LETTERS: Caution prescribed
My elderly mother recently visited a walk-in clinic in White Rock, intent upon finding a doctor to take her as a regular patient.
Her current doctor’s office is located far from her home, and she is no longer driving. As an independent, healthy and drug-free 94-year-old, she had rarely visited her doctor but now wanted to locate someone nearby before any serious health issues might arise.
The clinic doctor first offered to provide her with drugs for free, if she would pay him $100. Being neither a pharmacist dispensing drugs, nor an insurance agent offering medical coverage, I can only speculate that his intention was to charge her for drug samples.
She refused, saying that she never needed or used drugs, whereupon he began to lecture about the danger of the high blood pressure he said she had. Mom has never had high blood pressure.
All this occurred prior to any kind of checkup. The doctor then took her blood pressure, told her it was high, gave her a month’s supply of sample pills and ordered her to come back when she had finished them.
My mom is now on a drug prescribed by a doctor who didn’t even bother to examine her first.
Although she agrees his actions were inappropriate, she is now convinced she needs medication.
Last night, I noticed her speech was slurred and that she seemed slightly confused – entirely out of character. It could be that she was simply tired, however, certain high blood-pressure medications do manifest in that way.
Until a physician examines her appropriately, I will remain concerned that she has been improperly and perhaps dangerously medicated.
This incident illustrates a troubling example of bullying and is a form of elder abuse that is easy to overlook and often difficult to recognize. The doctor’s actions were unethical and unconscionable.
I am shocked and appalled and will be filing a complaint with the BC Medical Association.
It is a cautionary tale for others. Caregivers and children of aging parents should be aware of the potential vulnerability of seniors.
It is very disturbing and disheartening, however, that we must even be wary of people in such positions of trust.
Patti McClocklin, Carvel, Alta.