Latest Stories

The Consumer

Patients have become proactive


A little knowledge may be a dangerous thing but, at the very least, it enables you to ask questions. This is particularly true in medicine.

Easy access to information is changing the traditional doctor-patient relationship. Many patients no longer just sit in awe and fear of their doctors, taking everything they are told as gospel truth, not complaining even when the cure turns out to be worse than the disease.

Of course, there are a few who think the Wikipedia is more credible than doctors with degrees from the world’s top schools and years of experience.

But most people use the little they know for a more informative and enlightening exchange with their physicians to find out the various options available, and not just accept whatever is offered, no questions asked.

Dr. Ramon Santos-Ocampo, chair of radiology of the Makati Medical Center (MMC), thinks it is a good thing that patients are “more proactive.” He says patients research, Google their ailments, and are better informed on what can and should be done to make them better.

Even before MMC acquired its latest high-technology tool for cancer treatment, TomoTherapy, people have already been asking about it, according to members of the hospital’s radiation therapy team, Drs. Kathleen H. Baldivia and Dennis V. Doromal. Some patients have been to countries where the treatment is already available, like Hong Kong and Singapore.

TomoTherapy, which is able to make a 360-degree turn, delivers radiation that targets more accurately and precisely diseased parts, reducing damage to noncancerous tissues. Baldivia says this reduces toxicity for normal tissues. And, because radiation delivery is more precise, higher doses can be given with little or no damage to healthy body parts.

Despite its advantages, Santos-Ocampo stresses that the patient will have to make the decision whether or not TomoTherapy should be used. He says the patient will be presented different therapy packages, their costs, features, advantages and disadvantages. “Patients will be able to make informed decisions,” he says.

Bill of Rights

Empowering patients to make informed choices appears to be a major focus of the revitalized MMC. It has adopted the Patient’s Bill of Rights that lists what a hospital client could and should expect.

The bill classifies the patient’s rights into: Right to Medical Care of Good Quality, Right to Freedom of Choice, Right to Self-determination, Right to Information, Right to Confidentiality, Right to Health Education, Right to Dignity, Right to Religious Assistance, Rights of Unconscious Patient, and Rights of Legally Incompetent Patient.

The category “Procedures against the Patient’s Will” states, “Diagnostic procedures or treatments against the patient’ s will can be carried out only in exceptional cases, if specifically permitted by law and conforming to the principles of medical ethics. In such cases, informed consent is secured from next-of-kin whenever possible.”

Of course, with the rights come responsibilities. Among other things, the patient is expected to provide complete and accurate information about his/her health, including present condition, past illnesses, hospitalizations, medications, natural products and vitamins, and any other matters pertaining to health; provide complete and accurate information including full name, address, telephone numbers, date of birth, insurance carrier and employer (when necessary); ask questions about diagnosis or treatment and inform the doctor of potential problems in following prescribed treatment, and abide by all hospital rules and regulations.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail lbolido@inquirer.com.ph.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Health , Lifestyle , Medicine

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FCJF33MU3YKIKSJZZ22MOZEFQQ peter r

    Read this excellent books- Prescription for Natural Cures and Prescription for Drug Alternatives both by James F.Balch, MD and Mark Stengler, ND. And Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC. Natural ways to heal and cure, “Western Medicine” is strictly a business.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service