Seeking conscience

February 15, 2017

conscienceMaybe, like me, you have had experiences that make you wonder where conscience has gone. Because it seems to have disappeared in this current world of ours.

Two really good doctors we see brought this to mind recently.  Our GI doctor tells us his findings after a colonoscopy, right then and there. If a biopsy shows something different, used to be he’d call. But now, as a matter of routine, everyone must come back to the office for a follow-up visit in which we chat with the physician’s assistant. About nothing meaningful.  This is a new “requirement.”

It’s about the buck

Since this office is 20 miles away, this whole process takes half a day, between getting ready, getting there, having that useless visit and getting home.  This happened to M but when it’s my turn this month I’m going to find a way to resist that second visit. Because it’s all too clear it’s about REVENUE. Doctors don’t like the pittance they are reimbursed by insurance companies, so they’ve found a way to generate incremental revenue by inconveniencing us.

My dermatologist removed a mole last month, but when I asked her to do several, she said that insurance would not permit her to do more than one a month, that they suspected it was “abusive.”  Huh? So I would have to cart myself back for a three minute procedure each time. That same 40 mile round trip and half a day.  I KNEW it was about revenue but called the insurance company  just in case it wasn’t. The insurance company said they had never heard of such a requirement and were truly flummoxed.  I wasn’t. I knew it was a way to get  more revenue out of us and out of our insurance company.

The buck stops

I confronted that dermatologist and she admitted that yes, it was that she didn’t get reimbursed. But with the GI doctor, I’m going to resist that second appointment and I’ve plotted several different ways. Make it and cancel. Or call them on it and refuse.

You’d think these kind of rip-offs would create problems for someone’s conscience, but apparently not.

I feel the same way about Der Fuhrer and some of his henchmen. And then a friend sent me an excerpt from The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes. It’s about a fictionalized Shostakovich who lived under Stalin and then other rulers. He wanted to do his own kind of music, but The Power wanted his music to reflect The Communist Way.  Here’s the excerpt:

In the world’s younger days, when magic and religion held sway, it was plausible that monsters might have consciences. Not any more. The world had moved on, become more scientific, more practical, less under the sway of the old superstitions. And tyrants had moved on as well. Perhaps conscience no longer had an evolutionary function, and so had been bred out. Penetrate beneath the modern tyrant’s skin, go down layer after layer, and you will find that the texture does not change, that granite encloses yet more granite; and there is no cave of conscience to be found.

And herein is the problem today. Try as we might to find one, there is no cave of conscience to be found. Not in medicine and surely not in politics.

It’s been bred out.



29 comments on “Seeking conscience
  1. Divya says:

    I think it all depends on the doctor you’re working with. I definitely don’t feel like I’ve had these experiences. But I also “shopped around” and tried out different physicians before I committed to one.

  2. It sucks that it has come to this for doctors, but as someone who works in the healthcare profession, I will tell you that the blame lies soley at the feet of the insurance companies. They are right up there with the big banks and oil companies in terms of evilness

  3. hillsmom says:

    Dear Carol, may I digress a bit here? Yesterday on the news was a segment about a Canadian woman who was Muslim. She and her friend were crossing the border in Vermont to shop for gifts for her son who had just completed his final round of chemo. They were detained and asked repeatedly about their religion, then made to surrender their phones and passwords. After 5 hours, they were denied entrance into Vermont. Is this what things have become in our country? Is this what “we the people” want for our country to be ruled by a seemingly mad, fear-mongering emperor placed on a “stolen” throne? The poor woman said she was now afraid even to visit her parents who are in Chicago.

    Anyone who didn’t read Orwell’s “1984” years ago, might check it out from the library, because it’s “Deja vu all over again”! Unfortunately, there is no conscience… Thanks for letting me vent. I didn’t sleep at all well last night while the inner dialogue raged on and on. =^..^=

  4. Shari Broder says:

    This concerns me a lot, too. When the President is a pathological liar who has no conscience, he’s setting an example for others. It ignites the dark side of some people. Fortunately, it is also igniting the light for many of us. #resist

  5. Great read on several levels. One of the take-aways, as I see it, is the need to be our own advocate when it comes to the medical system. Learning to speak up, to ask the right questions and to retain some of our own power as an individual, a client, a paying participant is important and we’re often too intimidated to do so!

  6. Barbara says:

    This insanity goes as far as our ‘new’ Veterinarian. Sydney has a seizure issue and needs meds twice a day. It has worked for years but, we were getting them from ‘way up north’. Our Vet in the city recommended that we search out the best deal because the meds are expensive and are the only thing that works for her. Now with our new Vet we are dealing with money being more important than our dogs health. She had recently given us a prescription, (they won’t make the call for us), for 200 pills. When the order didn’t arrive as quickly as needed we called to ask for a new script to fill at our local pharmacy. She wouldn’t give it to us without examining Sydney first, even though she was not due for a check-up and the vet had already given us the script for 200 pills or 100 days worth of medication! This kind of money grubbing is despicable! I know it happens daily all over the country and it makes me crazy!

  7. Sondra Barker says:

    This was a very interesting about conscience! I agree these kind of stories regarding healthcare and doctors is really unfortunate.

  8. Laurie Stone says:

    I can’t get out of doctor’s offices fast enough. Stop there for just a chat? Good grief.

  9. Shaheen Khan says:

    Have experienced similar rip offs at the hospitals. Sometimes they prescribe tons of pills for just the common flu. During my pregnancy I came home with a big bag of multivitamins, antacids that lasted for months, some of which I even handed over to my mom.I don’t think the conscience has bred out though it’ s jus conveniently tucked away n used for useless T V perfect, money generating sob stories.

  10. It concerns me that this is what our society has come to and your analogy about the conscience vs tyrants is something I believe is increasingly prevalent.

  11. My daughter had a similar experience. Three weeks ago, my grandson was admitted to the hospital. He had diarrhea and had to be rehydrated. On the second day, all his test came out negative so my daughter called her insurance provider to help her bill out. The insurance company said that if hospital confinement is less than 3 days, they will not cover it.Huh? What kind of policy is that? So left them with no choice but to stay one more night in the hospital.

  12. I would shop around for a new doctor. I love mine. If there aren’t precedures I don’t want her to do she won’t do them. She’s so informative and open to all our questions.

  13. Elizabeth O. says:

    Well, it’s not surprising since the medical industry has been known to hide better cures so that patients would spend more and here we are thinking that they became doctors to help save our lives. Not anymore.

  14. I’m not from the states so I don’t know how the health care system works.Private insurance usually have a percentage to pay out for treatments. I’m currently going through some treatment but my insurance only pay $30 out of $100. I still have to cough out $70 for each doctor’s visit.

  15. Sounds like you need a new doctor. Two new doctors at least. Mine don’t act like that, but it has taken me a little trial and error to find them.

  16. Diane says:

    Where there is no conscience, there is no heart to appeal to. And without heart, we lose our humanity. It becomes possible for the atrocities that are becoming all too common. I weep for the world.

  17. Linda says:

    I agree with Divya, for me it all depends on the doctor you’re working with. I’m a big believer that you shop around for your doctor, ask your friends and anyone else you can think of!

  18. maria criselda maquiling says:

    we are actually in the same boat right now. i’m currently pregnant and my obgyne keeps on giving me unnecessary prescriptions and procedures. MY insurance company is not having it and my doctor is wanting me to do it sans the insurance. it is so frustrating! Sometimes I have to go to two doctors visit in a week and it wastes gas, time and money. where is service?

  19. Krysten says:

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had this experience with your doctors. It really would make me angry as well. I’ve never really experienced this, I think it really depends on who the doctor is. I agree with you politically though.

  20. Perla says:

    I’m sorry for you having these bad experiences. Hope things will get on track soon. As for conscience, I agree is a rare finding. People don’t want anymore to feel guilty for anything, much less to apologize and repair what they have done wrong.

  21. My brother had his own share of nightmares with his previous medical insurance company. The doctor claimed that he wasn’t covered by the company so my brother was forced to pay in cash for my sis-in-law’s C-section only to find out later that the insurance company also paid that doctor for that procedure! The nerve of that doctor!!!

  22. Kelly Reci says:

    I hate reading bad stories about doctors, we had a lot of experience, but in my country we dont usually have that “insurance” thing.

  23. Gary Mathews says:

    Becuase I have good health insurance I ended up in the hospital for three days when I went in for nothing more than heartburn. It’s a joke how much doctors bilk insurance companies.

  24. Elizabeth says:

    I feel very fortunate to have the free NHS service so I don’t have to experience that sort of money-focussed healthcare. I don’t believe conscience has been bred out either – the majority of folk are good, kind, decent loving folk, it’s just the awful ones are vocal and are in positions of (often great) power.

  25. Katja says:

    The politics of lies rules roost. It’s up to us to stop it. get organised. Channel it. Do it.
    Katja xxx

  26. Meeta says:

    I do not even want to get into the state of politics at the moment – it is like the mad hatter at his crazy party! But that the doctor have no concisenessis something that I find disturbing especially as you put your health in their hands. I think shopping around for doctors is important – they offer the service and you are the client!

  27. Rena says:

    We went through the exact same thing with our dermatologist. My husband had a seed wart on his finger and needed to have it removed, but the doctor said it would take a minimum of three visits to get it all. I called his bullshit and he removed it the very first visit.

  28. Hi Carol,

    I thought this might be about you know who, but I agree, the medical profession is cold and heartless. John Hurt played a cold doctor (can’t remember movie name) who got cancer and was the recipient of the heartlessness of his profession, so they even made a movie about it.

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