Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

  • Healthcare industry injustice towards vegetarians & vegans

    Date: 2014.11.08 | Category: Health, Rants & complaints | Response: 0

    Over the last 6 months, a lot has gone on in my life. As my close friends know, I lost my Mom to cancer in July. So I’ve had both a journey visiting Mom in the hospital, to being an outpatient myself.iStock_000017490436XSmall

    As an outpatient, it’s no different than not being a patient at all. Most hospitals expect you to purchase (or bring,) your own meals, so vegetarian options are plentiful. Vegan options, depending on the hospital, I found, are more challenging to find. But at least you can bring your own.

    A few years ago Mom was advised by her doctor to severely cut down on the amount of meat she eats. So she did. However, at the end of May she was a patient at St. Michael’s Hospital downtown Toronto.

    I remember a disturbing conversation between a dietician at the hospital, and Mom. No doctor had countermanded the orders, so the dietician assumed a lot actually trying to convince Mom to eat meat. (Which is all they had sent her up to this point. She had to demand to speak to someone about fixing it.) Because various diets (such as a renal diet) do not necessarily mix with being vegetarian, or vegan because the protein sources could, for example, be high in phosphorous, which is bad for anyone with renal failure.

    As an in-patient myself in the past (pre-being vegetarian,) most hospital’s automatically order your area’s “special meal” and forget the vegetarian part until you insist. And if you want this done in the first day, you have to complain real loudly.

    I think this is an area St. Michael’s, and locally to Barrie the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre needs to work on. First being meals patients actually want to eat, but secondly not assuming that we all eat meat.

    As a renal patient I’m seen as a bit of an enigma – I haven’t eaten meat in 7 years. Yet my blood work is consistent, and perhaps even a bit better than my fellow patients who do eat meat.

    As the dietician from St. Mike’s pointed out – nephrologist’s (kidney doctor) used to recommend patient’s with renal failure should reduce the amount of meat they eat. According to her that advice is now outdated – I don’t agree with her as the science so far, is behind eating less meat, and more vegetables.

    Who can argue with a vegetable?

    Oh, and I won the argument with the dietician. Team Peter – 4. Team Healthcare – 0.

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