It’s doubtful there was much that was unusual going on in Sodom and Gomorrah. Natural disasters and plagues were taken as signs that communities had sinned.
But there is drama to the idea of Abraham asking God to spare the cities if he can find 50 just men, and then 40, and then 20 and then 10 – to no avail.
It feels a bit the same with the RxISK Map. The single commonest request to RxISK is – can you tell me the name of one just doctor in my neck of the woods (insert NYC, London, Addis Ababa, Helsinki or Regina), who recognises that drugs can cause problems and is willing to help me tackle the problems.
We have been asking you to find these just doctors for us but either you can’t or you don’t believe that medicine is going to be destroyed if someone doesn’t.
A doctor you like doesn’t qualify. A doctor who believes in CBT rather than antidepressants wouldn’t qualify. It has to be someone willing to stick their neck above the parapet on your behalf – someone prepared to engage with a RxISK report.
It seems that doctors like these don’t exist. Or else that we are just too scared to go out and find them.
Martin McManus’ post Being the Right Peer hinted at a world that likely most people know is absolutely the case but at the same time are in close to total denial about.
This was brought home to me by conversations with a number of clinical psychologists – colleagues I know and regard highly – who when asked about raising the adverse effects of treatments with patients make it clear that its more than their job is worth to do this.
It certainly would be a mistake to tell someone drugs are bad for you and you really should be having CBT instead. This would leave the patient caught between two bullies.
But what if you see a patient very clearly suffering from adverse effects – unable to stop treatment because they are dependent, or agitated and suicidal on some treatment, or with enduring sexual dysfunction after treatment stops and in need of support from someone who can pick out the effects of some drug and is able to help reassure someone and perhaps their family that they are not going mad.
Its not bullying to help the person make a link as we do with RxISK reports and have been doing for 5 years without the sky falling in.
But it seems that in such circumstances, psychologists also expect doctors to go into orbit and to call down fire and brimstone on them and they just don’t do it.
The other way around psychiatrists have no problem calling out psychologists for inventing false memories of abuse etc.
If psychologists who hate psychiatrists aren’t going to make a stand, it becomes less surprising that the average person will also feel intimidated.
Social workers used to also hate psychiatrists, as did a lot of nursing staff but again neither will help a person suffering from the adverse effects of a drug cocktail make a link between the treatments and the effects or help the person find a way to raise the issues with the prescriber.
In fact I am pretty certain that a doctor is more likely to get into trouble with a social worker or nurse for not prescribing than for prescribing. Go figure…
We need more reports like Martin’s pointing to the structural violence in a lot of healthcare. Given his responses to the groundswell of support for his postion, it seems clear he didn’t turn into a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife in the image above.
But above all we need you to find doctors, or pharmacists, or nurses, or even psychologists who will listen, where listening means filing a RxISK report and being willing to feature on a RxISK Map.
The image of Lot and his family above is 666 units in diameter and this post is 666 words.