Understanding Hobson’s Choice in Medicine

Join Our Mailing List

Hobson’s choice  in Public Health

DEM white shirt

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]

A Hobson’s choice is a free choice in which only one thing is offered. Because a person may refuse to accept what is offered, the two options are taking it or taking nothing. In other words, one may “take it or leave it.”

The phrase is said to have originated with Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in Cambridge, England, who offered customers the choice of either taking the horse in his stall nearest the door or taking none at all.

***

An oil portrait of Thomas Hobson, in the National Portrait Gallery, London. He looks straight to the artist and is dressed in typical Tudor dress, with a heavy coat, a ruff, and tie tails

[Thomas Hobson, the National Portrait Gallery, London]

***

In Medicine

One of the first examples that springs readily to mind in trying to look for examples of Hobson’s Choice in Medicine is the issue of defensive medicine. While the physician actually has the option of not “shotgunning” a patient (that is, shooting randomly large number of tests in order to cover legal liability and prevent medicolegal backlashes), the risk of missing a diagnosis and the fall outs thereof are so large, that it basically degenerates into a Hobson’s Choice.

The idiosyncrasies of medicine and the way the body reacts to them always leaves us open to the risk of working within the constraints of Hobson’s Choice.

***

pills+capsules+other

***

For example, antibiotics have saved more lives than we can count, yet, an idiosyncratic, unpredictable reaction may just be waiting for us around the corner.

In Public Health

In the Indian Public Health scenario, all that the patients are offered in a primarily paternalistic system is the choice Hobson had offered all those years ago. Much like Henry Ford, who told customers lining up to buy his revolutionary Ford Model T that they could have their cars in “any color so long as it is black”, the Indian system, hobbled by the lack of an empowered public, and a patient choice scheme, functions on the basis of Hobson’s choice.

***

untitled

***

Assessment

Even in the clinical sciences, with shared decision making and user driven healthcare still in their infancy in the nation, a paternalistic physician offers naught but “this or none” choice to their patients. While one can say that the lack of general awareness of the public tends to spawn this issue, we cannot shake off our personal stake in this matter just by hiding behind the façade of moral determinism!

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

Invite Dr. Marcinko

***

Medical FINANCIAL PLANNING “Holistic” STRATEGIES

BY AND FOR PHYSICIANS AND THEIR ADVISORS

INVITE DR. MARCINKO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-

***

SPONSOR: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

CMP logo

***

PODCAST: Hospital Charity Care Explained

BY ERIC BRICKER MD

***

YOUR COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED.

CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

Subscribe to the Medical Executive-Post

***

***

***

***

PODCAST: Healthcare Re-Imagined

COMMON BRIDGE” WITH RICH HELPPIE

Richard Helppie's Common Bridge

Colleague Richard Helppie interviews Dean Clancy

Dean Clancy is a senior health care policy fellow at Americans for Prosperity and a nationally known health care freedom advocate and domestic policy expert with more than twenty years’ high-level policy experience in Congress, the White House, and the U.S. health care industry.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I first met Rich in B-school, when I was a student, back in the day. He was the Founder and CEO of Superior Consultant Holdings Corp. Rich graciously wrote the Foreword to one of my first textbooks on financial planning for physicians and healthcare professionals. Today, Rich is a successful entrepreneur in the technology, health and finance space.

-Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA CMP®

***

PODCAST: https://richardhelppie.com/dean-clancy/

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.

***

THANK YOU

***

%d bloggers like this: