AIBU to not want Doctor BIL's professional advice?(33 Posts)
Just want to get some perspective here.
Have recently had some health ups and downs resulting in a stay in hospital. Dr BIL now wants to question me on every aspect of my case so that he can give me "lifestyle advice. "
During recent family gathering, DH and MIL "helpfully" answered his questions as I sat in silence
I've never asked his professional advice before and really just don't want to discuss it with him. Have tried laughing off /ignoring his "interviews" but he's clearly not getting it.
WIBU to just blurt it out for him to mind his own bloody business?
You don't have to Seeth or snap at him. Just tell him you don't feel comfortable talking about it. If he continues say, I am not going to discuss this further
Is he really giving professional advice, as in on an official basis such that if he's wrong he's covered by his malpractice insurance? Has he taken and recorded a formal history, and enrolled you as a patient at his employer?
Or is he just waving his
two first degrees title around?
I would simply tell him that you consider boundaries to be extremely important. That you do not wish to cross the boundary between family and doctor. That you know that his own profession takes a dim view on blurred boundaries so it is best that the subject of your health isn't discussed.
Just say "it's complicated and personal and I'd rather not get into it".
Is he a well respected expert in your particular condition? If not, then I would make it clear that you don't see your health as a matter for other members of the family.
If you had a condition an BIL was a recognised expert I would ask him for pointers on what you need to check with your consultant and the pros and cons of particular treatments. Otherwise he can bog off.
I am a lawyer and there have been times when family members HAVE CHOSEN to discuss things with me but it is at their instigation and I have tended to act as a sounding board and offer poiners rather than advise. I think to come in offering unwanted advice is arrogant and presumptuous.
I agree with PP, next time it comes up I would clearly say you do not want to discuss it, and try to change the subject. To give him the benefit of the doubt, do you think your DH or MIL have asked his advice 'on your behalf'? Maybe they are worried about you and trying to work out what is going on ? (Not that it's any of their business, either, if you don't want to discuss it!)
Why on earth is he talking to you in front of other people and listening to their responses when you clearly are uncomfortable? What kind of doctor is he that he doesn't see you want him to shut the fuck up?
Can I make a guess that the lifestyle changes are to do with weight and you don't want to discuss that with him? (I wouldn't blame you, if so.)
To give him the benefit of the doubt, do you think your DH or MIL have asked his advice 'on your behalf'?
Hadn't thought of that actually - will quiz DH tonight.
@Chas, he's a village GP - no particular expertise coming close to my condition.
He clearly wasn't paying much attention at medical school when they taught them about not crossing boundaries.
If any member of my family ever even used the term "lifestyle advice", never mind try to give me some of it, I'd tell them to fuck off.
OP I can totally understand your point of view.
However, having just come out of a rather heated discussion with my very "passive aggressive but doesn't know it" partner, your unwillingness to actually say what's on your mind is jumping off the screen at me.
Stop laughing off or ignoring his requests, and start talking to him. Do you realise how often people in his profession get asked for free advice? It's a big thing, I hear it all the time. I can only assume that he considers his knowledge to be a worthwhile commodity, and he is offering it to you for free.
The fact that you don't want it is totally up to you. But I would say that the majority of people would like to receive help in this way, and he assumes you are one of them.
He is wrong.
So don't "ignore" him or "laugh it off", because, as you say, he is clearly not getting it. He needs to actually hear you say the words. No need to blurt out that he should mind his own business. Why would you be happy to be rude, without first doing him the favour of actually telling him how you feel in a calm way?
He's crossing boundaries. Tell him so, and that you consider it unprofessional of him, since he's not YOUR GP.
And tell your DH to stop yapping about it to him behind your back, if it turns out that's what he's been doing.
Stop laughing off or ignoring his requests, and start talking to him. Do you realise how often people in his profession get asked for free advice? It's a big thing, I hear it all the time. I can only assume that he considers his knowledge to be a worthwhile commodity, and he is offering it to you for free
He should be fully aware (as any professional in a field where this is usual) that boundries are perticulally important in these situations, he runs the risk of giving incorrect advice based on not having full access to the required information with no protection to the person he is advising as well as being more likely to allow personal feelings to impact on the advice he does give.
He should know full well that the advice he gives has almost no value at all unless that advice comes with full access to the medical history.
I don't know about doctors but I do know in two of the positions I hold qualifications in a huge deal is made about it during study and training
I had this with my GP sister. I am totally nc with her for other reasons. She kept asking me what medication I was taking. I told her it was none of her business.
He probably just wants to help and it's obvious someone concerned about you asked him to do so
No need to be upset, just tell him politely that it's quite personal and you're not ready to discuss it yet...
"It's ok, I've already got a very good doctor who knows what s/he's doing thanks".
Let him take that how he will.
Sounds as if you might have a husband problem!
WTF was he answering questions & why didn't you tell him & his mum to stop?
You have to right to your privacy OP, he has no right to cross over and invade that privacy unless invited.
As pps have said, tell him it's something you're not prepared to discuss with anyone except your own doctor/specialist.
Really sympathize with your feelings here. When my marriage really started to go south, my then husband told me he'd been discussing our problems with the GP BIL of one of his friends and had asked him to recommend a counselor; that certainly didn't help our marriage, I can tell you.
If he starts again just say I appreciate your concern but I don't need a second opinion I'm perfectly happy with my current medical professionals.
Doesn't sound like a BIL problem, more an assertiveness one. First time this happened you should have made a simple and polite statement declining his advice or any further discussion.
Actually, yes, I agree with PPs - WHY have you not just told him you'd rather not say? And WHY have you not told your DH you'd rather not discuss it with your BIL? Your MIL is clearly a different animal and you may have more difficulty telling her to back the fuck off, but seriously you need to tell your DH that it's private to you and you don't need your BIL's input as you have your own doctor!
Most doctors I know are wary of giving advice to family members even if advice is asked for.
I would get him on one side in private and ask him not to discuss your medical condition in public like that again and tell him family members are entitled to confidentiality just like his patients.
How much he's overstepping boundaries depends to an extent on how much you discuss your illness though. If you rarely mention it and prefer to keep your health concerns private then his behaviour is very inappropriate. If you like to tell everyone every detail of your problem and exactly what the doctor said and which tests you had and go on about it at length then he maybe feels that you are OK with your illness being discussed.
You aren't happy with it so should just tell him so, and probably tell your family your health isn't a subject for family gossip.
I do agree that this is an assertiveness problem. If you sat there in silence whilst other people talked about you, it's not surprising that BiL thought you were OK with it. You need to tell your DH now that it must never happen again, and both of you need to be on the alert to shut the discussion own if there is any repetition. If he approaches it via concerned inquiries about your wellbeing, you're now entitled say "We've discussed this enough, no need to bore you any further with it."
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