Friday, October 09, 2009

Playing the guilt game

A year ago, Prometheus published a post titled How they do the voodoo that they do so well - Part 2 ("they" are the alternative medicine practitioners). I am quoting it below:

"Eventually, even the most successful, charismatic “alternative” practitioner will have a patient who doesn’t improve enough... For those situations, there are a number of strategies that are typically used. (The first one is,) Did you follow my instructions to the letter? One of the oldest dodges in the “alternative” medicine “biz” is to prescribe a regimen of treatment that is too complicated for most patients to follow. If they get better (by chance), then it was due to the “treatment” – if they don’t get better….well, they didn’t follow all of the instructions exactly, did they?"

I wish to add that, unfortunately, some real doctors also like playing the guilt game and blaming any unfortunate outcome on the patient's non-compliance. Even when - especially when - the neglected bit of medical advice has been backed by about as much evidence as the typical alt-med "treatment".
(The events that inspired this post are too personal to be revealed here.)