6.25.2009

Ridiculous crack-pottery from an unusual source

Yikes!

Among my various guilty pleasures is a weakness for advice columns. I enjoy Margo Howard's wry sophistication, for example, and think she's more level-headed than one might expect from a person so obviously used to privilege. And I also generally enjoy what Emily Yoffe (who took over the "Dear Prudence" column from Howard over at Slate) has to say, though she has a bit more of an edge to her writing. However, something she wrote in today's column nearly made me spit out my tea.

The letter in question was from a man with the following problem:
Dear Prudie,
A year ago, I broke my leg. During my recovery in the hospital, I contracted an infection and had to have a below-the-knee amputation. I have been seeing a girl for a few weeks. I'm afraid she'll be freaked out and leave if she finds out I'm less than whole, and I can't say I blame her.
He wants to know when/how to tell her, etc. Yoffe's answer was, taken as a whole, pretty decent and kind and level-headed. But her conclusion was horrifying:
One other thing: Losing a leg in this way could mean that the hospital's infection control procedures are putting patients' lives at risk. You might want to talk to a lawyer about pursuing why things went so wrong.

—Prudie

Really, Prudie? That's where he should start? A lawyer?

Perhaps the reasons behind the infection were explained already to his satisfaction, which is why he didn't ask your advice about how to deal with his anger or frustration or whatever about it. Perhaps the kind of fracture he had was more susceptible to infection, such as a compound fracture. (That might explain why he had to recover in a hospital in the first place.) Perhaps he has unanswered questions, and should ask someone about it. Maybe he should start with his doctor, or the hospital, and give them a chance to explain things more fully before he starts getting litigious!

But no. Dear Prudence thinks his best bet is a lawyer. And people wonder why doctors practice defensive medicine.

3 comments:

  1. Just shows how sue-happy the United States has become in recent years. I agree with you.

    Barbara

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  2. From the subject line I literally thought this was a post about that style of pottery with cracked glaze. which in retrospect is kind of comically dumb.

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  3. Yes, but also comically awesome.

    ReplyDelete