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When others cross the line

But there will be times when what is said by another person will be unacceptable, totally unfair or inaccurate—these should be addressed, to the best of the patient's ability.

People who are ill will typically become flabbergasted by these unexpected remarks and many won't be able to say anything on the spur of the moment. Depending on the individual, this can be turned into an opportunity to educate the other person, by responding in an honest and unapologetic way that speaks to the heart of the matter.

If the other person still does not get it, then it would be reasonable for the patient to remove themselves. Sometimes the other person could be someone's doctor whose remarks or conduct was very dismissive or in some way, offensive.

One option is to send a letter to the doctor about the incident after the patient has had a chance to quietly digest and reflect over the details of the incident. [But the patient shuld be aware that the letter will be made part of his/her record.]

The worst thing that patients or anyone can do is to respond by lashing out with their offensive remarks and/or stooping to the level of the offender.