This video samples an ineffective communication between the treating doctor and an elderly female patient with regard to her medical treatment and future plan of care.
Doctor: there you are Elizabeth. There’s your script for your blood pressure. Everything seems good. Now there is something I wanted to talk to you about. It was about what you might want to happen to you if you become really crook and you die.
Patient: is there something wrong with me?
Doctor: not now. You’re fine now. I mean, say you got something really bad with you, would you want to have all that stuff done to you?
Patient: I don’t know why you wouldn’t want me to have any treatment. I want every treatment that’s available.
Doctor: No, no, no. This is if you are really crook. Probably time to plan for what could happen to you if things went wrong.
Patient: But I have got a plan. I’ve done my will, and I’ve done…
Doctor: No, no. I don’t mean financial. I don’t mean plans like that. I mean planning for what you want done medically like if you get something really bad, not, not the sort of financial stuff.
Patient: so you think something really bad is going to happen to me?
Doctor: no, no, no. You haven’t got..no, I’m not being clear. I want you to plan for the future so that if you had a bad illness you could, you know. You’ve got to realise that in Australia, people spend 50% of their health budget on the last six months of their lives and most of the treatment is useless.
Patient: I don’t want you to say that treatment is useless because it may help me.
Doctor: no, no. I’m not trying to say that treatment is useless all the time, but the last bit of your life its pretty, it’s a waste of time really.
Patient: (deep breath) Well. I think I’ll just as soon leave it at that thank you very much.
Doctor: they’re asking us to fill out all these forms for you and give you all this stuff to do. You’ll be fine. It’s not.. your health is good. You’re on a lot of medication but you’re in good nick. You’ll be fine.
Patient: I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I do want treatment and I feel very uncomfortable.
Doctor: No. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I brought this up. I’m, we won’t talk about this again.