THE RAGING RELATIVE DILEMMA: have you had a family member complain about...
Why we are so upset about non-regulated injectors? Dr Tim Pearce believes it’s all around accountability.
I know many feel this is purely about each side trying to corner a market, but actually, if you ask medical professionals who are not in the industry, you will get exactly the same arguments as to why non-regulated people should not be allowed to do these procedures. So, why is that?…
What’s really at stake here? Why so much emotion?…
I want to try and articulate exactly what the forces are at work here are, and why I think you will see healthcare professionals defend this so relentlessly.
I believe it’s rooted in a culture that exists in the health care system, one which has been hard won, over hundreds of years and is centred not around freedoms, or skills, but around accountability and real responsibility.
The responsibility which is only truly felt when you are in touch with how bad things can get when they go wrong, and you know that if it’s your fault you will be fully responsible. Being viscerally in touch with the line you walk between suffering and health when you intervene in the structure, function and psychology of another person, and knowing you are accountable for this is a difficult place to stand.
Can the public see the difference?
You can see two people injecting, even doing the same injection the same way, and to the public, it looks indistinguishable, while it still can look unsettling to healthcare professionals when one is non-medical. I believe we see the lack of true responsibility.
This is more acute when you find Instagram videos of non-medics injecting people’s faces, purposefully making exaggerated movements as a display of confidence, seemingly with no fear or respect for the risk. We see no sign in their expressions, or their body movements that this is a dangerous situation for the person they inject. This is deeply unsettling when viewed through the lens of an average healthcare professional who would in that situation feel the threat of their own colleagues, reigning them in.
It looks like an affront to the natural order of things. It triggers a real sense of chaos in our bodies. You really feel that this is not a good situation.
I believe as a group, healthcare workers are united by a set of values and norms which have been forged by the darkest part of our collective past. The suffering which has been collectively absorbed or even forced into the culture by all the millions of times things which have historically gone wrong, through the ignorance or negligence of those who have gone before us, and by the collective disgust we feel when innocent people are unnecessarily hurt under our care.
The whole system we come from is built to reduce risk, increase responsibility, and to make patients’ needs the primary goal. To take responsibility not just for obeying a patients request, but to be the one who takes responsibility for how a treatment actually affects their mental health, well-being and physical health.
So, this is what happens to people who become indoctrinated into the tribe of healthcare professionals. You slowly assimilate this way of thinking about things, and you assume a burden of responsibility and accountability.
You carry with you, whenever you work, a threat from within your own tribe.
If you are a healthcare professional…
- You better be able to justify your actions.
- You better be able to defend the risks you take to your colleagues.
- You better act in a way that respects all the pain of the past caused through our shortcomings and try to avoid it in the future.
- You better battle to make things safer and more effective for your patients.
- …and you better not upset your governing body, the enforcers of your tribe’s rules and values.
All of your own kind stand in judgement of you. This is real responsibility. Real accountability. It’s so much more than knowing facts about anatomy or technique. This is a culture of accountability that’s quite difficult to live in at times, but it’s ingrained in our DNA. It becomes the way we view the world.
So, I hope you can see that this is no shallow thing, though it can be misconstrued to be this way. Though the accusations of corrupt motives are frequent, this is not about trying to hurt anyone else’s business.
The vast majority of healthcare professionals do not concern themselves with trying to undermine the businesses of their colleagues, but they do feel upset by non-medics which they perceive to be engaging in risk without the same level of responsibility or accountability.
It offends some core values which I don’t believe are expressed well enough. It’s never been about anatomy knowledge or injection technique, which are arguably teachable to any intelligent person. It’s about the imbalance between risk and responsibility.
Until there is a real legislation, this asymmetry is offensive to those who willingly bear the burden of both. Until a system which holds all who take risk with other people’s bodies to the same standard of responsibility, it will never be accepted because this is an ancient value system, which will not go away.
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