr 01, 2015 11:39 PM GMT
    I can only see soooo much trouble from this.
    As a med student, the more time I spend in the wards, the more I realise how this profession is nothing like you would think. It's so full of bureaucracy: on one side it is extremely helpful in order to help the patient and save money for the health care system (which is government founded in Italy), on the other side it is very tiresome and a great waste of time.
    I believe patients should know exactly what their diagnosis is, what tests are being undertaken, why and so on. But there is soooo much of the diagnostic process that has only the potential to be detrimential for the patient. If you are including cancer in your differential diagnosis, among many other diseases, letting a patient know about it before having a definitive diagnosis will cause a great deal of confusion and depression. This is not what you want for your patients. You want to help them, make them as comfortable as possible. There can't be much benefit from scaring the shit out of them before time. And when it is time to do so, you may want to ease them into the process of understanding their condition and come to terms with it.

    One of the reason medical training takes so long is that interpreting certain information obtained from medical tests requires a great amount of specialistic medical knowledge. Have you ever tried googling up some symptom you've had? Crazy how many weird thing you "might have", uh? That's why I believe patients must put a certain amount of trust in doctor-patient relationship. This is the only way to put doctors in the best position possible to do their job, that is to care for patients.
    Just my 2 cents.
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    Apr 01, 2015 11:57 PM GMT
    I always see all my own medical data. Not that I can understand it completely, not being medically trained, but I have a good idea. And I ask questions. Plus I see my husband's full medical data, as well.

    As his legal Health Car Surrogate it can't be denied to me. And he has the same exact authority over me, and he can examine all my medical records, too. Also to make decisions about each other's care, when we ourselves cannot.

    I've already had to do that with my husband, approving his triple bypass heart surgery. It was my decision, not his. And authorizing a radical procedure to successfully save his right leg another time, which had gone into gangrene.

    Yah know we're partners, and need to know these things, especially in a medical emergency. And we're had them, as I've noted! We were right by each other's side in the ER, when one of us has had a medical crisis.

    That's why I planned ahead, as soon as we got together, and had all the legal instruments drawn. I recommend other guys living together do the same.

    You can always revoke them, tear them up, if you split. But you can't create them after one of you is unconscious in the hospital. And you get banned to the hospital's general waiting lobby, unable to even see him because you have no legal status. Think about it.
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    Apr 02, 2015 12:49 AM GMT
    Italian_MS: Thank you for voicing your point of view. Yes, I think caution is in order. But I see moving forward, in addition to the care of professionals, people need to take care better of themselves too by seeing themselves through their own medical data.

    I think the new wearable devices are the beginning of this development like the Apple Watch.