Ryan Marino had a patient refuse treatment because they thought he was falsifying the diagnosis. Sadly, he isn't the only doctor who's had to treat such patients.
Across the country right now, doctors and other medical professionals are struggling to keep their patients alive. They recognize the responsibility they hold, both to give their patients the best treatment possible, and to make sure they protect overall public health. The only thing worse than a sick patient in the hospital is a sick patient infecting others. Therefore, when emergency medicine doctor Ryan Marino was accused of falsifying the diagnosis of someone who tested positive for Coronavirus, he could not help but speak his mind. Taking to Twitter, he shared the "surreal" of experience of such an accusation.
Marino wrote, "I’ve been called a lot of names and accused of a lot of things by ER patients but it’s surreal to have a patient accuse me of falsifying their result - because they don’t believe the virus is real - as I’m actively trying to keep them from dying from multi-organ failure." If left undiagnosed and untreated, the novel Coronavirus attacks every single organ in one's body - not just the lungs. Therefore, it is shocking that a patient would rather be dying and cling to their belief system rather than trust a medical professional. The tweet was accompanied by a GIF of a man in front of an explosion. It read, "Everything is fine! Just ignore the scientists." There's always the perfect GIF for any situation, isn't there?
Well, you just need to have the orderlies dress in a way that drives the point home. My recommendation: pic.twitter.com/GrwH44DD2P— Gay Horror Geek🏳️🌈🌈 (@GayHorrorGeekCT) May 20, 2020
In a follow-up tweet, the doctor clarified that he wasn't criticizing the patient in particular, but rather the current status quo. "This is not a critique of the patient in this case, who needed help and had been lied to by others," he stated, "but a critique of the fact that we live in a time where people are willing to deny their own reality to fit an imaginary narrative." After all, when you're being peddled the idea that the virus is "a hoax" by the most powerful man in the country, why would you choose to believe anyone else? Especially if his theories fit your already skewed ideas of and belief in science, evidence, and professional advice.
Somehow the plague has become political. How did we get here?— Dr Theresa Patton (@GirlDocPatton) May 20, 2020
Keep up the good fight. Denial complicates treatment for many disorders. Doesn’t stop us from trying to help.
After Marino shared his story, several other medical professionals joined the conversation on Twitter. One posted, "I too work in a hospital - both ED and hospitalist. I never used Twitter at all until protestors started spitting at nurses, calling them 'fake nurses,' and blocking ambulances from getting to the hospital with their trucks. The gloves are off." Another added, "I had a similar experience but it was sleep apnea related. We 'made up' the numbers showing they had severe apnea, AHI >100, desats <70, snoring heard through multiple walls. I was 'a shill' for the DME company trying to sell him a CPAP. I was just trying to run a titration study." While we may not have fully understood all those stats, the patient probably didn't either, which is why it's best to leave medical advice to, you know, the medical experts?
Big Air is trying to corner the market on free breathing. 🤪— Airport Codes Map (@codes_map) May 25, 2020
Perhaps Twitter user AJ_F612's story is most telling of all: "I had a positive patient refuse IV fluids, despite being dehydrated and tachycardic, because she said, 'I read that doctors are injecting people with [the virus], so I don’t trust anything you give me.' [I] rolled my eyes so hard they almost fell out of my head." Sure, we have all heard of Big Pharma and the nasty tactics they use in order to make big bucks while making us sick. The opioids crisis is a great example of that. However, during a public health crisis, if you are unable to look at the scientific evidence and consider that doctors probably know more than a blabbering ignoramus in the White House, why did you even visit the ER in the first place? Our country's doctors are just trying to help. It's best we take it.
Please know that you are greatly valued for your expertise and your compassion.— Laura Hennessey 🆘✍️ (@LauraHennesse11) May 20, 2020