Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Why your doctor doesn’t always tell you the truth – Dr Phil Hammond

One reason you trust doctors is because you think we tell you the truth.

But medicine has historically been about disguising, sanitising and spinning the truth. Gently coercing you into the treatment we think is best. All for your own good. We assume you don’t want the whole truth because it isn’t compatible with trust. Generally, it’s not considered sensible to tell you how much we doctors drink, how inexperienced we are or how physically attractive or repugnant we find you. And especially not what your front bottom looks like after childbirth.

When I first walked onto an NHS ward in 1984, many patients were not even told if they had a serious diagnosis such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or dementia. We assumed you weren’t able to contribute, didn’t want to know or that telling you might just make you more anxious and unable to cope. And doctors didn’t have to waste emotion and energy on those difficult conversations about death and disability. But not knowing your diagnosis meant that you couldn’t possibly participate in important decisions about your care, involve your loved ones or plan properly for the future. We pretended to do the worrying for you, and left you to figure it out for yourself.

Click on the link to read more


We assume you don’t want the whole truth because it isn’t compatible with trust’ Photo: Alamy

Filed under: GP's, Hospital, Uncategorized,

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