June 28, 2007

Doctors Discrminate Against Ill Patients With Schizophrenia

Presented at The Royal College Of Psychiatrists Annual Meeting were the findings that doctors tend to discriminate against sick people who additionally have a psychiatric illness.

Voiced at the meeting were findings that doctors tend to provide an inferior quality of care with less screening and less treatment for ill patients who carry a mental illness diagnosis. Compared to ill patients who do not also carry a mental illness diagnosis, the care is not effective. with less recommedations for drug treatment, diagnostic and investigative procedures and surgical interventions.

Dr. Alex Mitchell, a consultant psychiatrist at the Department of Liaison Psychiatry at Leicester General Hospital, says "People who are mentally ill sometimes don't seek screening, but the more powerful reason is that once the medical team knows a patient has psychiatric problem, they give them poorer quality of care... It's prejudicial treatment."

Full Article: Doctors Are Prejudiced Against Patients With Mental Health Disorders
Source: The Royal College Of Psychiatrists Annual Meeting
Edinburgh International Conference Centre
19-22 June 2007

Related Reading:
U.S. Health System Is a 'Mess' Says NIH Ethics Expert
US: Mentally ill suffer deadly neglect
European Federation Calls For More Schizophrenia Health Care and Social Programs
Chronic Health Problems Plague Many With Schizophrenia
Hospitalized schizophrenia patients and medical complications
Medicine Safety Checklist


Sad but all too true. Yet still another example of stigma and in this case by intelligent professionals in the health field who should have greater sensitivity. I think best way to chose a general doctor is upon recomendation of someone else with SZ or mental illness who uses this doctor or perhaps upon the recomendation of ones local mental health agency. Wish I could find a docor who had SZ themselves. Wonder if their are any ?

Posted by: Frank S at June 28, 2007 07:54 AM

So many of us have stories of doctors, once a person gets a diagnosis of "mental" illness, dismissing illnesses, blowing us off, not running tests, and blaming everything on "mental" stuff.

They won't even run the tests that would find what is physically wrong that might be causing or exacerbating the "mental" (ie BRAIN) symptoms!

Posted by: Naomi at June 28, 2007 12:43 PM

Thanks you for publishing this article. This is axactly why I went back to school, in hopes of getting a PhD, because the fact of the matter is, schizophrenia or not, I trust myself more than I trust many of the doctors I have met to treat the mentally ill.

Posted by: Richard at June 28, 2007 02:43 PM

its very true, but would the people who supposed to take action are reading our comments? They need to look into it with more care and should make sure that all investigations are done. All patients suffering from any kind of brain disorder should particularly been investigated thoroughly because unfortunately they are in an attitude of "not bothered" at that moment and that may be a reason of their own brain disorder.

Posted by: Jena at July 1, 2007 02:11 AM

Discrimination, or fear of the patient ? Some GPs seem terrified, others confused by mentally ill patients. They often speak to the family member instead, if the family member is present.

Posted by: annick aubert at July 3, 2007 08:56 AM

My 24 year old son (who has schizophrenia) finally went to the 1 MD available in
our area who takes Medicaid. He went for a physical. He came home and said he felt totally humiliated. The exam(and I use that word loosely) took all but 5 minutes, the doctor didn't even do the basics, check ears, throat, etc., When is this country going to give the mentally ill respect? Please, parents, spouses, friends of your mentally ill loved ones, let's unite and raise our voices for those who suffer in silence!

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