Doctors’ patients should question their doctor on the drugs and treatments offered using the BRAN test. The aim is to reduce overmedication and decrease interventions. GP patients like to come away with something when they visit their GP’s surgery. Often it is antibiotics which are inappropriate but some need to be more inquisitive and less passive in the surgery.
I wonder whether veterinarians’ clients should adopt the BRAN test, which asks about the Benefits, Risks and Alternatives to treatment offered to a cat owner and whether the better course of action is to do Nothing.
The BRAN test is about empowering patients to give them a sense of ownership of the way they are treated.
I have long felt – and I practice this myself – that cat owners should gently challenge where appropriate the veterinarian’s diagnosis and proposed treatment.
A veterinarian’s client is in a position of trustee to her cat. In the consulting room she is tested on her cat guardianship responsibilities. The client should own the treatment and be fully informed as to the risks and possible consequences.
Two typical operations come to mind immediately although there are many more. Dental cleaning carries a risk of brain injury by the anaesthetic. The vet should provide full details on the degree of the risk together with supporting documentary evidence. As to declawing in the US, often vets do not disclose what the operation entails and neither to they discuss alternatives. The client has an obligation as a cat guardian to enquire and challenge to obtain full details so she can make an informed decision. Her decision will be No when she finds out.
Vets can be overzealous with prescribing antibiotics. Once again the vet should explain why they are being prescribed and the downsides.
Vaccinations are another important area where a veterinarian must provide neutral information about the risks and benefits. Sometimes vaccinations are inappropriate and vets should explain this and the client should challenge on the subject. BRAN should work well at the vet clinic.
Some associated pages
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