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Dad Thinks He’s Being Smart By Taking His Daughters To Emergency Care To Prove They’re Faking Their Symptoms, Regrets It
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Dad Thinks He’s Being Smart By Taking His Daughters To Emergency Care To Prove They’re Faking Their Symptoms, Regrets It

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The work we entrust medical workers with is often of literally life-or-death importance, and even if not, they are responsible for helping to preserve our health and wellbeing. As one doctor on Reddit reminded us all, that means we should respect their time and resources instead of involving them in our own personal schemes.

When a father brought his two daughters in to frighten them for presumably faking symptoms to get out of their chores, he chose to make his domestic conundrum the hospital’s problem. Read on to see how this doctor reminded dad that these sorts of problems are best solved before involving staff who are on call to deal with urgent medical emergencies.

A doctor’s job is never easy. It carries a great deal of responsibility and requires extensive training

Image credits: delightfully_chaotic_me (not the actual photo)

When one doctor on urgent care duty was roped into a father’s spat with his children, he set out to show dad why that wasn’t right

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Image credits: leungchopan (not the actual photo)

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Image credits: carlos_6m

It feels like justice was served, but it may not actually be clear whether or not the doctor telling the story did the right thing

Image credits: Karolina Grabowska (not the actual photo)

Note: As commenters under the post noted, “emergency room” and “urgent care” are very different types of care in the US but they are used interchangeably in many other countries. This story does not take place in the US.

As much as doctors and dentists may hate it, many parents, in desperation, have used hospitals and dental clinics as threats. It’s certainly not a recommended practice, but given that children fear these places, their mere mention may be enough to clear up any symptoms that may have been made up to get out of their chores.

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Unfortunately, it looks like the dad in this story doubled down on this questionable tactic by going through with it and taking his twin girls to the urgent care clinic, which is where the author of this story comes in.

The jury in the comment section is still out on whether the doctor’s actions should be considered a net positive. One thing he did do right, however, was to abstain from playing along with dad’s lead of simply scaring the girls and dismissing their symptoms. As he indicates, he treated the girls as though their symptoms were very much real – which they could have been – and subjected them to the appropriate examinations and tests. Ignoring claimed symptoms could set a dangerous precedent.

There is a point, however, where some commenters disagreed on their judgement of the doctor’s actions. The doctor administered additional safe but not entirely necessary tests and, having failed to find a clear cause of the abdominal pain, suggested that the girls rest and be relieved of their chores. The doctor’s intent was to dissuade the father from bringing his children to the hospital for frivolous purposes, but if their pain was indeed invented, then he may have just incentivized them to continue lying about their ailments. And we all know the story of the boy who cried wolf!

Note: One medical vocab word that the author uses in the comments is “auscultation”. This is the medical term for listening for sounds coming from inside the patient’s body using a stethoscope.

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The doctor stuck around to discuss with commenters, including some from the US who has questions about his terminology

Not everybody, however, was sure that his response to the situation was appropriate

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jenniferdmann avatar
Alecto76
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Clearly not in the US. I have good insurance. Nevertheless I had to pay $1000 up front before I was seen in the ER with heavy bleeding due to miscarriage. This system NEEDS to change. I wish people here would stop voting against their interests.

ryanmercer avatar
Ryan Mercer
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dad may have had his suspicions, but he's not a doctor. What is the flip side to this? Girl says her tummy hurts, dad says stop faking it, next she's in emergency care with a ruptured appendicitis? Dad played it safe and if she was faking it, then that's on her. He warned her not to. That's dad's job.

kirstin-peter avatar
Shark Lady
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My parents always assumed I was attention seeking whenever I said I didn't feel well. I stopped telling them anything and it resulted in me nearly dying from my first Crohn's flare. I was a young mum (18) and they were told to bring my 18 month old daughter in so I could say goodbye and she could see me one last time, the drs and nursing staff didn't think I would survive the night. Listen to your children, if they are attention seeking then there is a reason for it.

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jenniferdmann avatar
Alecto76
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Clearly not in the US. I have good insurance. Nevertheless I had to pay $1000 up front before I was seen in the ER with heavy bleeding due to miscarriage. This system NEEDS to change. I wish people here would stop voting against their interests.

ryanmercer avatar
Ryan Mercer
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Dad may have had his suspicions, but he's not a doctor. What is the flip side to this? Girl says her tummy hurts, dad says stop faking it, next she's in emergency care with a ruptured appendicitis? Dad played it safe and if she was faking it, then that's on her. He warned her not to. That's dad's job.

kirstin-peter avatar
Shark Lady
Community Member
10 months ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My parents always assumed I was attention seeking whenever I said I didn't feel well. I stopped telling them anything and it resulted in me nearly dying from my first Crohn's flare. I was a young mum (18) and they were told to bring my 18 month old daughter in so I could say goodbye and she could see me one last time, the drs and nursing staff didn't think I would survive the night. Listen to your children, if they are attention seeking then there is a reason for it.

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