Letters to the Editor

No divorcing a patient

Health-care providers, physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have a responsibility to treat their patients. Over the years, this has meant all parties, including pharmacists, working as a team. People have been encouraged to take an active role in their health care. This is even more important if future reform means reimbursement based on patient outcome rather than traditional fee-for-service.

Yet health-care provision has become more adversarial. This is shown by the American Academy of Pediatrics policy that allows, if not encourages, health care providers to simply “fire” patients if they do not receive routine recommended vaccinations. As health-care experts, it is not our job to “fire” families for questioning and refusing components of recommended health care. It is our responsibility to provide them with information, so they may make informed decisions about how best to receive care, and to provide for their medical needs.

The medical system needs to reassess its direction and remember that health care providers provide a service and work for the patients’ best interest. It is a unique relationship and not just a business. It is more than just a marriage where one side may simply divorce the other.

Dr. Michael W. Simon