Medical error is just one of many causes of pain, suffering, and even death in the medical system, and medical error in turn is caused by many forces that are unaddressed in the medical system – patient gaslighting, injury shaming, professional laziness, profit motivation, and more. And yet, we operate as if doctors are always, without fail, the good men in white coats, here to save us, and as if the most sane, rational, and ultimately healing choice is to put our lives in the hands of medical care. We also act as if every doctor is trustworthy and has the purest of intentions and motivations.

We are, on the whole, distinctly uncomfortable calling out the dark side of medical care – as if speaking frankly about it is outright denying or lacking recognition or appreciation of the light side. Kind of like the way that we are still, in 2022, distinctly uncomfotable calling out the dark side of family life, despite the obscene levels of domestic violence and the traumatic impact of that violence – which destroys not only individual lives, but generations of lives.

To call out family violence is not to deny family love. To call out medical negligence is not to deny medical care. It is to say they exist side by side. Denying the dark side, however, in the interest of protecting the light side, only blocks the light from permeating and transforming the darkness. Denial allows the darkness to fester. And that in itself is a form of negligence.

I call for a more comprehensive, inclusive, compassionate, and ultimately, intelligent approach to medicine, with the following imperatives:

In addition, for a particular health challenge, I call for the following steps:

Find out more about my approach to healing at ImAKitchenPirate.com and at CancerIsMyEngine.com.

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Photo, meme, and article © by Loolwa Khazzoom. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be copied without author’s permission.