Evidence-Based Medicine –Where and For Whom?

A few days ago, I happened to meet an old lady whom I had seen after a couple of months. After exchanging pleasantaries with her and her husband, I came to know that she is not feeling well now-a-days. The reason is that she is passing blood in the urine.

They told me that they have got the ultrasonography of abdomen done which has revealed kidney stones.  At the moment the couple is utterly confused and running here and there.

Some person has advised to take some indigenous herb which will literally destroy the stone. Another ayurvedic physician has advised her to start taking ayurvedic medicine and the stone will automatically pass in small pieces in the urine.

The educated children of the couple are suggesting some expert opinion. Their family doctor told her that she should drink a lot of water, the stone will get out. And still they are not able to meet either a surgeon or some lithotripsy expert.

This is a common situation in India. The problems of a common man are compounded due to the fact that hardly many of those requiring expert advice are able to get it and if at all, they are able to do so, they are unable to follow their advice for want of funds.

And the problem is compounded by so many quacks who have mushroomed and don’t miss any opportunity to take advantage of a poor patient’s pathetic situation.

In this backdrop, I suggested to that couple that they need to consult a surgeon and follow her advice. And if they are planning lithotripsy,they need to consult the concerned expert. Further, I explained to them that they should try to avoid un-scientific ways  for getting rid of stones, otherwise the kidney(s) may get damaged.

When I am writing this, I am thinking where is Evidence-based medicine and for whom it exists?  Indeed in today’s world the market forces are so strong that half the job of a patient is over once he is able to consult a well-meaning expert.

The other day, I was looking at Cochrane Reviews— the topics that I randomly selected , I got the results —sample size is too small, further studies are required to reach a conclusion. I could not find anything conclusive in some of the reviews which I happened to see.

So what a poor man should do ? – he can’t do Google for his illness, he can’t put his problem for Yahoo!Answers for experts to help him out. The most of the medical news today are market driven. Really, what he needs to do? —-We should all pray for sanity—compassion—love—universal brotherhood here, there and everywhere so that lesser and lesser people fall sick.

Do you want to add something? Please, come on!


About drparveenchopra

Dr Parveen Chopra is Masters in Dental Surgery.. with 35 years of experience in dentistry. For trying his hand in health writing, he studied Communication for seven years. He is a blogger since 2007- he enjoys writing in conversational style.
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