Friday, February 05, 2010

Warning! Warning!

An increasing source of irritation are the messages from some health insurance plan, or some mass pharmacy letting me know about their concerns about the fact that my patient, Mr./Mrs. X is on a medication that has been shown to have problems in the setting of some other medication, related to their age or some other issue.

Let's imagine a general intrusiveness in people's lives. You're outside mowing your lawn, and a car stops, a man comes out and wants to make sure that you are aware of all the risks that might entail mowing close to the road, running over stones or rocks, and especially the risks of refueling your lawn mower. And so you go about your day, with warnings by some concerned person about how you refuel your car, how you shop for poultry, whether you're wearing the right running shoe for the obvious pronation you show as you run.

Most of these I just look at, try to sift out the purpose of the message, then discard. The other day I felt that I needed to step up and defend my patient, who at the age of 61 was accused of being elderly, and therefore subject to risks that she would not have if she were "unelderly".
Maybe it was generated by someone in their 30s.

I wrote, "This patient is not elderly" and faxed it back to them.