I am scheduled to get a colonoscopy in an upstate New York hospital because of bleeding which my doctor has not chalked up to hemmoroids or fissures, as I have been content to do for several years until it worsened. I'm not quite the typical age where the procedure becomes routine, but I'm still old enough to remember days when any procedure involving anesthesia was followed by at least one overnight at the hospital. Since insurance companies will no longer pay for such cautionary overkill, doctors and hospitals now want to take the loss out on the patient, their family, or their friends by being a bigger pain in the **s (so to speak) about it than necessary.
Specifically, I'm told that I am required to involve a chaperone to drive me home after the procedure! I am absolutely livid - screw their nanny-state policies, I'm an adult! If there is valid cause to expect me to make stupid decisions following the first two hours after waking up from anesthesia (such as getting behind the wheel of a car, or giving all my money away), then it is simply unethical on the hospital's part to release a patient in such a state, period. Having a garden hose stuck up your **s is humiliating enough without making an adult bring in a chaperone to wait it out for you as a requirement.
To all who think I just need to adjust my attitude, SCREW YOU!!!! I'm in a difficult situation, being single, without a mate, and my freinds and family are all just as busy as I am (and it took a lot for me to take the time for having this done at all). More importantly, I am relatively young to have maybe developed colon/rectal cancer, therefore there's no point in alarming the people I care about with the prospect of such a condition, and inconveniencing them in the process, when the results of the test are likely to be negative. If not, then I will wait until it's known for certain before I start talking about it - I don't like to cry wolf, and I demand my right to keep this matter secret for as long as possible.
What I wish is to maintain silence on the very personal situation with my guts until the facts are clearly known. This is what I have every righteous right to demand the support of my doctors and the hospital in maintaining, and anyway if it truly wouldn't be ethical for a hospital to allow a post-anesthetized patient to walk the street inside of a set number of hours, then they simply should not release the patient before that critical time period has expired.
To clarify the situation, they do in fact demand that you have someone sign a form and sit the procedure out in the waiting room, until they can drive you home. You can't just plan to walk down the street, however close your house may be, it won't do to board a bus either, nor a cab. The basic problem with this is that a lot of people don't drive, and don't live in a world surrounded by family and friends who do either. While this is not specifically an issue for me, it is one more factor which is preventing people from getting necessary procedures done at all - add that to humiliation, premature family discussions before the facts are established, and ridiculously unnecessary inconvenience to family or friends, which without adding that in may be enough to prevent me from getting this damned procedure done.
To all who understand my position, I need to know if you are aware of any rights I may actually have in refusing compliance with the hospital's post-operative chaperone policy, while still getting it done to diagnose my medical situation. I just can't believe doctors have the legal right to impose such onerous conditions on any patient as a condition of treatment. I simply refuse to believe I'm the only one who ever went into a medical procedure without family, and the medical community is nothing short of a disgrace to be pushing people who need diagnostics and treatment away like this. Please help if you can.
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