When “Doc Tom” Ferguson first spoke of e-patients in the 1990s – empowered, engaged in their care, etc – those pioneering patients tended to be online. But today almost everyone’s online, empowered or not. In fact being empowered is a separate issue. And today’s “Empowered Patient” column by CNN’s Elizabeth Cohen illustrates that, by highlighting three Hollywood movies about patient engagement, all pre-World Wide Web.
She called this week – she was doing a piece for Oscar week, and the King’s Speech struck her (correctly) as a story of an empowered patient. Excerpts from today’s piece, “The Empowered Patient” Goes To Hollywood:
[Elizabeth was] a wife bravely defying the medical establishment and royal rules to get her husband the best medical care.
It’s a point that hit Dave deBronkart, co-chairman of The Society for Participatory Medicine, over the head when he saw the movie.
“The queen, who of course wasn’t the queen yet, had the good common sense to trust her instincts and not be limited to treatments that her gut said were no good, and that experience showed her were not doing any good,” deBronkart says.
Elizabeth, deBronkart says, was truly an empowered patient.
“Here she goes to a neighborhood no one would expect her to go and get the care her family needed. She trusted her own instincts. I was so proud of her,” he adds. “She didn’t have any medical training but she made a difference in her husband’s health. And you know what’s really cool? She did it without the internet.”
Cohen cites two other movies with empowered patient aspects, and goes on to interview David Seidler, who wrote the script for The King’s Speech.
Can I just say, what a thrill it is to have the Society for Participatory Medicine in a story like this. And thanks to Elizabeth; until she asked, I hadn’t realized this was worth talking about!
Here’s the piece. Thanks, Elizabeth!