Originally Posted by Bluegoat
So, how DO we decide when something should require, say, a perscription? Is it about the danger? Individual freedoms? What will give the best results for the most people or for society?
I know I've been told if Tylenol came on the market today, it would be a prescription medication.
I'm working through a complicated thought pattern with a fuzzy head, so I apologize in advance if this is totally incomprehensible.
I feel that we shouldn't move towards more
prescription medications, but away from that. The root of having things be prescription-based is/was in knowledge, imo. Doctors studied, and learned about what drugs and medications were appropriate for what conditions. They learned, and so did/do pharmacists, about side effects, dangers of combining drugs, etc. So, in theory, they're more qualified to determine what medication is required in any given circumstance, and to issue prescriptions accordingly. Prescriptions are about ensuring that the most appropriate, safest drug is administered in any given circumstance. That's the idea, anyway.
In practice? I go into a clinic, because I'm really sick. Doctor gives me a 5 minutes checkup (including the discussion of my symptoms) and says, "there's a bug going around - here's your prescription for your antibiotic". He doesn't know for a fact that I have the bug that's going around - just that my symptoms are similar. He often doesn't know if it's viral or bacterial. He doesn't know bacteria is causing it, if there is one (no cultures done). He just hands me a prescription sheet. Sure - lots of doctors say that their patients insist on antibiotics, but I've never done that - not ever. I don't want them. I've been strongly pressured to
take them a few times, though (and even been given them by IV when I refused). Besides...if doctors are going to write prescriptions for antibiotics, just because the patient wants
them...why bother having a prescription system at all? What purpose does it serve? "I want them, so I get them" - might as well be an OTC drug (and, no - I'm no advocating OTC antibiotics). The people issuing the prescriptions aren't living up to the responsibility that comes with that power, anyway.
When it comes specifically to formula, the only real "diagnosis" that could exist for prescribing formula is "baby has no access to breastmilk". As I'm not at all interested in having a doctor tell me how to parent, the reasons
for the lack of access are none of his/her business. For a variety of reasons, I toughed it out through some of the most painful weeks of my life (the most painful, until I lost Aaron) to breastfeed ds1. I was capable of it, but it was agony
...the pain in my nipples, and the pain of having
to be the one to feed him, despite desperately needing rest after the c-section and lack of food in the hospital, were horrible
. It was worth it to me to do it...but neither I, nor a doctor (who may only see the woman once a year - or less, if we're talking a clinic or some such) has the right to decide that another woman has
to endure that - and maybe she's not producing enough milk to feed triplets, like I was. Maybe she's having supply issues, as well. Maybe she's more sensitive to nipple pain, and what was excruciating for me is completely unbearable
for her. It's not up to a doctor, whose training is in the field of medicine, not infant nutrition, not parenting, and not the psychology of breastfeeding, to decide whether her reasons for not breastfeeding are "good enough" to deserve a prescription.
As for the idea that came up later in the thread of having LCs dispense the prescriptions? Over my dead body. After my experiences when ds2 was born, an LC will never touch me again. I see no reason why they should be put into the same kind of demi-god position that the medical profession has taken upon itself. The simple fact that somebody thinks they're qualified to make decisions for other people, doesn't mean that person actually is
qualified to do so.
So...no - not a big fan of the idea of formula by prescription.