Why do I refuse cataract surgery, even though now I can hardly see through the yellow fog? Let me enumerate several reasons here.
1. An IOL has inferior optical properties, especially the ability to accommodate both near and far distances, compared to the natural human lens.
2. Cataract surgery exposes patients to risks of secondary complications, even if they are small.
3. Although many patients have good visual results after cataract surgery, it is not uncommon to have inferior outcomes, which in extreme cases can be devastating to the patient.
These three reasons are very disconcerting, but they alone do not disqualify cataract surgery as a viable option to try in the face of cataract blindness. It is the fourth reason which, in my opinion, makes its practice so repugnant, unethical and unacceptable.
4. It was, is, and always will be the responsibility of the eye profession to save the human lens and restore its full function. Failure to honor that responsibility, for example by running clinical trials of the many anti-cataract eye drops which were discovered over the last 70 years, and which proved successful in animal trials or on human lenses in vitro, is betrayal of the trust invested in the eye profession by the patient population, and by the human race itself. It shows, ironically, that the eye profession does not have the slightest respect for the human eye. It is, moreover, an abuse of power. Whether those trials prove successful is another matter, but at least the trials must take place. Furthermore it was, is and always will be their responsibility, as scientists, doctors, but above all as fellow human beings no different from patients, to relentlessly pursue this quest on behalf of humanity until such trials are successful in restoring full optical function of the human lens.
I would like to make it clear that I would have no quarrel with cataract surgery if it had never been given first and sole priority by the eye profession. By conveniently allowing the surgery to eclipse, for their own self-serving ends, the real need to restore the function of the natural human lens, and by giving patients a miserable choice between either having the surgery or losing most of their useful vision, despite the existence of potential nonsurgical means of restoring sight which were never clinically trialed, they are bullying patients into having the surgery. This is absolutely unacceptable to me, both as a patient and as a human being.