* * Anonymous Doc: Percent Chance

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Percent Chance

"Last week, the surgeon said it was probably 50/50 that my mother would lose her leg.  I wanted to know what the chances are now."

"I'd defer to the surgeon, but I think they're about the same."

"So, like 55/45?"

"I don't know.  It's about the same as it was."

"About the same, or exactly the same?"

"I don't know.  I'd defer to the surgeon."

"But I want to know if it's more like 55/45, or 45/55."

"I don't think we can quantify these things exactly.  We don't know how she's going to respond to the antibiotics."

"But if you were betting on it, which side--"

"I'm not betting on it.  This isn't a racetrack.  We're trying to make the best possible decisions for your mother's health."

"But should I be telling the rest of the family that she probably will lose her leg, or she probably won't?"

"I don't know.  You can tell them you don't know.  You can tell them the doctors do not know yet."

"I want to give them a more specific answer than that."

"I don't have a more specific answer for you."

"Can you ask the surgeon if his odds have changed?"

"You can call the surgeon's office and ask for him to call you back."

"And what are the odds he'll call me back today?  Are they 50/50, or more like 80/20?"

"I don't know."


  1. I actually feel bad for him, wanting more certainty in a situation where there is none!

  2. *sigh , for the 1000th time, I dont know . "

  3. Looks like a definite maybe.

  4. how about 100% 50/50.