Sergey Medvedev, historian, political analyst
About Finnish medicine. I was with my mother at the dentist, they took out the root of her tooth. Not some super-clinic, the usual network. I put her in a chair and wanted to leave, knowing how doctors do not like the presence of strangers and preparing to hear her yelling from behind the door, but the doctor urged me to stay. And then he told in detail, with pictures, in excellent English, step by step, what he would do, what pain relief would be, what she would feel. And during the entire 20-minute operation, he constantly showed the tools, commented on what was happening, and then invited me to look either at the removed root, then at the canal, then at the thread with which he sewed up the wound, so that even I, not a faint-hearted person, looked from apprehension. Everything went great, sat another 20 minutes with ice in the waiting room and drove home.
And so I think. This is a whole philosophy of deontology, the relationship with the patient, which completely rejects the Foucainean medicinal gaze, the medical gaze based on mystery and knowledge-power. This is a space of complete transparency (Finland is generally like this - no fences, no special curtains, only if you close yourself from the midnight sun in a dream), awareness and trust on the verge of excessive frankness. Not for a second do they break the connection between the patient and the attendant, do not leave the person at the mercy of the doctor.
And what is the difference with traditional Russian medicine, based, like everything else in this society, on secrecy, hierarchy, authority, power, manipulation of information. Now this is no longer the case everywhere, but the classic setting for maximum submission and minimum information to the patient, the unquestioning authority of the doctor, dictate from the side of the medical staff - sisters, nannies, cleaners, constantly yelling at the patient, who is timid and powerless. I'm not talking about the draconian rules for visiting, accompanying, contacting relatives with the patient - in this respect, Russian hospitals are not far from prisons. Mom once recalled how at the age of 5 I ended up in the Filatov Children's Hospital in Moscow, visits there were limited or forbidden for some reason, I needed constant care, which their nannies could not provide, and she agreed with them, that she would be allowed to stay in the department because she (sic!) washed all the floors overnight and bathed all the children in the department. She washed and bathed there all day, and in those rare moments when she came to me, the sisters shouted at her: “You came here to wash the floors or look at the child!”
But then half a century ago, and here even today you read how relatives are not allowed to see dying cancer patients, because they came at the wrong time. Russian violence also begins here, in hospitals and doctors' offices - and what a revelation today's visit to a Finnish dentist was