Learning from the UK Referrendum

Learning from the UK Referrendum

It sounds so far away and irrelevant when you’re battling day-to-day with medical providers, medication schedules, feeding schedules, and more. What could we possibly learn from the UK referendum? Well, now that millions of people have signed a petition for a chance to vote again – this time for serious, a lot.

The two biggest complaints seem to be first, they voted in protest and not because they actually wanted to leave. Second, they would have voted differently if they understood the immediate repercussions resulting from their choice. Re-worded differently, they voted that way because of emotional reasons or because they didn’t fully understand the consequences of their actions.

This might be sounding more familiar but let’s make it even clearer. Have you ever gotten the impression that a doctor or nurse is following the path they’re taking because they’ve committed to it and don’t want to admit they were wrong? Maybe you’ve had a disagreement over the treatment plan which seemed much more personal than fact-based. You might have had a family member who refused to believe your child has a medical condition because they can’t accept your child is truly sick.

Examples of unintended consequences abound. The prime example is medical kidnapping. Other, less severe, examples are also present of course. Monitoring might be done to a family who really can’t handle the stress of being watched closely. The caregiver might fall into depression from the additional workload of having to defend themselves against doctors, nurses, therapists, and the state.

It looks like the UK might get a re-vote. Last I looked the petition for re-vote had something like 3 million signatures. Maybe that’s something we need to give in other situations as well. For example, if someone reports to CPS out of general concern and all they find is a messy house and a few minor safety infractions. Maybe they go back to the reporter and say, “this is what we found… would you like to drop the case?” If a doctor reports for not following medical guidance but the caregiver switches to a new provider and the child does well. Maybe the case gets dropped because the parent is following the new provider’s advice and it’s working better for the patient than the advice from the provider who reported.

In some situations, people have reported feeling outright lied to. Many in the camp who voted to leave promised economic prosperity, for example. The voters didn’t feel particularly prosperous the morning after when the currency fell. Our system needs to account for people being wrong, misinformed, or outright lying. If you think outright lying doesn’t happen, it does. Sometimes medical mistakes can cost someone their job, or even worse their license. Practitioners will lie to protect their career and livelihood at the expense of their patient in the event of a serious mistake.

How do you handle such a situation? After all, if a country the size of the UK can make that kind of “mistake” such that 3 million+ of its citizens want a re-do, clearly a mistake can happen which turns your life upside down when the team making the decision is drastically smaller.

  1. Document everything including snacks, feeding times, amounts, medications, and dosages. You’ll feel like you’re doing nothing but writing but it’s the only thing that can protect you against accusations of not following a doctor’s orders.
  2. Keep your emotions in check. Only a factual argument can defend against false accusations. An emotional plea will reduce your credibility.
  3. Don’t give up.

Lastly, if you ever consider reporting someone and you’re not sure then think about this – there are thousands of people protesting for a re-vote so they can take back their choice now that they’re fully aware of the consequences of their decision. As far as I’m aware there’s no way to take back a report after it’s been submitted. Not to say you should be afraid to report, definitely report if needed. Just, be sure it’s what you want to do. If you’re not ready to see the family’s children taken aware from them for a reason unrelated to the original report it might be best to reconsider.


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