I’m not sure many of us could even begin to imagine what it would feel like to be a mother with a child who has suffered a brain tumour but for the decisions you make in these circumstances to then fall under the spotlight of tabloid media coverage and reader speculation must be the very definition of a living hell.
It’s cases like this that assure me of the need for modernisation of the Doctor consultation process so that we can routinely provide patients and their carers with more comprehensive documentation of the information that’s shared in consultations that they have with their healthcare professionals.
Imagine the potential for written records that Patients and Doctors can access at any time to prevent situations like this from developing in the first place. If the opportunity isn’t obvious remember that we know that 40-80% of medical information provided by healthcare practitioners is forgotten immediately (and there’s every reason for parents who are trying to simultaneously come to terms with a serious condition effecting their child to have some of the poorest recall rates) and that the existence of documentation itself would help ensure there are effective ways of ensuring any Doctor who even started to use insensitive ways to describe a medical treatment could be brought to task with disciplinary action/retraining.
In many instances you’ll meet Healthcare professionals who don’t see the need to prioritise documentation because it doesn’t seem to be a caring/hands on activity but if you check out how the worlds best children’s hospitals are pioneering in documenting communication and providing access to clinical information and care teams the value of doing this hard work becomes rather obvious.