03 February 2013

Drowning man survey results by Rick Hansen Foundation

Looking back at yesterday's post "Peace talks break down with RHF", I posted a document which was sent to us by the Rick Hansen Institute outlining their plans to cure paralysis. Not much of an outline or plan to cure chronic spinal cord injury, but they say it's based on a survey of people living with SCI. 

In fact they have done so many surveys, you'd figure that you could cure SCI with surveys.
  • They did a survey of 300 Canadians living with SCI in 2009.
  • The survey was so well done that it, "confirmed the findings of several scientific surveys conducted in the past decade here in Canada and around the world."
  • More recently they did another survey of 1600 Canadians living with SCI.
  • They even go so far as to say this about their findings, "This has been proven through multiple surveys and research."
To me it seems that the point of these surveys is to "prove" that people living with SCI don't want a cure. 

What did their 2009 survey of 300 Canadians with SCI find regarding priority needs?

  • Bladder function/urinary tract infection was the clear priority for people with SCI.
  • The second most identified top priority was neuropathic pain.
  • Pressure ulcers and bowel complications rounded out the four most commonly identified top priorities.

So I guess, people with SCI aren't interested in cure. Really?

I also have a list of what I want restored from first to last, but this doesn't mean I don't understand that regeneration will solve the problems I want. But I guess a survey can prove anything.

So today I want to prove to you that the last thing a drowning man wants is a glass of water, and his first priority is to get his head above water. When questioned on whether they would prefer to get their head out of the water or get a million dollars, they overwhelmingly chose the former (overwhelmingly is a bit of an understatement - it was 100%).

  1. Hold a man's head down in water by putting your foot down firmly on the back of his neck.
  2. While his head is in the puddle and he can't escape give him three choices and have him answer by indicating with his fingers which choice he wants to make. 
  3. The three questions are:  I. take your foot off his neck so he won't drown. II. get one million dollars. III. get a drink of water.

All 300 men chose number one.
We can therefore conclude that people are not interested in money or drinking water.

Does this sound outrageous. Do you think that comparing my survey to RHI's survey is like comparing apples to oranges? I don't think so.

Basically, when confronted with issues like urinary infections and pressure sores which will kill us before cure can be achieved, people will want to clear up the things that will kill them in the short term. This is not absurd and my survey and RHI's survey prove the exact same thing.

Doing surveys like this is a complete waste of time because we already know the answers. RHI should be leaders and you don't lead by doing surveys for which the answers are already clear.

The other day I was rereading a favourite book of mine called "Made in Japan - Akio Morita and Sony". In the book the late Mr. Morita recounts how they put out the Walkman with no market research. Why?

According to Mr. Morita, "Our plan is to lead the public with new products rather than ask them what kind of products they want...The public does not know what is possible, but we do.''

Mr. Hansen needs to take a page out of this book and become a leader, not a follower. Being leaders doesn't mean not listening to what the community wants, but it is to offer clear choices based on what is possible in the near future, something that none of these surveys do. Taking care of our real, short term problems and offering us a vision of cure in the future is the real balance between care and cure as the two are not a dichotomy.

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