Arrogance of ignorance
Once in a while angry doc comes across a blog post or comment that makes him get personal - a post on Emerald Hills today managed to do that to him. angry doc reproduces his comment on that post below:
Your post contains many unfounded accusations directed at health professionals, policy makers, and some segments of the population, and ignores some of the facts we already know about the virus.
I think the latest direction from MOH is in fact a reasonable one based on what we know about the virus so far.
The DORSCON system was designed with a deadlier virus in mind. Current evidence is that the virus we are dealing with is not as deadly as previously thought, so it is reasonable to modify it than to stick to what is ‘on paper’. This shows that the policy makers are monitoring the situation and adapting, rather than blinding adhering to protocols.
Given that patients can be asymptomatic and still be infectious, I fail to see how raising the alert level will help contain the spread.
Given that the disease is mild in the majority of the cases, and that Tamiflu can have adverse effects, it makes sense to reserve its use in patients in whom the benefits will outweigh the risk. Doctors are trained to identify patients who are at higher risks – just because you are ignorant doesn’t mean that health professionals are too.
Also, the fact that the disease is mild in the majority of the cases means that an accurate diagnosis is not helpful in the treatment of the patient most of the time – a patient with H1N1 but is not severly ill will not require Tamiflu or supportive treatment, while a patient who is ill will require supportive treatment regardless of whether it is from H1N1 or seasonal flu.
You display the arrogance of ignorance with your post, thinking that your knowledge of the virus and medical science allows you to criticise the efforts of our policy and healthcare workers, when in fact you have merely displayed your ignorance on the subject, and have not come up with any solution (except to raise the alert level, although you have not explained how that will help make things better).
As a healthcare worker in the frontline fighting against the virus, I am offended by your insult to the competence and professionalism of my colleagues and myself. You are like a panicked airplane passenger who demands to have a say in how the plane is piloted when it hits a turbulence, thinking that you have the training and experience to tell the pilot how to do his job, when he is vastly more qualified than you are, and fully aware of the responsibilities he bears, because if the plane goes down, he goes down too.
Added Jul 04 2009: See this post on the Singapore MD site and decide for yourselves if doctors "make conclusions and decisions blindly, without the necessary facts to back them up".