Proactive Responsibility for Health Care Decisions

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Dr. Kathy Maupin and Brett Newcomb discuss the different viewpoints surrounding personal responsibility and proactive planning when it comes to symptoms of aging. Are these problems inevitable or can they be addressed and reversed?

This week, Brett Newcomb and I are inviting you to participate in a discussion we have been having off camera for quite some time. Brett contends that most people live what he calls “accidental lives”. By this term, he means that people coast along and let life happen to them. They often do not make long range plans and do not take personal responsibility for making choices that are proactive in search of a quality of life, a career, financial security, or health care.

I am not sure I agree with him, although I do see his point. But I have been committed all of my adult life to live a purpose-oriented life with specific goals in mind. I wanted to be a physician, and to help people live longer, happier, and healthier lives. I have built my practice, BioBalance Health and its various affiliates, to actualize this goal. We practice cutting edge medicine in pursuit of making the aging process healthier and more tolerable by providing options for our aging population. We diligently work toward an alternative to the societal groupthink that believes that getting sick as we age is normal and unavoidable. We are committed to being mobile, flexible, strong, and healthy; and living our lives independently for as long as we possibly can.

Brett maintains that in his counseling career spanning over thirty years, he saw hundreds, if not thousands, of clients who seemed to believe that they were victims of circumstance. Life happened to them and they saw it as “God’s will” or “bad luck.” He remembers many of his clients asking him, “why does this happen to me? I am a good person!” Having said this, they would move to a strategy of survival, without goal or intent. How can one cope with the “accidents” of life and get the most out of what our limited options are? This is a central question. Clients would often get angry with me when asked what responsibility (if any) they had for their condition. Brett would ask them if they had considered options to consider while living their lives, or if they were doomed to live the script of their childhood and family? They felt attacked and criticized, and without options.

Listen to our podcast and decide what you think about your life, your goals and choices. Are you, as Brett says, “response-able” or “responsible”? Can you make choices and move in a proposed or desired direction with your life, using your resources and self-discipline to chart your own course, or are you the “victim of circumstances” who is surviving as best you can?

If you think about it, most of us don’t want the government making our decisions for us, so start to consider the fact that you are the captain of your own health and the rest of your life. Begin to work toward a healthy final twenty or thirty years!