In praise of modern medicine

I’m very favourably disposed to modern medicine at present. Two weeks ago, my wife gave birth via c-section, a result of complications that probably would have meant that mum and bubs wouldn’t have survived in pre-caesarean days.

Yesterday, I unexpectedly went back to the same hospital to have my appendix out. Am feeling pretty good now, but had this been 200 years ago, I probably would have followed them into the netherworld.

Back to economics tomorrow. For today, it’s good to still be kicking around.

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13 Responses to In praise of modern medicine

  1. Pingback: Andrew Leigh » Blog Archive » Baby Talk

  2. Very glad you are still with us. I have been similarly saved by modern medicine, twice in fact.

  3. Russell says:

    No doubt statistical analysis will follow …. when I had mine out (in Jakarta !) the doctor said it was quite unusal for men over 30 to get acute appendicitis.

    How big’s the scar ?

  4. Leon says:

    Being new to your blog/blogging in general, it seems weird to congratulate you on your new child but – congratulations!

    Now, I’m presuming a criticism of modern medicine is in order to prompt some discussion, so…

    I was in hospital today for uni, and in the ward which I visited, someone (a young adult) had died unexpectedly. The mother was yelling with grief, begging the doctor to look after their child – obviously they hadn’t been told the bad news yet.

    I’ve been in many hospitals before, including when people have died, but what struck me most was that the yelling seemed so out of place to us students in the whitewashed, professional hustle and bustle of hospital life that we were used to experiencing, yet it seemed to be the natural reaction of the mother.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Kevin Cox says:

    The health system has to face the choice each day of which patients to worry about and which ones to let die. I am sure they have a list (if not explicit) of which ones to spend extra time and effort on and which ones to leave.

    Perhaps this is one of the reasons people object to health records on an access card. It may in the future have “our economic/society worth” as a measure in our health record to help people decide whether we live or die. Imagine the opportunities and incentives of trying to rort that system. Or perhaps it is best to leave it as it is and let someone we trust make the appropriate decision.

    It could be that one of the reasons that many people are reluctant to carry organ donor cards is that they may think this might bias a decision against their interests?

  6. Sinclair Davidson says:

    Keyhole surgery? Hope you recover quickly – you have responsibilities now 🙂 .

  7. Verdurous says:

    ‘Twould have been a dreadful loss Andrew. If it were 200 years ago you might also have attended my funeral (shortly before or after the funeral of your missus and bub) before curling up your toes. I had cellulitis (infection of the skin and deeper tissues), which started from a mossie bite turned nasty, about a fortnight ago. Probably would have turned into septicaemia (“blood poisoning”). YAY for penicillin.

    Just be thankful you didn’t get appendicitis up here in the Torres Strait Andrew, might have been a long flight and delay for surgery…….or perhaps I’d have taken matters into my own hands…….now where’s that rusty fishing knife?

  8. Andrew Norton Says:
    March 6th, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    Very glad you are still with us. I have been similarly saved by modern medicine, twice in fact.

    >> Andrew, you had two appendix operations? ; )

    Andrew L – argh…definitely the last thing you need once a new baby arrives. I’m sure your clan is taking it all in their stride. Keep well.

  9. harry clarke says:

    I’ve been saved once when operated on after my appendix burst and I nearly died. It happened the day after the birth of my second daughter. We share something in the timing Andrew. Economics + birth -> stomach issues in father?

    For some reason the standard tests for an appendix problem don’t work on my family -pressing the stomach one side doesn’t produce the right signal. My father nearly died because, like me, no physician would believe there was a problem.

    After 3 hours of arguing and 3 hours more on a hospital trolley in a hallway with a bucket in case I threw up in resoponse to opiate injections I was taken into surgery and operated on. The surgeon told me I was lucky to survive.

    I am happy that like me you survived. Good luck and enjoy the bub in your convalescence.

  10. Daniel – Er, no:) I still have my appendix. Modern medicine more generally. A lung collapse and a pituitary tumour.

  11. Andrew Leigh says:

    Harry, Andrew, Verdurous, Daniel, thanks for sharing your parallel stories. And thanks to everyone for the kind words.

  12. wilful says:

    As a slight counter observation, while I am very pleased at modern obstetrics capacity to save lives, isn’t it true that there are too many interventions these days, and Australia has a very high rate of caesarians for a comparable outcome?

    We have private health insurance but decided to go public via the Royal Womens (Melbourne) Family Birthing Centre, where you only see an Obs once or twice during the pregnancy, and if everything goes normally you aren’t ‘medicalised’, you go with a midwife. Of course, should anything go wrong, all necessary help is at hand.

  13. ChrisPer says:

    Congratulations on the little one!

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