This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. The doctor will see you now, words we've all heard many times, but more and more now doctors see their patients over a video link. For years, telemedicine has allowed doctors to treat patients anywhere, but as technology improves, new applications arise.
It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last week we spoke with two doctors on how they discussed imminent death with their patients and patients' families.
Leila, a doctor, emailed us: Sometimes patients or families project their denial onto us as doctors. Some maybe more focused on honesty and others on optimism, misinterpreting honesty as pessimism, and they may blame us, the physician, for their selective listening. Sometimes all one can do is feel one's way through the conversation.
When it comes to approving new medical treatments, the Food and Drug Administration is balancing the need for patient safety against the urgency of making important new treatments available as quickly as possible.
Some argue the FDA sets the bar too high, requiring a process that takes too much time and money to carry out. They say that can leave patients waiting longer than necessary for promising treatments or lead to drugs not being developed at all.