Longer Looks: Treating Vs. Healing, A Doctor’s Rituals, A New Kind Of Abortion Clinic
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Treating vs. Healing: Understanding What Wellness Means To Patients
Evidence is the currency of contemporary Western medicine. We place an emphasis on epistemology and biochemical mechanisms when explaining disease and treatments. In Iran, the emphasis is placed on healing, a concept intimately tied to notions of spirit and comfort—not morbidity and mortality. Biochemistry, pharmacology, stents, and studies all produced discomfort for my uncle; discussions of RCTs and clinical guidelines didn’t help. All of this came into conflict with his existing beliefs and caused a considerable amount of cognitive dissonance. (Johnny Hourmozdi, 3/31)
The New York Times:
The Doctors’ Rituals
Years later, many of my patients tell me how much they remember the smell of the soap on my hands. They both appreciate the attention to hygiene and revile it, associating the smell with the cancer treatment they received. But I go through this sequence for each patient, every day, promising myself that if I do, my patients will be safe from the germs that could overwhelm their fragile immune systems. (Mikkael Sekeres, 3/26)
The New York Times:
Learning To Say No To Dialysis
People over age 75 are the fastest-growing segment of patients on dialysis, and the treatment’s benefits and drawbacks add up differently for them than for younger patients. A growing number of nephrologists and researchers are pushing for more educated and deliberative decision making when seniors contemplate dialysis. It is a choice, they say, not an imperative. (Paula Span, 3/27)
Psychiatric Patients Aren't The Only Ones In Need Of 'Asylum'
You may not know it, but there’s a huge fight going on that affects the future of everyone with autism and/or intellectual and developmental disability. Right now, adults with these diagnoses, their families, providers, advocates and government officials are clashing over pending state regulations that threaten to severely restrict the residential and vocational settings available to this population. The de-institutionalization pendulum, as it’s often called, has swung so far that many states have begun pushing full community inclusion even on those who don’t want it (because of sensory sensitivities, a desire to live with peers in a disability-specific community, or any number of reasons) or who suffer from challenging medical and behavioral needs that can’t safely and adequately be met in small, integrated settings. (Amy S.F. Lutz, 3/31)
The Washington Post:
New Spa-Like Abortion Clinic Is Part Of A Trend To De-Stigmatize The Procedure
With its natural wood floors and plush upholstery, Carafem aims to feel more like a spa than a medical clinic. But the slick ads set to go up in Metro stations across the Washington region leave nothing to doubt: “Abortion. Yeah, we do that.” The Maryland clinic, opening this week in Montgomery County’s tony Friendship Heights area, specializes in the abortion pill. The advertising reflects its unabashed approach — and a new push to de-stigmatize the nation’s most controversial medical procedure by talking about it openly and unapologetically. (Sandhya Somashekhar, 3/30)
Can An Abortion Be Undone?
Women who opt to get an abortion in Arizona within their first two months of pregnancy may soon find themselves on the receiving end of some unusual advice from their doctors. A medical abortion, which works within the first nine weeks or so of gestation, involves taking two pills within a few days of each other. This week Arizona lawmakers passed a bill that would require doctors who perform such abortions to tell their patients that if they reconsidered their abortion after taking their first pill, they should return to the doctor for a procedure that can allegedly "reverse" the abortion. (Olga Khazan, 3/27)