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About Patient Autonomy

Recently, I was involved in a discussion on an email list serve and decided to takes some of my comments on patient autonomy and blog about them. This arose following a debate about whether the term “patient” engendered a sense of passivity and, therefore, whether the term should be dropped in favor of something else, like “client” or something similar.

Having participated in the preparation and dissemination of the white paper on e-patients, I don’t see the need for “factions” or disagreements in the service of advancing Participatory Medicine. As Alan Greene aptly stated: “This is a big tent, with room for all.”

I want all of my patients to be as autonomous as possible. In my view, their autonomy is independent of the doctor-patient relationship that I have with them. They make the choice to enter into, or to activate or deactivate, the relationship with me. They may ignore my input, seek a second opinion, or fire me and seek the care of another physician at any time. They truly are in control in that sense. The only thing I have control over and am responsible for is trying to provide the best advice or consultation I can. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at eDocAmerica*

Dr. Charles Smith: “How To Become A More Effective e-Patient” (And Clinician)

Well, here’s a treat: Dr. Charles Smith, a founder of the Society for Participatory Medicine, recently gave a lecture at Duke entitled, “How to Become a More Effective e-Patient.” Here it is, in four video segments.

“Charlie” (as we all call him) is a wonderful guy. He’s co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Participatory Medicine and was Doc Tom Ferguson’s physician. He’s been walking this walk for many years, and here he shares his personal advice –- not just for patients, but for health professionals who want to learn this participatory thing.

(The “Joe & Terry” he mentions are our founders Joe and Terry Graedon of People’s Pharmacy, longtime Duke associates.)

PART 1

An audio-only version is also available (see below). Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at e-Patients.net*

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