Burning Man 2002 – T – 2

There are only two days left until we hit the road for California and then Burning Man. Alex and I both feel like we’re forgetting something huge and important. We keep going through the lists like: Dome, Rebar, “You know what you’re eating?”, “You know what you’re wearing?”, water and so on. We can’t figure it out.

Last night we finished cutting the rebar and I bent the pieces into mostly “U” shaped spikes. I also went to the doctor and got a tetnus shot for the cut I got from the rebar the previous night. Which brings up an interesting point.

Doctor’s don’t give advice any more. I guess they are too worried about getting sued. I explained to the doctor what happened and that I thought I should probally get a tetnus shot. She said, “Okay.” and handed me a sheet of paper and said, “Read this and decide if you want a tetnus shot.”
So I read it and it had all kinds of warnings about how tetnus shots are good but they can kill you in horrible ways.
The doctor comes back and says, “So do you want one?” and I say, “I don’t have much of a choice do I?”. She goes on to explain how of course I have a choice and it’s my decision and such. I ask if she recommends I get one based on my cut and situation and she says she can’t make that decision for me. Eventually I say, “Well, I guess I will get it. Seems like I should.” and she just says, “Okay”.

This whole exchange leaves me wondering why there are doctors for this kind of thing at all. Effectivly I self prescribed a tetnus shot to myself and got it done. A drug store that stocked the stuff would have done me just as well.

Has the threat of a lawsuit gotten so bad that a doctor can’t even give recommendations on my health? The reason I go to a doctor (which doesn’t happen often) is becuase I believe a doctor knows more about how to keep me alive than I do and I am paying for some of that knowledge.

It’s a brave, new, self medicating world.