Treatment of patients in U.S. hospitals may range from polite indifference to dehumanizing, to outright cruel. Some years ago, my wife had an episode of hypertension, and we ended up in an emergency room. The doctor in charge at the E.R. insisted on a CAT scan. It was entirely unnecessary and we objected to it. He threatened that if she didn’t submit to it, he would refuse to discharge her. If she left on her own, her insurance wouldn’t cover the bill (hundreds of dollars). His job was to generate revenue for the hospital.
I was working the evening shift at a major hospital in Philadelphia, when an elderly couple approached the nursing station asking what room their son was in. They had travelled a long way to get to the hospital. It was 8:15 p.m. The nurse in charge said, “Visiting hours are over at 8 p.m.. Come back tomorrow.” They pleaded with her but she wouldn’t relent.
Looking defeated, they headed for the elevator to leave. I ran over to them, asked them their last name, checked the patient list and took them to their son’s room.
These were just a couple incidents of a hundred I could recite about the ethos of American hospitals. The main problem is that the hospitals are not patient centered. In fact, patients are at the lowest point in the power hierarchy. Hospitals are a business and patients are a product, something to be processed. A patient’s opinions and feelings, if expressed, are given little consideration. Try refusing, or even questioning a drug or a procedure and you will be treated as a pariah.
A woman named Angelica Thieriot tried to change all that. Some 40 years ago, while a patient in a hospital, she found the experience totally dehumanizing. Everything was oriented around the convenience of doctors and staff, to the detriment of patients. Moved by this, she developed a new model of patient care and founded the organization called Planetree. That was in 1978.
Planetree’s goal was to make hospitals patient centered, more humane, and therefore truer healing environments. Below is a list of some of the policies she wanted hospitals to adopt. It may seem strange that these were considered revolutionary:
– Serve nutritious food
– Design spaces to support patient dignity
– Offer complementary therapies
– Empower patients through education and participation in decisions about their treatment.
– Allow patients to read their own charts. (Who is better able to find errors in the medical history than the patient?)
– Let the patient’s family have unrestricted visiting hours
– Train staff in empathy and communication skills to create a more nurturing, compassionate environment.
– Provide hospital attire that will maintain patient dignity, such as alternatives to the open-backed gown.
There’s much more, but that should give you the sense of it. When I first learned about the Planetree model, I assumed that most hospitals would embrace it. It’s a win-win situation with obvious benefit to the patient and the hospital. Such an environment would create a more healing experience. There would be greater patient satisfaction, fewer hospital errors (and law suits). The hospital would quickly become more popular.
As of today, Planetree has certified 800 organizations in 30 countries. Their person-centered approach has empowered millions of patients. However, there’s more work to be done. In terms of the whole world, relatively few hospitals were willing to adopt this more enlightened approach. The patient centered philosophy and methods do not exist in most hospitals in the U.S. For instance, there are only four in Pennsylvania and only two in Texas.
The good news is that Planetree is still offering to certify hospitals in their person- centered approach. Hospitals, clinics and other medical establishments can contact Planetree to learn how the program works:
You can lobby your local hospital, clinic or doctor and send them the link above. Testimonials about Plantree Brief Interview with Angelica Thieriot
Jan 2022 In This Issue
–– There’s More Than Homeopathy Missing in Hospitals – Alan V. Schmukler
–– Feedback from December 2021 – Letters to the Editor – Hpathy.com
HOMEOPATH IN THE HOT-SEAT
–– Dr. Joachim F. Grätz, author of Gentle Medicine – The True Causes of Disease, Healing, and Health, is interviewed by Alan V. Schmukler
SPECIAL PRESENTATION from the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy (IACH) Part III –
–– Community Acquired Pneumonia in a Man of 30 – Virag Shah
–– Testicular Hypoplasia After Surgical Treatment for Cryptorchidism in a Boy of 6 – Larisa Osokina
–– Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Woman of 43 – Elka Leibovitch
–– Periodic Limb Movement Disorder and Behavioural Problems Improving Simultaneous to a Change in the Nature of Acute Illness – Sarah Baxter
–– Depression and Insomnia in a Woman of 31 – Maria Likhacheva
–– Premenstrual Syndrome Treated with Classical Homeopathy -Tamara Denisova
–– Slow Development and Fears in a boy of 6 – Elka Leibovitch
–– Why The War Against Homeopathy? – Maria Chorianopoulou
–– All the Worlds a Materia Medica – Anne Sorrell
–– Comparative Study of Hay Fever Remedies – Tamara Kozymenko
–– Hope, Heart & Homeopathy: Some Experiences with Omicron, a Variant of Covid-19 – Gyandas G. Wadhwani
–– Stopping Long Haul COVID-19 Symptoms in Its’ Tracks and Regaining Health Using Homeopathy – Arup B. Bhattacharya
–– My Evolution Over the Last 80 Years – Peter Chappell
–– Indications for Carbnoneum oxygenisatum in Covid-19 – Andre Saine
–– Argenticum nitricum – P. I. Tarkas and Ajit Kulkarni
–– Homeopathic Treatment of Epilepsy – Joachim F. Grätz
–– Homeopathy and Autism – Lessons from 700 Consultations – Jean Lacombe
–– Three Emerging Remedies for Covid-19 – Elizabeth Adalian
–– The Soul of Remedies – Hepar sulphuris calcareum – Rajan Sankaran
–– Remedies for Scarring – Andie Holman
–– Tidbits 87: Tooth Talk – Elaine Lewis
–– Tips & SECRETS – January 2022 – Alan V. Schmukler
–– Appendicitis in a Man of 22 – Shruti Gaur /Sharma Bhawani Shankar
–– PCOS in a Woman of 34 – Vitan Gosain
–– Inability in Mathematics in a Girl of 15 – Kavita Chandak
–– Utility of Dreams in Homeopathic Practice – Rajiv Peres
–– Varicose Veins and Allergic Rhinitis – Sudipti Singh
–– The Effect of Melatonin on Thrombosis, Sepsis and Mortality Rate in COVID-19 Patients -Zainab Thanon Hasan, Mohammed Qasim Yahya Mal Allah AlAtrakji, Ahmed Kayes Mehuaiden
–– An Insight Into Plants, Volumes I, II and III by Dr. Rajan Sankaran is reviewed by Vatsala Sperling.
–– Materia Medica of Nosodes and Sarcodes by Dr. Gaurang Gaikwad, reviewed by Vatsala Sperling.
–– Ask The Holistic Vet – January 2022 – Deva Khalsa
–– The Plant Doctor – January 2022 – Radko Tichavsky
–– Good News? – Alan V. Schmukler
–– Homeopathy Crossword – January 2022
SOLVE THE CASE QUIZ
–– QUIZ : Strangest COVID Case Ever! – Elaine Lewis
–– QUIZ ANSWER from last month – Revisiting: The Worst Cough Ever! – Elaine Lewis