Friday, January 27, 2012

Advocacy-Based Medicine?

The case of Amanda Trujillo is compelling for two reasons. Amanda exhibited an apparent strength of character in wanting to make sure her patient was fully informed. Perhaps more to the point, however, is the real strength of character shown by the patient lying in the bed and making the hard decisions about the benefits and burdens of transplant medicine in her particular life, standing up for her specific goals of care at what would appear to be near the end of her life.

There has been much written among the nursing community in response to Amanda's situation, with a focus on the nurse's role as patient advocate. And I certainly agree. But I also share with you this excerpt from a recent piece by Dr. Danielle Rosenman posted on another blog -- an essay not focused on Amanda's situation but applicable nonetheless.

"Healing takes place through the relationship between doctor and patient. The foundation of that relationship is trust. The patient trusts us with the most intimate details of his life. She trusts that I am competent and caring, that I’m giving her the best care I can, that I will respect his privacy, that I will listen with full attention and an open mind. He trusts that I will tell the truth, ask for help when needed, and that I will never abandon him. I, in turn, trust my patient to tell me as full and accurate a story as possible, to be clear about what she needs, to cooperate with the treatment plan and follow-up."

Once we enter the doors of a health care facility, those of us from the outside "community" rely on advocates for our very lives - nurses and doctors, friends and family. But we also must become our own best advocates.

Especially in the new health care world which lies ahead, we as patients will need to step up and let everyone around us know who we are and what we want. The medical community is trying to learn how to listen. We need to learn how to speak.

Join The Conversation and get ready to be your own best advocate!


  1. Beautiful article. I love that Amanda Trujillo has a very strong character. Most people in today’s world are lacking sorely in sound character and good judgment. uk superior papers. Some people even sell their integrity at the expense of their reputation. In most cases they do so for the love of money. But I dare say that sound character is more to be valued than great riches. People must strive to be of sound character rather than acquire wealth.

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