With reference to the assumption that this mailbase is only for
professionals, not so. I have been reading information for almost a year
(and responded to one message). The motto of the University of Texas is "Ye
shall know the truth and the truth will set you free". Medical knowledge is
growing faster than any "doctor" can keep up (just look in the information
that has crossed this mailbase). Without the "truth" (from their doctor or
other professionals) patients will not be treated correctly. When was the
last time any of you had to explain the meaning of a lab report to a
"doctor". I logged on to this mailbase because I am the webmaster of an
organization (The Phoenix Foundation) dedicated to making information
accesable to all. http://www.bioport.org.
Your job should be the same. If you choose not to answer a "civilian" that
is your right. I have noted that most letters are signed with identifing
information, as is mine.
I say again MAKE THE TRUTH ACCESSABLE!
Warren C Stuart
Director, The Phoenix Foundation
> -----Original Message-----
> From: [log in to unmask] On Behalf Of Prof. O.
> Sent: Tuesday, August 22, 2000 1:31 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Use of Mailbase
> In the recent correspondence regarding the anti-smooth muscle antibodies,
> we have been exposed to a possible problem in our system, which also
> relates to the large volume of emails discussing the release of
> lab results
> to patients.
> A patient (Michelle Ellis), who somehow knew of, or was given, the email
> address of the acb communication network, requested information regarding
> the possible medical consequences of the appearance of anti-smooth muscle
> antibodies. Two (up to now) of our colleagues answered this request for
> information, as all of us have done from time to time in response to
> similar queries from colleagues who participate in this excellent network.
> They gave her expert information which might not have been given had they
> known that the request had come from a patient, and not a colleague or her
> The provision of expert knowledge to a patient has been thought by many to
> be the responsibility of the attending physician, following consultation
> with the clinical pathologist if the physician is in need of further
> explanation of the lab results, or by permission of the physician
> his/her discussion with the lab expert. This has been deemed not to be the
> responsibility of clinical laboratory personnel who are not directly
> involved in this case, and not familiar with the patient or the medical
> situation confronted by the patient.
> As has been noted in this network, such information, obtained directly by
> the patient from the clinical pathologist, can then be brought to the
> physician, mentioning the possible medical consequences of the lab data,
> without the physician having any knowledge that such information was being
> solicited. The ramifications of this action, such as a possible lack of
> trust between physician and patient, might affect their future
> relationship, and also the subsequent care the patient will receive. I am
> sure that this is not be what clinical pathologists have in mind when
> innocently responding to an anonymous request for information on a test
> result, especially when asked on our own inner network.
> I do not blame Ms Ellis for making the request, as she is anxious to know
> what her lab results mean. I think, however, that great care has to be
> taken to ensure that the network does not become an "escape hatch" for
> patients not satisfied with answers their physicians gave them, wanting to
> "be prepared" to discuss their medical situation with the physician, or
> wanting to get a second opinion about the medical consequences of
> their lab
> I strongly believe that we must be pro-active partners of the
> medical staff
> in the dispensing of appropriate health care, and discuss with them their
> patients and possible testing strategies, as well as interpretation of
> results and possible outcomes. However, we must not get in between the
> physician and the patient. This bond, and its subsequent trust, is a
> cardinal issue in medicine, and must be respected.
> I do not know how we can protect our system from such "infiltration", but
> we certainly must try!
> Oren Zinder
> Prof. Oren Zinder
> Department of Clinical Biochemistry
> Rambam Medical Center
> Haifa, ISRAEL 31096
> Tel: +972-4-854-3767
> Fax: +972-4-854-2409
> email: [log in to unmask]
> [log in to unmask]