Monday, January 30, 2012

The Art and Importance of Prognosis

Prognosis -- it is an art that, according to this NY Times article, has been neglected by the medical profession.  Prognosis the the doctor's ability to predict a patients survival.  It is a key factor in deciding when testing, screening, and other measures should be ceased.  The article states that colonoscopies are not recommended for patients over 85.  However, there are many 90 year olds who are in better health can 65 year olds.  Reading that sentence I immediately thought of my grandparents and my mother.  At 90 my grandparents are in far better health than my mother, who is kept alive thanks to the miracle of pacemakers.  The article states that the medical professional could improve on doctor's ability to research, determine and communicate a patient's prognosis.  It is an interesting thought.  Most people seem to rarely question a doctor's word, let alone think he or she doesn't have a good idea on survival.  Hopefully improvements will come soon.

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