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cliveandrews

Vigilante justice against quack physician

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Years ago I got mixed up with a quack podiatrist who gave me evil medical advice that resulted in permanent damage to my feet and ankles, and subsequently, long-term disability, suffering and dramatic loss of quality of life. Although I am certain of his role in harming me, I cannot prove the injuries in court, so he keeps merrily quacking away on patients and enjoying the money I paid him to help me. Although I try not to think about him, my thoughts often return to what he did to me, and I am overcome with anger. Although I am not aroused by violence and don't intend to act on them, I have had violent fantasies about what I want to do to him. Short of hurting him physically, I think some form of retaliation is justified, so I've decided that I want to spray paint the words "DANGER! BEWARE OF QUACK!" in huge red letters on the face of his office. What do you think of my idea?

Edited by cliveandrews

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...so I've decided that I want to spray paint the words "DANGER! BEWARE OF QUACK!" in huge red letters on the face of his office. What do you think of my idea?

Well, now that you've created a trail for the NSA, that is definitely a horrible idea, not to mention that you could broadcast the same message some other way without illegally (that is, riskily) messing up his property -- or is it the messing up that you like?

It's horrible what happened to you. The guy should have something coming to him. But, as usual, vigilantism is impractical for someone looking to actually make a life for himself. Threat of the court system and all the longterm negatives that brings should deter you by itself.

Worse, though, is that longterm grudges can take time away from you improving your life. Everyone can only work with what they've got. Not to downplay the doctor or his effect on your life, but after a point, you'll have no choice but to start viewing your new physical shape as "what you've got." Getting "even" with him, if it would even be possible, will at most make you feel good in the moment. But afterward your ankles will be the same, and you'll still be in a mental position to stay mad about it, indefinitely.

So, it would seem that the better course of action would be to "show him" by forgetting about his existence and focusing instead on yourself.

Edited by JASKN

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Greenspan's "The Attacks on Integrity" (in CUI) argued that government licensing makes these unfortunate stories likelier.  Occupational licensing, safety certification and the like become an automatic grant of credibility and reputation that practitioners couldn't have earned in a free market.

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Why not? What gives you this certainty, and why can't it be presented in Court?

 

I don't want to explain that because the answer involves theoretical details that you don't likely have the background to understand. Just suppose for the sake of the question that everything I said is true.

Edited by cliveandrews

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I don't want to explain that because the answer involves theoretical details that you don't likely have the background to understand. Just suppose for the sake of the question that everything I said is true.

I can't do that, because I don't believe you. I don't think it's possible to know something without proof. Not practically, and not theoretically.

If you said that you had the proof, but the authorities are not willing to look at it, that would be one thing. But if you don't have proof, then you don't know anything, and you shouldn't be acting on a guess, intuition, or whim.

Edited by Nicky

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cliveandrews -

 

Here's a proposal.  If the explanation is over our heads, then give it to us in the most impenetrably arcane way you can and let us judge.  Some of us might surprise you, and even if your explanation is hopelessly beyond our ken, you will have demonstrated your sincerity.

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I can't do that, because I don't believe you. I don't think it's possible to know something without proof. Not practically, and not theoretically.

If you said that you had the proof, but the authorities are not willing to look at it, that would be one thing. But if you don't have proof, then you don't know anything, and you shouldn't be acting on a guess, intuition, or whim.

 

I know that this podiatrist's advice caused my injuries because I lived through the events in question and experienced first-hand the direct cause-effect relationship between my acting on his advice and the onset of my problems. I can explain the mechanism because I've done the research on my own, but most medical personnel haven't because the issue lies outside the scope of their normal practice.

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cliveandrews -

 

Here's a proposal.  If the explanation is over our heads, then give it to us in the most impenetrably arcane way you can and let us judge.  Some of us might surprise you, and even if your explanation is hopelessly beyond our ken, you will have demonstrated your sincerity.

 

I originally visited this podiatrist because I was a serious amateur runner suffering from chronic shin splints. He prescribed a set of custom-molded orthotics, which is a common recommendation for podiatrists to make. The problem was that the particualr orthotics he prescribed were drastically excessive and overbuit, the equivalent of huge, thick glasses for an only slightly nearsighted patient. They were the kind of orthotics that would normally be prescribed to an elderly person with real mobility problems, not an athletic young male suffering from a minor running injury. Wearing them was like walking around with my feet encased in slabs on concrete.

 

I wore these orthotics everywhere, both walking and running for five months before I wised up and realized that I wasn't getting better and that I was being led around by an idiot. At some point I became frustrated, tossed the orthotics away and tried running without them. Immediately after I resumed running "normally", I began experiencing crushing pain in the joints of my feet that didn't go away after I stopped. In the following weeks, I learned that this pain represented permanent damage to the cartialge in those joints and that I had become permanently debilitated.

 

As it turns out, the excessive support that the orthtoics provided had "shielded" the joints of my feet from the normal stress of ambulation, and as a consequence, the cartialge in those joints had atrophied, or become weak and vulnerable. Just as muscles become weak if you don't use them, joint cartilage becomes weak and soft when not exposed to the stress of normal weightbearing, and in this state, it is vulnerable to damaging stress. When I attempted to resume running noramlly, without the orthotics, the imposition of stress that had once been easily tolerable caused permanent damage to the weakened cartilage.

 

The sequence of events:

-one moment, my feet are easily able to tolerate the stress of running

-quack podiatrist prescribes drastically excessive orthoics. I wear them everywhere for five months.

-the next momemt, my first attempt at running without them results in permanent injury to my feet

 

The relationship between his advice and my injuries is as clear to me as it would be if I had fallen down the stairs and broken my leg.

 

One might suggest that it was my decision to disregard the orthotics, and therefore, my fault that this happened. He'd be wrong, because 1) those orthtoics were ridiculous and never should have been prescribed in the first place, and 2) he didn't warn me of the dire danger of trying to run without them once I became dependent on them.

Edited by cliveandrews

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This looks to my nonprofessional eyes like a straightforward malpractice claim, well within my understanding and probably within most people's here.  If you can't get anywhere in court with it, my suspicion is that the podiatrist's side of the story is stronger than you make it out to be.

 

Did you see a lawyer?

Did you see an MD?

Did you get second opinions,  both medical and legal?

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The sequence of events:

-one moment, my feet are easily able to tolerate the stress of running

-quack podiatrist prescribes drastically excessive orthoics. I wear them everywhere for five months.

-the next momemt, my first attempt at running without them results in permanent injury to my feet

The relationship between his advice and my injuries is as clear to me as it would be if I had fallen down the stairs and broken my leg.

The relationship between you going against his advice and your injuries, you mean? The reason for your injuries was that you acted against his instructions. Even if it's true that the orthopedics were overkill, they didn't cause your injuries.

Your only claim might be that he didn't warn you sufficiently against doing what you did. But, at that point, the question is, is it his responsibility to anticipate you ignoring his instructions, or is it yours to ask, before you act?

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The relationship between you going against his advice and your injuries, you mean? The reason for your injuries was that you acted against his instructions. Even if it's true that the orthopedics were overkill, they didn't cause your injuries.

Your only claim might be that he didn't warn you sufficiently against doing what you did. But, at that point, the question is, is it his responsibility to anticipate you ignoring his instructions, or is it yours to ask, before you act?

 

Dispensing advice that destroys a person's ability to function normally isn't medicine, it's quackery, and the blame for the outcome falls on the quack.

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Dispensing advice that destroys a person's ability to function normally isn't medicine, it's quackery, and the blame for the outcome falls on the quack.

If you had *not* decided to run immediately after getting rid of the ankle weights, would your cartilage have eventually strengthened? Or at least, would your cartilage have not been permanently damaged?

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If you had *not* decided to run immediately after getting rid of the ankle weights, would your cartilage have eventually strengthened? Or at least, would your cartilage have not been permanently damaged?

 

Orthotics, not ankle weights, and yes.

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Orthotics, not ankle weights, and yes.

So, even though the orthotics were overkill and may have even caused damage all by themselves, the main damage was caused by you choosing to run so soon after ditching the orthotics, right?

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Dispensing advice that destroys a person's ability to function normally isn't medicine, it's quackery, and the blame for the outcome falls on the quack.

Did your doctor advise you to take off your orthoses and start running without a period of gradual rehabilitation? 

 

Your previous post stated that he didn't, and that you did that against his instructions. And that's what sounds like the likely scenario. You see athletes with those things all the time, and they always rehabilitate the joint by starting slow and working up to normal athletic activity gradually, over the course of weeks or months (depending on the severity of the injury). It's highly unlikely that a doctor would advise you to skip that part.

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By the time I decided to discard the orthoses, I knew that the man I was dealing with was an irresponsible zealout for them. He has the mentality that the human foot is somehow innately defective and requires lifelong coddling in the form of massive orthoses, as though he hates the foot in its natural state. Had I expressed a desire to do so, he would not have advised me to make a slow, gradual transition back to normal ambulation; he is a quack who adamantly opposes normalcy and would never have approved of abandoning the orthotics. It was exactly that realizaion that caused me to lose all confidence in his judgment—how can you reasonably expect me to have returned to him for more advice after the point when I came to consider him a charlatan? He was certainly just as ignorant about the danger of making an abrupt transition as I was, and if I were to bring the issue up with him now, he would not acknowledge the previous use of unneccary orthotics as a contributing factor in the development of my current problems; instead, he would invoke my current problems as proof of the need for the orthotics, and probably be gleeful that I have these problems. That's why I call him a quack.

 

 

Did your doctor advise you to take off your orthoses and start running without a period of gradual rehabilitation? 

 

Your previous post stated that he didn't, and that you did that against his instructions. And that's what sounds like the likely scenario. You see athletes with those things all the time, and they always rehabilitate the joint by starting slow and working up to normal athletic activity gradually, over the course of weeks or months (depending on the severity of the injury). It's highly unlikely that a doctor would advise you to skip that part.

Edited by cliveandrews

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By the time I decided to discard the orthoses, I knew that the man I was dealing with was an irresponsible zealout for them. He has the mentality that the human foot is somehow innately defective and requires lifelong coddling in the form of massive orthoses, as though he hates the foot in its natural state. Had I expressed a desire to do so, he would not have advised me to make a slow, gradual transition back to normal ambulation; he is a quack who adamantly opposes normalcy and would never have approved of abandoning the orthotics. It was exactly that realizaion that caused me to lose all confidence in his judgment—how can you reasonably expect me to have returned to him for more advice after the point when I came to consider him a charlatan? He was certainly just as ignorant about the danger of making an abrupt transition as I was, and if I were to bring the issue up with him now, he would not acknowledge the previous use of unneccary orthotics as a contributing factor in the development of my current problems; instead, he would invoke my current problems as proof of the need for the orthotics, and probably be gleeful that I have these problems. That's why I call him a quack.

Well, for the little it's worth, I think that you're the one in the wrong here, and you have no business denigrating this doctor, let alone vandalizing his office.

If you didn't trust him to seek his advice, you should've sought someone else's, rather than acted on a whim.

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Well, for the little it's worth, I think that you're the one in the wrong here, and you have no business denigrating this doctor, let alone vandalizing his office.

If you didn't trust him to seek his advice, you should've sought someone else's, rather than acted on a whim.

 

You know what, I shouldn't have acted on whim, but the fact that I did doesn't negate the fact that he gave me horrible, dangerous medical advice, and I have every right to denigrate him because he's a pathetic excuse for a doctor and his practice is a public health hazard.

Edited by cliveandrews

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You know what, I shouldn't have acted on whim, but the fact that I did doesn't negate the fact that he gave me horrible, dangerous medical advice, and I have every right to denigrate him because he's a pathetic excuse for a doctor and his practice is a public health hazard.

Reidy asks good questions though. Have you seen an MD about your injuries? I mean, if the doctor is to blame, it just takes seeing another doctor to confirm that in fact you were given dangerous advice. Then go to court with that. Am I missing something?

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You know what, I shouldn't have acted on whim, but the fact that I did doesn't negate the fact that he gave me horrible, dangerous medical advice, and I have every right to denigrate him because he's a pathetic excuse for a doctor and his practice is a public health hazard.

You said earlier that you wouldn't have been injured if you hadn't "acted on whim" like this. So, doesn't that mean that the cause of your injury wasn't the doctor's advice, but instead your decision?

From what I can tell so far, this would be roughly analogous to a doctor giving me an open-heart surgery while most other doctors would have chosen to use a laser. Then, if I decide to go sled riding without consulting my doctor, and the stitches or internal wires break or pop, I get angry at the doctor and claim malpractice. Not to sound insensitive, but it seems like a pretty sensible thing to *not* run like you normally would on actively treated ankles and feet, even if the treatment is questionable.

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Years ago I got mixed up with a quack podiatrist who gave me evil medical advice that resulted in permanent damage to my feet and ankles, and subsequently, long-term disability, suffering and dramatic loss of quality of life.

 Yes, you were wronged, but that's not your problem.  The fact that you're describing yourself as "permanently damaged" is what you need to focus on.  If you continue to think of yourself that way then it really doesn't matter what you do (or refrain from doing) to him.

 

Cartilage atrophies, but it also heals and strengthens (just like any other part of your body).  I doubt the damage is nearly as permanent and immutable as you make it sound.

Even if it is, though, that damage has nothing whatsoever to do with your pain.  That pain is the result of how you see yourself.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/hugh_herr_the_new_bionics_that_let_us_run_climb_and_dance

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold

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How has this injury affected your life? Can you still run? (Just curious)

 

Not seriously or competitively; only on a limited basis and with uncomfortable consequences, and doing so may accelerate the degenerative process.

 

But I'm over running. The worst consequence is that it cuts me off from the careers I want.

Edited by cliveandrews

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Reidy asks good questions though. Have you seen an MD about your injuries? I mean, if the doctor is to blame, it just takes seeing another doctor to confirm that in fact you were given dangerous advice. Then go to court with that. Am I missing something?

 

Yes, I've seen docotors, but they haven't been able to diagnose my injuries. The doctors can't see the cartilage damage because it's too mild to appear on X-ray imaging. I realize that this may sound grandiose, but I've found that in general, doctors aren't very educated about the nature of cartilage injuries. None of the doctors I have dealt with seem to be aware that a negative X-ray doesn't rule out cartilage damage, but only confirms it if it's advanced enough that the evidence is conspicuous. I am 100% certain what the injury is based on the symptoms and history, but the doctors aren't privy to that.

Edited by cliveandrews

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