12-26-2018 | News
Photo credit: Sheehan Family
OR - Doctor Accuses Child of Faking Paralysis Out of Jealousy; Turns Out She Has Rare Disease
There is an alarming trend growing in the medical profession where some doctors tend to give “false certainty," a type of misdiagnosis where they dismiss serious but puzzling illnesses as merely caused by psychological factors, instead of really getting to the bottom of health issues. Even more concerning is that this happens a lot in cases involving children.
The case of 7-year-old Bailey Sheehan is one. She was brought to a hospital in Oregon because she became partially paralyzed. The shocking thing is, a doctor accused the little girl of merely “faking her symptoms” to get her parents’ attention back because she was supposedly “jealous” of her new baby sister. He then diagnosed Bailey with a mental condition called conversion disorder.
Good thing the mother knows best and stood her ground by telling the misguided doctor off. Mikell Sheehan said then to the doctor: ‘You’ve been with my child for 15 minutes, and you think it’s psychological? Get out of my face.”
The mom was right as an MRI later showed that Bailey had acute flaccid myelitis or AFM, which is described as a polio-like disease that hit hundreds of children since 2014.
Thanks to the correct diagnosis, Bailey received treatment for AFM, including extensive physical therapy. Four years later through proper medical treatment, her family’s dedication, and the child’s own will to heal, she is walking again.
Another mother of a child with AFM, Erin Olivera, who founded a Facebook page for parents of over 400 children with the same disease says that Bailey’s case, sadly, is not isolated. She estimates that as many as 1 in 10 children were assessed by doctors that the paralysis “was all in their heads” when their parents first sought medical help for their condition.
Experts also agree that in general, it has become convenient for physicians to use the psychological problem card when confronted with a puzzling disease.
Dr. Allen Frances, former chair of psychiatry at the Duke University School of Medicine. He said: “Mental disorders become the default position to deal with medical uncertainty. It’s widespread, it’s dangerous.”
Such “false certainty” is regarded as more dangerous than even uncertainty. Dr. Benjamin Greenberg, a neurologist who’ve seen cases of AFM across the country says that the consequences of “false certainty” type of diagnosis can be “catastrophic” because a wrong diagnosis can lead to a patient receiving a treatment for a disease they don’t really have, while missing out on the crucial treatment for the disease they do have.
Twitter: #MAGA #KAG #Oregon #Misdiagnosis #FalseCertainty #GrowingTrend
Share this article
Thoughts on the above story? Comment below!