Top critical review
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This bood should be retitled "Medical Care a la Woodstock!"
on 29 January 1999
I am a RN who specializes in special needs pediatric nursing. When I went to see the movie "Patch Adams" I feel in love with a doctor who I felt had found the root of the black abyss that today's modern medicine has found itself. Politics and monetary gains have taken over, what in reality, should be altruism and compassion. The children I work with are constantly denied medical care and services under the guise of not medically necessary, cosmetic, not severe enough to warrant continual care, etc. Each day I wish that I were 20 people, 100 people, more, so that I could grasp these special little ones out of the claws of bureaucracy and give them the care they need, and deserve, without politics or price tags.
In Gesundheit I thought I had found that Oasis I had so longed for. I even told my family that if I merely disappeared one day they would know where to find me. I searched the Internet for information about this eutopia and was looking forward to my clown nose as I entertained the idea of donating to the Institute fund. But, alas, I read Patch Adams' book and I have found a fossil of the '60's. A physician who has misptaken free love for free medical care. Many of his theories of the Neroism of today's medical care are correct. But his approach to the correction of these problems are too Woodstockish.
I can say that after listening to the tape in its entirety, I can honestly report that I only came away with one truly new insight in regards to my approach to working with families. His theory that the actuallty of dying is the mere minutes of hypoxia that is the catalyst to death. That all other time is living. That no one is "dying" of cancer, but living with it, and should be treated as such by those around them. That medicine can not cure death, for death is inevitable for all living things. But medicine can postpone the inevitable and that we, as practioners, must accept this fact. Through this acceptance, and only through this acceptance, can we, with fullness of heart, treat our patients with the optimal of compassion, empathy and altruism as is afforded us.
For this point I thank Dr. Adams. For the rest of his book's theories and analogies I say...put away your love beads and realize that medicine is a profession. I think that Robin Williams actually best summed up the problem with our medical system when he played Mork. He once told the "great one" that we humans pay the physician to care for us when in reality the physicians should be paying the patients to allow them to practice their profession.