The Trouble With The Alternative

8:09 AM

This story was told to me by a close friend. I think this story deserves a front page headline in Harian Metro. 


The story goes like this. A lady in her 30s was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. She was seen a few time at the surgical clinic. After a few visits she refused any treatment and opted for alternative therapies. 

This year she came back to see a medical doctor. She was pregnant. She never told anyone about her past medical history (breast cancer) until a doctor examined her during a routine antenatal check up. By then, she was already stage  IV cancer. At 34 weeks, she was unable to continue with her pregnancy. The obstetrics team decided to terminate the pregnancy due the strains of pregnancy on her body. Fortunately, the preterm baby survived.

But what is in store for this baby in the future? Prognosis for Stage IV breast cancer is very poor. Will the baby live a life without a mother's love? There is not much that can be done for a stage IV breast cancer patient. The best option is palliative care.

Yet, the most important question here is: 

Where are the alternative therapy practitioners? Have they come forward to take responsibility for this fatal mistake?

Of course, doctors are not immune to making mistakes. But if doctors are found to be negligent, there will be a full inquiry to find out what went wrong. The doctor can be penalized for their mistakes and can be sued. How about these other non medical practitioners?

Let's compare:

Study:                    FIVE to SEVEN years for a medical degree
Experience:           At least TWO years internship at SIX major specialties
Responsibility:      Fully responsible towards a patients well being according to standard best practice                               guidelines

Study:                    Courses that last for a few days or courses that offer distant learning from                                              questionable universities. They can then call themselves Doctor, Professor and                                      Sir then after
Experience:           Able to compile testimonials from clients without any other supportive evidence.
Responsibility:      Not so sure

Yet, when anything bad happens to a patient under a doctor's care:

"Doktor tak guna.....I'll sue you!"

If a person dies because of fatally wrong advice from alternative medicine practitioners:

"It's the way it's meant to be. Dah habis ikhtiar dah." 

This kind of story happens all the time. In all departments. All over the world. The fortunate ones will come back to see the doctor in 'salvageable' conditions; meaning it is not fatal and still treatable. In the case of this pregnant lady, she might not have a long time to hold her child in her arms and give the child all the love in the world.


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  1. MO frust,
    Benda sama berlaku kat kawan aku. Dia masuk 30an. Sepatutnya dia fly tahun lepas for PhD, tapi tetiba dapat diagnosed breast ca. stage 4 with mets. Allahu..ingat lagi sama sama amik IELTS, siap pinjamkan pensel dan pemadam lagi. Kawan aku ni ada dua anak sebaya anak anak aku. Tapi kes dia lain, dia gi jumpa doktor, tapi doktor cakap ketulan biasa, normal developmental masa umur 25 to 30. Itu yang kawan aku cakap lah. Tapi good thing kawan aku ni sebab dia kuat lah. Removed, dan completed chemo. One of my best friend masa belajar dulu :)


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