At work I received a shocking press release. In part of it said, “It’s an open secret in healthcare communities: patients lie.”
The reasons were many. Some lie because they don’t want to admit unhealthy behaviors to their doctors. For others, by not voicing a concern they subconsciously deny its existence. Still, others make their own determinations as to what’s important and what’s not, lying to keep from revealing what they deem to be irrelevant.
Yet I think I understood this. I’ve made casual comments to doctors and the next thing I know they would want to schedule me for a series of tests unrelated to my visit or they would prescribe a medicine for a minor issue and the drug’s side-effects were worse than my minor ailment.Sometimes when we lie to doctors, it’s simply to keep them from reaching a wrong conclusion and subjecting us to needless pain. Click To Tweet
Sometimes these trivialities were verbally regurgitated visit after visit, long after I’ve forgotten them. As in, “Are you still suffering from blurred vision?” I respond, “That was three years ago and I haven’t accidentally poked myself in the eye since then.”
Too often doctors only half listen. Once they hear a certain keyword, they tune out the details that surround it. They leap to diagnosis or treatment for a problem that isn’t there.
Sometimes when we lie to doctors, it’s simply to keep them from reaching a wrong conclusion and subjecting us to needless pain.
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Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.