My Dog Ate My Prescription
Should slacker patients get special treatment?
One problem, of course, is that people tend to overestimate their abilities and assume they should receive the most complex, effective treatment strategies in every case. Perhaps the answer is to create explicit treatment levels—perhaps graded by high, medium, and low intensity or difficulty—and then allow patients and doctors to choose explicitly among them. That way, at least we're acknowledging how health care works in the real world.
Darshak Sanghavi is Slate's health care columnist. He is chief of pediatric cardiology and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School as well as the author of A Map of the Child: A Pediatrician's Tour of the Body. Follow him on Twitter.
Illustration by Robert Neubecker.