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January 16, 1978

Patients' Responsibility

Author Affiliations

Walla Walla, Wash

JAMA. 1978;239(3):193. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280300025013

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To the Editor.—  In regard to the discussion of management of prostatic carcinoma in QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS (238:254, 1977), I would like to compliment David A. Culp, MD, on his restraint in saying that "the postoperative management of the patient was rather inadequate." It was completely inadequate, and Donald W. Fellner, MD, is certainly very correct in his implication that this was the case.Neither Dr Fellner nor Dr Culp includes in his published correspondence any thought of the patient's obligation to follow up his own disease. It may be that the unknown urologist who cared for him so inadequately instructed the patient firmly that he must return for follow up, and the patient did not do so. The experience of 30 years with patients' failure to participate in their own care has taught me that one can never jump to the conclusion that the previous physician was always a