167. Maybe We Could Have Avoided

… being sent home from hospital a day too early (in my reckoning). My brother, who is a paramedic, came by today with his wife and gave me reason to think so.

He said: “Sometimes you have to insist of a certain treatment in the medical system, not just bow to authority. They will often bow to you, then.”

Problem was of course we were too shocked, I believe, to really be aware of our own needs, much less insisting.

But maybe the deeper problem is that of our general tendency to be obedient to public servants, although there should be a balance of course – and as always.

I wrote papers about the problems in public service at university and thought I was pretty empowered because I understood all its complexities and faults, not just in the medical system. I understood the pressures, for example, of economic restrictions shaping medical decisions.

But more often than not I find myself bowing to such conditions, not fighting them.

There’s often a huge gap between understanding a problem and finding the courage to act to change it, even when it affects you personally.

I’m not saying this is a solid case example of a general problem about the medical system, what happened to us. Far from it. And we were treated well. And we live in a rich country with a good system.

But there is the hint of a general problem with how some of us act in the face of authority. Or fail to act.

Understanding that, however, should be the first step to make better decisions next time.