An important point to be noted is that a second opinion should be sought under certain circumstances:
* If surgery is recommended. About 80 per cent of all surgery is elective (i.e., performed on a non-emergency basis). Recent studies have shown that one out of five operations is not really required -- what is considered 'unnecessary surgery.' A second opinion can definitely prevent you from becoming an unsuspecting victim of an overenthusiastic surgeon's knife!
* If the diagnosis reveals a rare, potentially fatal, or disabling disease. The original diagnosis could be incorrect and may need to be revised. Or, even if it is correct, there may be new or experimental treatments available at an institution specializing in the treatment of such a disease.
* If your symptoms persist unrelieved and the doctor can provide no satisfactory explanation for them.
* If the risks and benefits of the proposed procedures are not satisfactorily explained. The patient has a right to know the details about risks and the cost involved and the potential benefits of any procedure, test or surgery. It is preferable to get the relevant details in writing, so that you can digest them at leisure.
* If the diagnostic procedures seem unnecessarily complex or expensive, or both. Some doctors are prone to making excessive use of technology in borderline situations, either due to insecurity or to protect themselves against malpractice litigation.
* If the patient lacks confidence in the doctor's ability to do all that can reasonably be done. Effective treatment demands trust, and a lack of trust is as valid a reason as any other for getting a second opinion.
World's largest free patient education resource center
Please do come and visit HELP !
Our focus areas now are:
1. encouraging health insurance companies to invest in patient education
2. advocating information therapy
3. setting up a national network of patient education centers
4. developing patient educational materials in Indian languages for the web