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A life review


I have not yet reached the time of my life when I would like to be shed of all this, and to use a common cliché, spend more time with family and such nonsense. Not at all! I am focused on my writing, travel, pilgrimage, spiritual practice and exercise until I die.

I’m reminded that physicians must practise two things in their dealings with disease: either help or do not harm the patient. Whereas, in reality, the medical-pharmaceutical industrial complex does enormous harm: premature death and injury.

It is informed consent that is the basis of a doctor patient relationship, and defined as permission given to a physician to perform any type of treatment after the patient has been told all of the possible risks and benefits of that treatment. It is permission granted with full knowledge of possible outcomes. Thus it follows that we patients are responsible for our health (and that of our children’s health). We consult with doctors, we ask for and receive their learned opinions (safety, efficacy) and then make our own decisions based on the information to hand.

My doctor’s concern was never for my moderately impaired aortic stenosis. Rather, he was fixated on coronary artery disease, “You will have a heart attack and die.” He resorted to blackmail, “I won’t be able to sleep.” I returned to consult him on two further occasions to be told  of the possible risks and benefits of the proposed intervention: coronary angiogram. I emphasised that coronary artery disease was not possible given my lifestyle. He dismissed my view by stating that my genes caused my arteries to clog. Of course, his point of view may seen intelligent and knowledgeable but it isn’t as it overlooks the principle of causation.

I regret my lack of courage to delay the investigations until after the walk through the West Australia dessert. But of course I didn’t. The only one with balls was the organiser, and that’s impressive and demonstrates an enormous good kind heart.

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