“I once took care of a young woman who told me she suffered from a rare blood disorder that caused clots to develop in her heart and lungs. She’d had multiple surgeries, as evidenced by the scars on her back and abdomen. However, when we called her grandmother to get more information about her illness, she told us that her granddaughter was just fine — physically. It turned out she suffered from Munchausen syndrome, a psychiatric disorder in which patients intentionally produce or distort symptoms because of a need to be seen as ill or injured. They will undergo painful tests or diagnostic procedures if necessary to maintain the lie.
“Physicians sometimes deceive, too. We don’t always reveal when we make mistakes. Too often we order unnecessary tests, to bolster revenue or to protect against lawsuits. We sometimes mislead patients that our therapies have more value, more evidence behind them, than they actually do — whether it was placebo injections from my grandfather’s era, for example, or much of the spinal surgery or angioplasty that’s done today.”
* To read the full NYTs article, “The Lies That Doctors and Patients Tell” by Sandeep Jauhar, highlight then click on open hyperlink http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/the-lies-that-doctors-and-patients-tell/?ref=health