JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: If people at the hospital put false information in medical records, prosecutors could use that as evidence of just how willful, reckless and irresponsible their behavior was, perhaps amounting to manslaughter.
July 8, 2008, "The Situation Room"
It is illegal in this state (and probably in most others) to falsify medical records, yet many CFS patients find false information in their records, whether because the doctor "thought" he heard them say what he wanted to hear to support his diagnosis or because he "willfully, recklessly and irresponsibly" wrote down false information.
In my case, it was statements to justify discrediting the CFS diagnosis that I had received from a CFS researcher (and confirmed by a rheumatologist just a couple months before). By saying I was "self-diagnosed" (instead of acknowledging that my diagnosis was from someone who wouldn’t mistake CFS for anything else) and fictionalizing a long history of taking anti-depressants, the doctor was able to create support for his desired diagnosis of "post divorce depression".
If I hadn’t gotten the records to prepare for a Disability hearing, I never would have known what lies were told about me. Fortunately, the subpoena also brought us copies of the handwritten notes taken during the appointment, and those notes prove that what the doctor dictated for the official records was not what he wrote down as I was giving my medical history. The handwritten notes are accurate; he "willfully, recklessly and irresponsibly" doctored them up after the fact because he didn’t want to accept that there could be anything except depression wrong with a middle-aged divorcee.
He did the same thing to a friend who doesn’t have CFS. As soon as it came out that she was divorced, he diagnosed depression as the root of all her health problems, and refused to do anything to treat those problems except to prescribe anti-depressants.
She saw me in the time frame I was seeing him, and didn’t think I sounded in the least depressed, so she’s not buying that the doctor had any evidence to support his statements that I was "just depressed" other than his own fantasies that middle-aged divorcees can’t get dates and therefore drown their sorrows in excessive eating. Just because he wouldn’t date anyone over 20 or over a size 2 doesn’t mean that either of us was sitting home alone and lonely; we were both dating very nice men who were an improvement on our ex-husbands. Men who are more interested in intelligent women than in brainless barely-legal beauty queens.
I’ll say it for the umpty-umpth time in this blog: ANTI-DEPRESSANTS HAVE REPEATEDLY BEEN PROVEN BY RESEARCHERS TO BE TOTALLY USELESS FOR CFS. Depression and CFS have radically different symptoms and test results. There are, unfortunately, still doctors who think they’re the same thing, or refuse to accept that CFS is a legitimate physical condition at all. Eventually, their "non-compliant patient" who "refuses to get well" either completely loses faith in doctors and refuses to ever see one again (like Sophia Mirza) or hears about a new doctor who does listen and try to help. If your doctor refuses to prescribe anything but anti-depressants and/or counseling, it is in your best interest to run away. The life you save will be your own!