Letters to the Health Section

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Men Don't Make Good Patients

"W ant to Live a Bit Longer? Speak Up." [Feb. 17] hit on one of the reasons men resist the health-care system: the revealing gowns that must be worn. To have one's body openly exposed to others is a form of humiliation.

I know there are more-dignified medical gowns available at a slightly higher cost, but most medical facilities do not give them to patients. Why? I think this is part of a larger issue about control, control by the medical profession. Men wish to escape the worst of these rules for as long as possible, while women in our society are taught to be more submissive and play by the rules.

Doug Terry


Women are stronger health-care advocates because we're forced to be. We have to fight to encourage studies specific to our sex and to have access to accurate information when it becomes available. Hence, the development of women's health departments to facilitate this.

On the other hand, men do not take advantage of medical information and options available to them because of their dependency on women who take care of them and because of their lack of responsibility for their own health. Frankly, I think men need to learn how to take care of themselves, and women need to stop stepping in for them.

Until women overcome their underlying need for their husbands to depend on them in this way, nothing will change.

Maria Mellano

Care Coordinator for Women's Health Network and Men's Partnership

CONTINUED     1              >

© 2009 The Washington Post Company