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Life With Lupus

Can Doctors really refuse to treat you?

I was in so much pain and swollen I went to the ER. They took me back right away. The Nurse was in the middle of hooking me onto the heart monitor when she said she’ll be right back the doctor walks in sits down folds his legs and says “what can I do for you?” (as I lay there visibly in pain). The nurse peeks in the curtain to ask if she should continue with the heart monitor he says “hold on”, I was waiting for him to examine me. He never got near me, never touched my visibly swollen feet or hands. I told him I was swollen and in so much pain. He asked about my meds. I told him I was on Dilauded for a few years but decided to end them and was not talking my meds because of stomach problems. He say “well how do you expect me to help you if you don’t take your meds?’ I was so mad that he was sitting there with his legs crossed judging me. I said " Are you fucking serious right now?’. He gets up and says you cussed at me I don’t have to treat you”. I said what kind of Dr. are you?’. Had he done his job by examining me I would have had the chance to give him the timeline as to why, when and how I stopped my meds. I did report him and am now strongly advocating for those of us who live with chronic pain. This man should not be practicing medicine. Please share my story. I apologize for the language.

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Personally, and I do mean for me personally, I do not feel you need to be apologising.
Can doctors really refuse to treat you? Yes, they can. They have done so to me previously. In my case, they made (false) assumptions, they did not investigate, they gave an incorrect diagnosis and their assumptions were subsequently logged in my medical file, which followed me around for many years. That was until things got to a point of being life threatening, then they investigated a bit more and came out with the line “Ohh look what we found…” I’d been telling them for years, decades even, that there was a problem. I was labelled as a drug seeker, a hypochondriac and my symptoms were all ‘idiopathic in nature’ (Imaginary or ‘All in my head’ which is ironic as my situation is a brain condition and therefore ‘All in my head’ :wink: ).

I also queried their professionalism… …well, that only made matters worse. I’m in Australia and here we have what is called the AMA (Australian Medical Association) and the members of which all rally behind each other and, in real basic terms, I was black-listed. Specialists wouldn’t see me for fear of repercussions. Years later, after obtaining a confirmed diagnosis from an interstate specialist I questioned one specific dr and his response was “…well, don’t be blaming me, you already had a diagnosis…” Yea, a false one.

You state you were on Dilaudid, often that is an automatic ‘red flag’. Here it is also known as a drug of dependence or a Dangerous Drug of Addiction (DDA) and as soon as it’s mentioned the medicos seem very quick to label us as ‘Drug seekers’, we aren’t on this stuff because we like it, we’re on it because we have a ‘GENUINE NEED’. There have been recent reports here in Australia of the dr’s who prescribe these meds having had government warning letters, subsequently the patients have been told by the dr’s that they will no longer be prescribing these medications and in some cases patients being rejected by the drs. This has shown that the knee jerk reaction by governments is having a huge impact on everybody, including those with a true and genuine need.

My recommendation here is that if you have or can find a good dr with a true knowledge of your situation and condition, stick with them. From my experience it can be extremely difficult to obtain a good and knowledgable dr when it comes to rare conditions, they can be very hard to find.

Merl from the Moderator Support Team

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Thank you so much for your support. It’s good to know that I am not alone. You really have it worse over there. I just heard on the news that Johnson & Johnson just got hit with a huge fine for contributing to the Opioid Crisis in on of the states here in the U.S. Of course they’ll appeal.

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Yes, they will appeal, then the govt will appeal back. And whilst they tie this up in court for years, the person having to deal with the injustice of it all is the patient. Here it is illegal to knowingly cause harm to an animal, but the government can cause harm to a person and that’s OK?? Madness. Animals have more rights than people. If you kept an animal in pain you’d be charged with a crime, but a person… …ohh that’s different. Is it? Grrrrr

Merl from the Moderator Support Team