Can you think of any other medical condition where removal of a treatment is threatened?

I was thinking about that question a couple of nights ago, in my hotel room in Sydney, at 2.30am, getting over a hypo, after chugging OJ, messaging people, tweeting and reading pages of my book. I couldn’t fall back to sleep.

In diabetes, we (still; STILL?) hear of HCPs threatening to remove pump therapy from people who are considered to not be meeting expected results.

Let’s not even open the can of worms asking who actually has set those results, or if the PWD had any input into the decision making process around targets, or if too much focus is being given to a number.

No. Let’s instead just focus on the fact that some PWD are (still; STILL?) being told that their chosen treatment option for their life long health condition will be removed from them as punishment because they are being ‘bad’.

Now, I love my insulin pump, but let’s remember what it is. It’s a little box that delivers insulin. Okay – a little, highly-sophisticated magical box that delivers insulin, but nonetheless, it’s an insulin delivery device.

It would be the same as saying to someone who is using insulin pens that because their A1c has increased, (often the reason behind the threat of pump removal), their pens were being confiscated and they would have to use disposable syringes. Or, people using disposable syringes would have to use glass syringes with needles needing to be sharpened.

Crazy, right? There is no way that we would consider that okay. It’s actually laughable.

Of course, people with type 2 diabetes are not immune to the threats of diabetes management, however in this case, it is threatening to add treatment rather than take it away. People with type 2 are often told that if they require insulin injections to treat their diabetes it is because they have failed with other treatments.

Making threats about diabetes management options is bullying. Holding the tools we need to live well with the condition over our heads as rewards or punishment is not okay. It is scary and unfair and sends the wrong message.

Earlier this week, Aaron and I saw the Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of the play ‘Death and the Maiden’. It was fabulous – amazing performances – and if you are in Melbourne and looking for a night at the theatre, get tickets! Here is the Schubert string quartet by the same name, which is providing my background music in the office today. Have a lovely weekend.

 

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