WHY WHY WHY is Versed not properly explained to the patient ?
December 31, 2008 8:18 AM
If I am being given a drug that will make me agreeable to doing/saying things that I wouldn't normally do, and if I am going to have no memory of those things, I certainly don't call that being CONSCIOUS! Yet I was later told I had been "conscious" when brought into the OR for my last surgery. There is a reason that Versed is also a date-rape drug. How do these doctors define "conscious"?
re: "YOU are responsible for YOUR health care and if you don't want a drug get up and leave."
BUT if they lie to you, if they deceive you, if they purposely withhold information how are you supposed to know? I asked and asked and asked and still was not told the truth. Only through extensive online searching and sites like this in particular have I finally learned the truth. (after the fact).
I spoke with the anesthesiologist the night before my surgery, and she NEVER mentioned amnesia, or possible memory problems afterwards. But I didn't know that she had left out important information, so I signed an "informed consent" form. How could I know she had withheld major facts about the drugs she planned to use? "Informed consent" is a farce created to protect them from lawsuits. I would love to see it successfully challenged in the courts. If you aren't familiar with a topic, you can't possibly know if you have been completely informed or if information has been withheld. I would rather be given a lengthy document (like I get with prescriptions) and have the option to read or discard the material. At least then the doctor would have presented all the info and I had a choice, and it would be documented what information had been provided to me.
March 08, 2012 2:26 PM
Blogger anonymous said:
Not being told in advance about the amnesia was (for me) even worse than the amnesia itself. I think I could have handled the amnesia much better if I had been warned it would occur. The way it was handled made me feel unsafe and lied to by the doctors I trusted with my life. When I spoke to counselors or social workers afterwards about the amnesia and subsequent memory problems, I was told it didn't happen! How could they possibly know what I was experiencing? So the initial problems were compounded by people who belittled how upset I was. I thank everyone who has posted here - you have restored my belief in my sanity. Finding that other people had very similar experiences is very helpful and healing to me. Even if no one in the medical community believes us, we know that our experiences were REAL and we are not alone.
March 08, 2012 2:32 PM
When I asked about "side effects" of the meds used for conscious sedation, amnesia was never mentioned. I wonder if that's because amnesia is not a "side effect" - it's the main reason for giving Versed. To me that is deceitful and a lie of omission by the anesthesiologist. It's hard to know what questions to ask and exactly how to phrase them, and it's scary that personnel will use any loophole to avoid giving complete, accurate information, yet claim that you were fully informed when you signed the informed consent. How does anyone deal with that clause in the informed consent document that allows staff to do anything deemed necessary if they encounter something unexpected? I know that clause has been abused by many doctors.
You people are rude and crazy.
September 23, 2007 5:49 PM
I think it's rude to deliberately give people a drug which you KNOW they won't like... I think it's crazy to maintain that the drug is safe in the face of all the complaints.
September 23, 2007 8:31 PM
I don't know exactly what midazolam does to the human brain, but it has been shown to produce neuronal apoptosis in laboratory animals. And I, for one, do believe that it causes some level of neurological damage in humans. Perhaps the drug's potency causes damage to the GABAA receptor complex, similar to that seen in people who have taken benzodiazepines for years. But I think the larger issue is that science is still quite far from being able to definitively map individual cognitive functions to particular brain anatomy, with any real level of specificity. I think many researchers would like to think that they can do that, but contemporary understanding of the human brain remains (from my view, at least) in a stage of relative infancy. Given this circumstance, I think it's a huge mistake for the medical profession to make such frequent use of drugs that are purported to either disrupt or enhance specific brain chemistry. My point being, if one doesn't understand how a machine is supposed to work when it actually works properly, I think it's a bit naïve to disrupt the function of that machine and not at least consider the possibility that said disruption could damage the machine's parts. I mean, since you're not altogether sure of how the machine worked in the first place, exactly how can you be sure that the disrupting stimulus won't cause damage to it? And yet, many doctors and nurses continue to scoff at the idea that midazolam can cause brain damage.
I think that different people's brains emphasize different neurotransmission systems. That is, there is no "single" brain, obviously brain chemistry varies from person to person. Therein lies the problem with something like midazolam, I think. Since it (and any other drug, for that matter) is a fixed entity, I think it stands to reason that the drug will exert different effects on different people. This is because the "organ" on which the drug works is the central nervous system. By contrast, if fifty people were to each get a bad paper cut, and each of them poured some hydrogen peroxide onto a cotton ball and then pressed the cotton ball into his or her cut, I don't think there would be any enormous amount of variation among the physiological reactions caused by the peroxide entering into each person's cut. That type of drug mechanism is fairly easily quantifiable.
But when you start tinkering with one of the most delicate chemical environments in the universe (or, arguably, the most delicate chemical environment in the universe)—i.e., the human brain—you're asking for trouble. Contemporary medical science has, however, reached a level of arrogance so positively stratospheric, that it has deluded itself into thinking that certain drugs can actually work on higher cognitive functions with specificity. I personally think that this belief is delusional. The human brain (and its equally important relative, the human mind) are obviously not one-size-fits-all entities. And since they are not, medical science will typically point to the example of "most people" whenever a psychoactive drug appears to not work the way they expected it to. And who exactly are "most people"? Well, in 2009, "most people" seem to watch American Idol. In 2009, "most people" are lucky if they can compose a coherent sentence. In 2009, "most people" can't spell words consisting of more than three syllables.
My point is, it is hugely problematic to administer drugs that are known to affect higher cognitive functions, when there is no real "norm" for any cognitive function. This is the basic problem of contemporary psychiatry, as well. Psychiatry has shifted these days to an almost exclusively biopsychiatric model. The basic flaw of such a model is that it requires "normal" brain chemistry to be defined. And that is something that simply cannot be defined, because it is an arbitrary and subjective assessment. Whoever is given the power to make such an assessment is, at best, playing a guessing game. That circucumstance would be bad enough on its own, and it's also way too much power for any entity other than God to be given. But when you combine that power with the power to synthesize and administer powerful brain-disabling drugs (as a so-called "remedy" for brain chemistry that has been arbitrarily deemed "not normal"), you've got a near-perfect recipe for patient abuse.
I also wonder—at what point do medical practitioners treat a given brain with respect, and not vandalize it with something like midazolam? For example, if Albert Einstein were alive today and needed an appendectomy, would he be given intravenous midazolam preoperatively? Or would doctors, who obviously know full well the problems associated with the drug, spare Einstein's brain? Who knows. Given how widespread midazolam's use currently is, the brains of "most people" evidently don't warrant that type of respect. There are, however, plenty of doctors and nurses out there who steadfastly refuse to be given midazolam themselves, or to allow their relatives to be administered the drug. But everyone else, I guess, is on his or her own.
May 15, 2009 5:24 PM
If these doctors can call this altered state "conscious" how long before the courts consider that women who were drugged and assaulted with Versed or similar date rape drugs were also conscious and therefore capable of giving consent? This has the potential to be a dangerous legal definition of consciousness.
March 08, 2012 2:19 PM