Saturday, November 06, 2010

Living In Malaysia: All Grown Up

When I visit a doctor in Malaysia, a very rare thing I'm glad to say, I refuse to give him or her the number of my next of kin.  The reason for this is that some doctors here don't talk to their patients but to their relatives instead.

The official excuse is that some people are too feeble to deal with difficult truths or make decisions about their treatment.  So if you're old or female, your doctor may just call your son or husband to discuss your condition and treatment options. 

I find this appalling.  And unethical.  So I tell my doctors firmly that they will deal with me and only me.  Those that look shifty or uncomfortable I walk away from.

Malaysians are divided on this issue.

One of my friends told me that when her father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, his doctor told her and her husband.  They decided that it was unfair to withhold the information.  They thought the old man needed time to say goodbye to people, maybe travel to China to see long-lost relatives before he got too sick, etc.  Initially the old man freaked, then he was ok. 

But another one of my friends is not telling his mum that she has cancer and has been given 6 months tops because he thinks it will "do more good than harm".  He says his mum is uneducated and that knowing she is under a death sentence will ruin what little life she has left.

I don't know if he's right or wrong, but I know one thing: I'm all grown up and I decide what's best for me.

17 comments:

Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Wow...

That's an interesting approach to things...

Brian said...

Yep, that's different, but my vet never asks me either come to think of it!

Inigo Flufflebum and d'Artagnan Rumblepurr said...

How interesting, we had no idea this was the practice there!

The Chair Speaks said...

So far this has never happened to me. But when I take my octogenarian mom, her doctor will tell both my mom and I.

Katnip Lounge said...

Holy God! I am totally in shock. I would feel exactly the same as you.

photojoy said...

We have the two extremes as well. The doctors are likely to see if his patient is independent enough to accept his/her reality. By the way,the doctor called me first and discussed when he found that my mother-in-law had a gallbladder disease. In her case, I believed it was a good decision. Otherwise, she would have been crying every day for her unexpected destiny. That would have made our whole family depressed.

Mr Puddy said...

Lucky ! never happen with me and my family

Dennis the Vizsla said...

I think I'd rather know. Of course, I'd also rather not have anything to know about.

Cindy said...

I can't believe that! I'm glad it is not that way here. It wouldn't have worked for me and my mom. We both had breast cancer surgery the same week in Sept.

Whisppy said...

From my experience, the patient is always informed unless language is a barrier then it may become necessary to speak with the relatives so that they may translate to the patient.....

Dianne said...

good for you!! I can understand asking for family support but no one should ever have control over their own body taken from them

here the Dr must ask your permission to discuss you with anyone else

Wyatt's Corner said...

My dad is trying to convince my mom to move to Asia so this info is handy. I bet their are a lot of cultural differences between the US and Asia.

Cory said...

Wow, this is really interesting, and would make my mom really angry!

Even when the v-e-t tells my mom stuff about me, she tells me right away.

purrs, Cory

sully86 said...

i think this matter is subjective..it differs from everyone

Cat said...

I agree. You are right in that good or bad, the news should be given directly to the person such news concerns. Much like this, I also believe in euthanasia...I think we should also have the right to 'sign off' if we want...especially if we are dying of a horrible, painful illness or if we are a vegetable and are only being kept alive by life support. But those are my opinions!! Cat

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

I think anyone who is diagnosed with a terminal illness has the right to know, so he/she can put his/her affairs in order.

I believe that all patients above the age of 12 has the right to know what it is he/she is suffering from and how to deal with it, too. After all, no-one knows our bodies better than we do, and it is our responsibility to look after ourselves.

I believe in talking to my animals about what's ailing them, why we are going to the vet and what did the vet say as well. My reassuring tone gives them strength and confidence and they don't kick up a stink when they have to take medicine.

GRAÇA said...

You have to hand in your blog virginity of kika where she announced the draw for Christmas.
Kisses from the mamy
Kika