While people continue to demonize CMS Administrator Dr. Donald Berwick and President Obama essentially throws Berwick under the political bus, far too many are missing the message. Wouldn’t “radical communist thugs” like one commenter on this YouTube page labeled the Obama administration really want to dehumanize patient care?
Watch this short video of Berwick speaking in Berlin in 2009 (yes, socialist Europe). He talks about how patient care already has been dehumanized and how healthcare professionals and organizations routinely ignore the wishes of patients. Speaking of a friend who couldn’t get mammogram results over the phone, Berwick said, “Their choice trumps her choice. Period. And that’s what scares me. It scares me to be made helpless before my time, to be made ignorant when I want to know, to be made to sit when I wish to stand, or to be alone when I need to hold my wife’s hand, or to eat what I do not wish to eat, or to be named what I do not wish to be named, or to be told when I wish to be asked, or to be awoken when I wish to sleep.”
Does that sound like a “radical communist thug” or someone genuinely committed to improving the quality of care and actually humanizing the patient experience?