That the US healthcare system is flawed comes as no surprise to anyone in contemporary times. In the 21st century, patients have a plethora of tools at their disposal to aid in getting the care they need. Previously, people have been warned against using Google and Web MD to diagnose themselves. But now, a new show, “Chasing the Cure” is designed to help patients diagnose previously misdiagnosed, undiagnosed and previously uncured ailments. Viewers and the show’s doctors will all be able to weigh in on what is wrong with patient participants. In addition to helping patients get well, the show also wants to help viewers become medical detectives.
“Chasing the Cure” will be hosted by journalist and humanitarian, Ann Curry.
“Chasing the Cure”: benefits
The description of the show, both on the website, tvseriesfinale.com and on the commercials that have been airing on television, does not make clear exactly how the show will work. Global audiences will have 24/7 access to information, and presumably to give their two cents on the problem. The show’s promotional material touts the availability of the show across “platforms.” The informative blurbs also make much of turning viewers into “medical detectives.”
In one respect, the show will probably help those suffering feel less alone. Being chronically ill can make some people socially isolated. Perhaps having a team of people (albeit strangers) attempt to solve that person’s medical mystery will alleviate that feeling.
Also, “Chasing the Cure” might also help alleviate the exploitation of suffering people that so often occurs when people merely watch sick people on television. Perhaps by helping people get help, viewers remember that those onscreen are real people.
However, is medical care a group activity? There are questions that may or may not be answered by the series’ premiere.
“Chasing the Cure”: possible downsides
Medical care is treated as a private matter. There are laws that protect patients from having their information shared with unauthorized people. If it is uncomfortable for other people in a waiting room to know a patient’s diagnosis, that feeling will likely be multiplied when literally the whole world knows what is going on.
In the past, when people have needed care, they were always instructed to seek professional help. Now, a corps of people with no verified expertise will put their knowledge alongside that of trained doctors to help someone.
Maybe the process has some checks and balances that the show’s creators are not revealing yet. However, as described, “Chasing the Cure” seems like it will make all opinions equal.
What about the legal ramifications? Do patients sign a waiver? And, who implements the care? The idea of the show seems clear until a person starts thinking about how medical care actually works.
“Chasing the Cure” has so much potential. Certainly it is a beacon of hope for the uncured sick. But without a clear plan, it is unlikely that the show will be a replacement for healthcare as viewers know it, flawed as it is.
“Chasing the Cure” is scheduled to debut July 25, 2019 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST on TBS and TNT.