Department of Health

Older female unsuccessful

  • 02 December 2015
  • Duration: 1.48
  • Doctor: there you are Elizabeth. There’s your script for your blood pressure. Everything seems good. Now there is something I wanted to talk to you about. It was about what you might want to happen to you if you become really crook and you die.

    Patient: is there something wrong with me?

    Doctor: not now. You’re fine now. I mean, say you got something really bad with you, would you want to have all that stuff done to you?

    Patient: I don’t know why you wouldn’t want me to have any treatment. I want every treatment that’s available.

    Doctor: No, no, no. This is if you are really crook. Probably time to plan for what could happen to you if things went wrong.

    Patient: But I have got a plan. I’ve done my will, and I’ve done…

    Doctor: No, no. I don’t mean financial. I don’t mean plans like that. I mean planning for what you want done medically like if you get something really bad, not, not the sort of financial stuff.

    Patient: so you think something really bad is going to happen to me?

    Doctor: no, no, no. You haven’t got..no, I’m not being clear. I want you to plan for the future so that if you had a bad illness you could, you know. You’ve got to realise that in Australia, people spend 50% of their health budget on the last six months of their lives and most of the treatment is useless.

    Patient: I don’t want you to say that treatment is useless because it may help me.

    Doctor: no, no. I’m not trying to say that treatment is useless all the time, but the last bit of your life its pretty, it’s a waste of time really.

    Patient: (deep breath) Well. I think I’ll just as soon leave it at that thank you very much.

    Doctor: they’re asking us to fill out all these forms for you and give you all this stuff to do. You’ll be fine. It’s not.. your health is good. You’re on a lot of medication but you’re in good nick. You’ll be fine.

    Patient: I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I do want treatment and I feel very uncomfortable.

    Doctor: No. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I brought this up. I’m, we won’t talk about this again.

This video samples an ineffective communication between the treating doctor and an elderly female patient with regard to her medical treatment and future plan of care.

Reviewed 02 December 2015

Health.vic

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