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Doctors Kill More People Per Year Than Guns - (Facts are our friends vs.libs)
THE RANT.US ^ | DECEMBER 31, 2004 | NATHAN TABOR

Posted on 01/01/2005 3:11:06 PM PST by CHARLITE

Back before the November election, many mainstream media pundits - trying desperately to get John Kerry elected -- began to harp on President Bush's unwillingness to stop certain federal gun control laws from expiring as scheduled. But their propaganda efforts came to naught because this issue was a non-starter with the American people.

The fact is, in this day of post-911 increased security consciousness, most average Americans simply don't want more gun control. They want more guns on hand to defend themselves and their loved ones in the face of possible life-threatening danger. Soccer moms are now taking handgun proficiency courses down at the local firing range.

Liberals are always complaining about getting to the root of the problem - unless it deals with gun rights. Then they abandon all logical analysis and resort to hysteria, distortion and downright lies.

Today I want to set the record straight and dispel a few of the more common myths with some hard facts.

First, according to statistics provided by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, there is an interesting correlation between accidental deaths caused by guns and by doctors.

Doctors: (A) There are 700,000 physicians in the U.S. (B) Accidental deaths caused by physicians total 120,000 per year. (C) Accidental death percentage per physician is 0.171.

Guns: (A) There are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. (B) There are 1,500 accidental gun deaths per year, all age groups. (C) The percentage of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.0000188.

Statistically, then, doctors are 9,000 times more dangerous to the public health than gun owners. Fact: not everyone has a gun, but almost everyone has at least one doctor. Following the logic of liberals, we should all be warned: "Guns don't kill people. Doctors do."

More seriously, Dr. Glen Otero of the Claremont Institute has published an enlightening article entitled "Ten Myths About Gun Control." (This entire article can be found at the website of Doctors for Sensible Gun Laws). Here are just a few of his well-documented findings. ▪ Approximately 80 percent of all adult American citizens own firearms, and a gun can be found in nearly half of American households.

▪ Between 1974 and 1995, the total number of privately owned firearms in America increased by 75 percent, to 236 million. During the same period, national homicide and robbery rates did NOT significantly increase.

▪ Less than 1 percent of all guns are involved in any type of crime, which means that 99 percent of all guns are NOT used to commit any crime.

▪ In 1987, the National Crime Victimization Survey estimated that about 83 percent of Americans would become the victims of violent crime during the course of their lifetime.

▪ The National Self-Defense Survey found that between 1988 and 1993, American civilians used firearms in self-defense almost 2.5 million times per year, saving up to 400,000 lives per year in the process.

▪ Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens deter crime. Where U.S. counties have enacted concealed-carry laws, murder rates fell by 8 percent, rape by 5 percent, and aggravated assault by 7 percent. Urban counties recorded the largest decreases demographically.

You get the picture: Guns don't kill people. People kill people. But sometimes law-abiding citizens with guns can save the lives of other innocent people.

It's time to restore some common sense to the hysterical debate over gun control. When Cain killed Abel with a rock, God didn't ban all rocks. He dealt with Cain personally. We need to enforce our criminal laws against murder, robbery, and assault.

I will cite the testimony of just one more expert witness. No, it's not another politician or media pundit. Here's what former Mafia underboss, self-confessed hit man, and government informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano had to say:

"Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We¹ll see who wins."

It's time for Liberals to go out and buy a gun. And maybe get a life or at least protect one.

Nathan Tabor is a conservative political activist based in Kernersville, North Carolina. He has his BA in Psychology and his Master’s Degree in Public Policy. He is a contributing editor at www.theconservativevoice.com

Comments:Nathan@nathantabor.com


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; campaign; elections04; guncontrol; gunowners; increase; issues; johnkerry; liberals; post911; propaganda; untruths

1 posted on 01/01/2005 3:11:12 PM PST by CHARLITE
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To: CHARLITE

The data in regards to deaths caused by physician are from a seriously flawed study which has no factual basis in objective reality. Therefore, the malpractice lawyers LOVE these figures and broadcast them widely.
In fact, most of what they advocate has no factual basis in reality except their 35-40% take from each verdict.


2 posted on 01/01/2005 3:18:01 PM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: CHARLITE

What about doctor with a gun?


3 posted on 01/01/2005 3:19:43 PM PST by stopem
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To: CHARLITE

so is your point that gunowners should also carry malpractice insurance, like doctors do?

Frankly, I am opposed to the gov't making me carry insurance,just because a minority of gunowners misuse their gun. It reeks of socialism.


4 posted on 01/01/2005 3:22:13 PM PST by Teplukin
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To: CHARLITE
"Accidental deaths caused by physicians total 120,000 per year."

I find that number hard to believe. Pitting doctors against gun control, is that really a good conservative strategy?
5 posted on 01/01/2005 3:23:36 PM PST by Fishing-guy
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To: CHARLITE
Statistically, then, doctors are 9,000 times more dangerous to the public health than gun owners. Fact: not everyone has a gun, but almost everyone has at least one doctor. Following the logic of liberals, we should all be warned: "Guns don't kill people. Doctors do."

This problem can easily be fixed - the liberals have already done the work for us. Instead of putting safety locks on guns, we should put safety locks on doctors. I say we put doctors on active duty in straight jackets that are secured by two locks. We then give the locks to two other doctors that aren't on active duty. When the doctor wants to do his handiwork he has to have the other two doctors on hand to unlock him. The other two doctors then stay and observe his work thereby reducing the risk of accidents. It's brilliant.

Imagine, having a second and third doctor on hand to say, "You aren't going to sew up his chest without taking that soiled sponge out first are you?" Brilliant.

.
6 posted on 01/01/2005 3:24:16 PM PST by Jaysun (DEMOCRATS: "We need to be more effective at fooling people.")
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To: Jaysun
This problem can easily be fixed - the liberals have already done the work for us. Instead of putting safety locks on guns, we should put safety locks on doctors. I say we put doctors on active duty in straight jackets that are secured by two locks. We then give the (add "keys to the") locks to two other doctors that aren't on active duty.
7 posted on 01/01/2005 3:27:06 PM PST by Jaysun (DEMOCRATS: "We need to be more effective at fooling people.")
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To: Fishing-guy

I think the point was that guns shouldn't be banned any more than doctors should be banned. Neither are bad.


8 posted on 01/01/2005 3:29:31 PM PST by Giliad (Ouside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.)
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To: CHARLITE

This headline is more accurate than you might think at first glance, since guns don't kill anyone. Now, if it read "...people with guns" that's a slightly different story.


9 posted on 01/01/2005 3:30:58 PM PST by Disambiguator
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To: CHARLITE

I thought that the liberals were leaving the USA!


10 posted on 01/01/2005 3:31:46 PM PST by mountainlyons (alienated vet)
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To: CHARLITE

BTTT


11 posted on 01/01/2005 3:33:18 PM PST by Fiddlstix (This Tagline for sale. (Presented by TagLines R US))
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To: CHARLITE

And they are bitching about Chiropractors!!!


12 posted on 01/01/2005 3:46:51 PM PST by Leo Carpathian (Slava Ukraini!)
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To: CHARLITE

When sick: Get thee to a shooting range.


13 posted on 01/01/2005 4:41:41 PM PST by Mike Darancette (MESOCONS FOR RICE '08)
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To: Bushforlife; CHARLITE
I am uneasy with comparing gun ownership to medical malpractice, but the post is fundamentally correct about the scale of malpractice.

A path breaking Institute of Medicine study in 1999 using a conservative methodology concluded that "44,000 - 98,000 Americans die from medical errors annually." The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Institutes of Health and is not an arm of the trial lawyers.

http://www.iom.edu/report.asp?id=5575

The actual death toll is likely higher, as indicated by Health Grades, Inc., an independent healthcare quality company. It has reported that "[a]n average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002." Again, this is not a study done by trial lawyers.

http://www.healthgrades.com/media/english/pdf/HG_Patient_Safety_Study_Final.pdf

Other medical health professionals have corroborated these findings. To the credit of medicine as a profession, they are beginning to accept that there is a problem and are trying to find ways to reduce errors. Dislike of trial lawyers is a poor reason to differ with medicine's own recognition of its malpractice problem.
14 posted on 01/01/2005 4:56:15 PM PST by Rockingham
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To: Bushforlife
"The data in regards to deaths caused by physician are from a seriously flawed study which has no factual basis in objective reality."

Sorry, but you're wrong. I've checked into this and there are a number of studies that have numbers much the same. In fact, several studies show significanlty HIGHER numbers. This specific set of statistics come from a newspaper article published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer about four years ago.

15 posted on 01/01/2005 5:22:30 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: Rockingham
"Experts estimate that as many as 98,000 people die in any given year from medical errors that occur in hospitals. That's more than die from motor vehicle accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS--three causes that receive far more public attention. Indeed, more people die annually from medication errors than from workplace injuries. Add the financial cost to the human tragedy, and medical error easily rises to the top ranks of urgent, widespread public problems."

From the blurb (I'm not going to buy the report), IOM seems to lump everything that occurs anywhere in the hospital together, from the doctor who errs, to the nurse who administers the wrong medication, to the lab tech who reports out incorrect lab result.

That's NOT the same as "Accidental deaths caused by physicians total 120,000 per year".

It's entirely reasonable to have a system that compensates for bad outcomes (why are all the "bad doctors" in just a few specialties: Obstetrics, Orthopedic Surgery and Neurosurgery?) but there are more efficient ways to do it than to allocate 2/3 of the money to the plaintiff's and defense attorneys.

16 posted on 01/01/2005 6:12:59 PM PST by Sooth2222
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To: Sooth2222

The study is flawed in more ways than that. There are many assumptions made that are uncorroborated. You criticism is extremely valid, in that ANYTHING that goes wrong in a hospital is attributed to the doctor. This is the "captain of the ship" principle used by the malpractice lawyers [also known as the "deep pockets" principle: "he didn't actually do anything wrong, but he should have known the floor would be mopped and would still be wet after it was mopped, and that doctor has all that malpractice insurance after all, so HE is the one we will sue because that hospital patient fell, even though that doctor was in his office at the time"].

So if a nurse gives a wrong medication, and the patient dies, it is the doctors' fault. If a lab technician gives a wrong result, and the doctor acts on that result to protect the patient, and the patient thereby is harmed, it is the doctors' fault. There are liberal elements in the medical profession [ the AMA is full of them, I might add] that delight in self-castigation. This is the same liberal mindset that is responsible for the "blame America" attitude in the MSM. A lot of them are in the IOM as well. These people aren't taking care of patients; they are instead doing "studies"; thats how they get paid.


17 posted on 01/01/2005 7:25:54 PM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bushforlife

"Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death
in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year

This article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is the best article I have ever seen written in the published literature documenting the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm.
If you want to keep updated on issues like this click here to sign up for my free newsletter.

This information is a followup of the Institute of Medicine report which hit the papers in December of last year, but the data was hard to reference as it was not in peer-reviewed journal. Now it is published in JAMA which is the most widely circulated medical periodical in the world.

The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health and she desribes how the US health care system may contribute to poor health.

ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:

12,000 -- unnecessary surgery 8
7,000 -- medication errors in hospitals 9
20,000 -- other errors in hospitals 10
80,000 -- infections in hospitals 10
106,000 -- non-error, negative effects of drugs 2
These total to 250,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic causes!!
What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially of a complication of treatment.

Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these numbers:

First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.
Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.
Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.1
If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular disease).

Another analysis concluded that between 4% and 18% of consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings,with:

116 million extra physician visits
77 million extra prescriptions
17 million emergency department visits
8 million hospitalizations
3 million long-term admissions
199,000 additional deaths
$77 billion in extra costs"

So let's say "modern medicine kills people, rather than doctors." Happy now?

Or are they letting just anybody post goofy stuff in JAMA nowadays?


18 posted on 01/01/2005 8:05:01 PM PST by Indrid Cold (He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.)
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To: Indrid Cold
Once again, look at the numbers. The premise of the studies are flawed. Bad treatment outcomes are the result of the underlying disease.

The study quotes 80,000 mortalities from infections; so the doctors are the CAUSE of the infections? Or do the patients have illnesses that leave them prone to infection, and theses infections kill the patient?

7000 medication errors. How is this segregated? Unless these are instances where the wrong drug is prescribed, the physician is NOT the problem if the pharmacy mixes the wrong drug, or the nurse gives the wrong drug.

106,000 "non-error, negative effects of drugs"; so if a patient has a very serious heart rhythm problem causing extreme low blood pressure, and a doctor prescribes the correct drug to save his life, and the patient has a fatal allergic reaction [which can happen to anyone with any drug], then that is the DOCTORS' fault? Come on.

Does modern medicine cause illness? Absolutely. A patient comes in with a serious infection. Without an antibiotic they will die. They are given the drug, and they get an allergic reaction, or antibiotic related colitis, or some other side effect of the drug. Is your contention that the life threatening infection should never have been treated in the first place? Yet the treatment made the patient sick! What would you have the doctor do? This is the nature of the business, that every treatment has potential drawbacks, but that on the whole benefit more people than not.

A small percentage of everyone who drives gets in fatal car accidents each year. Car accidents are the risk we take when we drive. Nonetheless, we get behind the wheel and drive away every day, despite the fact that we know we can get killed. We do that because we make the calculation that the odds of the "side-effect" of getting killed in a car accident is too small to deprive us of the benefit of driving.

A small percentage of patients who get antibiotics get a fatal allergic reaction every year. Fatal allergic reactions are the risk we take when we take an antibiotic. Nonetheless when we get pneumonia, we EXPECT our doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to get us better, despite the fact that we know that antibiotics have side effects, including a fatal allergic reaction. We demand treatment because we make the calculation that the odds of a fatal "side-effect" is too small to deprive us of the benefit of getting cured of the pneumonia.

According to your studies, the doctor killed the patient. There was no way to predict the allergic reaction. If the patient didn't get the antibiotic, he would have died. The family would have sued the doctor for not providing an antibiotic for the pneumonia. Yet in those studies, the doctor killed the patient. The studies purport to show that patients are hurt by modern medicine. What the studies ACTUALLY show is that in medicine we choose a lower risk treatment to treat a higher risk disease. The researchers would do better to invent medicines without ANY side effects; as of yet, there ARE no medicines without side effects. Instead, they blame doctors for the fact that the world is imperfect; believe me, if there WERE treaments without side effects, doctors would use them. As it is, the doctors have to use what they have.

I have been in medicine for 25 years. The AMA is a liberal organization which backs liberal secular social causes, and also will publish studies like this which purport to allow "self-examination" of the profession. Many of the articles in JAMA are questionable. The editors have certain agendas. Paradoxically, a good deal of what has been in JAMA over the years is incredibly biased against clinical physicians.

None of us rely on the MSM. JAMA is part of the MSM.
19 posted on 01/01/2005 10:02:17 PM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Sooth2222
I read the IOM study when it first came out. From what I recall, all medical errors were lumped together and no effort was made to try to assess whether there was medical malpractice in the legal sense. The methodology of the study tended to under estimate the rate of error and has withstood challenge.

Some medical specialties invite litigation because they involve high stakes and difficult judgment calls. Brain surgery, Ob-Gyn, and orthopedic surgey all frequently require decisions with the potential to cripple or kill that is lacking in specialties such as dermatology or family practice.

Doctors often fantasize about a no fault compensation scheme for "bad outcomes." But such a mechanism is implausible because it would soon become like workmen's comp with high premiums, frequent but paltry awards, and its own burdens of administrative and legal costs. Since the number of prospective claimants would be far more numerous than doctors, they will tend to win the political battles that shape any such system.

Actually, the medical profession seems to be moving toward more vigorous efforts to reduce or eliminate errors and to be more forthcoming with patients. Anesthesiologists were nearly put out of business by high malpractice premiums but eventually revised their equipment and procedures so as to eliminate many sources of error. Consequently, they now have one of the best malpractice records and low insurance premiums to match.

The combination of high malpractice premiums, evidence based medicine, cost control, and quality measurement will bear fruit over time. The best course for the medical profession is to pursue such reforms rather than to try to tilt the legal system in their favor. When the chips are down, the public fears being the victim of medical malpractice more than they fear death or sympathize with doctors over high malpractice premiums. Doctors almost always lose when malpractice issues get to the ballot box.
20 posted on 01/01/2005 10:02:17 PM PST by Rockingham
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To: Indrid Cold
Once again, look at the numbers. The premise of the studies are flawed. Bad treatment outcomes are the result of the underlying disease.

The study quotes 80,000 mortalities from infections; so the doctors are the CAUSE of the infections? Or do the patients have illnesses that leave them prone to infection, and theses infections kill the patient?

7000 medication errors. How is this segregated? Unless these are instances where the wrong drug is prescribed, the physician is NOT the problem if the pharmacy mixes the wrong drug, or the nurse gives the wrong drug.

106,000 "non-error, negative effects of drugs"; so if a patient has a very serious heart rhythm problem causing extreme low blood pressure, and a doctor prescribes the correct drug to save his life, and the patient has a fatal allergic reaction [which can happen to anyone with any drug], then that is the DOCTORS' fault? Come on.

Does modern medicine cause illness? Absolutely. A patient comes in with a serious infection. Without an antibiotic they will die. They are given the drug, and they get an allergic reaction, or antibiotic related colitis, or some other side effect of the drug. Is your contention that the life threatening infection should never have been treated in the first place? Yet the treatment made the patient sick! What would you have the doctor do? This is the nature of the business, that every treatment has potential drawbacks, but that on the whole benefit more people than not.

A small percentage of everyone who drives gets in fatal car accidents each year. Car accidents are the risk we take when we drive. Nonetheless, we get behind the wheel and drive away every day, despite the fact that we know we can get killed. We do that because we make the calculation that the odds of the "side-effect" of getting killed in a car accident is too small to deprive us of the benefit of driving.

A small percentage of patients who get antibiotics get a fatal allergic reaction every year. Fatal allergic reactions are the risk we take when we take an antibiotic. Nonetheless when we get pneumonia, we EXPECT our doctor to prescribe an antibiotic to get us better, despite the fact that we know that antibiotics have side effects, including a fatal allergic reaction. We demand treatment because we make the calculation that the odds of a fatal "side-effect" is too small to deprive us of the benefit of getting cured of the pneumonia.

According to your studies, the doctor killed the patient. There was no way to predict the allergic reaction. If the patient didn't get the antibiotic, he would have died. The family would have sued the doctor for not providing an antibiotic for the pneumonia. Yet in those studies, the doctor killed the patient. The studies purport to show that patients are hurt by modern medicine. What the studies ACTUALLY show is that in medicine we choose a lower risk treatment to treat a higher risk disease. The researchers would do better to invent medicines without ANY side effects; as of yet, there ARE no medicines without side effects. Instead, they blame doctors for the fact that the world is imperfect; believe me, if there WERE treaments without side effects, doctors would use them. As it is, the doctors have to use what they have.

I have been in medicine for 25 years. The AMA is a liberal organization which backs liberal secular social causes, and also will publish studies like this which purport to allow "self-examination" of the profession. Many of the articles in JAMA are questionable. The editors have certain agendas. Paradoxically, a good deal of what has been in JAMA over the years is incredibly biased against clinical physicians.

None of us rely on the MSM. JAMA is part of the MSM.
21 posted on 01/01/2005 10:02:47 PM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Rockingham
The changes made in anesthesiology were to better record and document the safe way that they practice so as to avoid the situation where, in the case of a maloccurrence, the plaintiffs attorney would make a charge that a particular aspect of the case wasn't managed correctly and the anesthesiologist would have nothing on the chart to refute the charge. The change was in monitoring and documentation for medicolegal self defense, NOT a change in care.
22 posted on 01/02/2005 6:25:28 AM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bushforlife
"Bad treatment outcomes are the result of the underlying disease."

I'm sorry, but this comment is simply ludicrous. Both "good treatment" and "bad treatment" are BOTH the result of the underlying disease. The studies are talking about HUMAN MISTAKES that result in death that would NOT HAVE OCCURRED without the mistake.

23 posted on 01/02/2005 8:10:25 AM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: CHARLITE
It's time for Liberals to go out and buy a gun

Disagree. I'm quite happy with the current balance of forces, thank you.

24 posted on 01/02/2005 8:28:39 AM PST by katana
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To: Bushforlife
No, the reforms in anesthesiology were more comprehensive than changes in paperwork intended to frustrate trial lawyers by makingt malpractice harder to prove. The quality of care was improved and adverse patient events declined dramatically.

Anesthesiology equipment was radically redesigned to make common errors virtually impossible, things like making fittings incompatible and using color codes so that oxygen and anesthesia gas lines would not be confused. Manufacturers applied ergonomics and developed common protocols so that the intuitive feel and details of operation were similar even in machines from different manufacturers. Anesthesiology training and protocols were also revised to fit with the new equipment and to minimize errors.

The underlying concept was to regard the anesthesiologist as being like a pilot, with deadly serious decisions having to be made in seconds without time for analysis. That approach has made air travel extraordinarily safe. Notably, this took decades to recognize and apply to anesthesiology despite the benefits. My cynical side sees this as due to the risk of pilot death in aviation mishaps. Mere patient deaths did not provide sufficient incentive for anesthesiology reform, but years of financially ruinous malpractice premiums eventually did the trick.

In addition to malpractice, the broader problem is poor medical quality control. But that is beginning to be recognized, with the federal government prodding doctors toward improvement. Do not take my word for it: I'll close with an excerpt from a recent NYT article.

December 25, 2004
Program Coaxes Hospitals to See Treatments Under Their Noses
By GINA KOLATA

he federal government is now telling patients whether their local hospitals are doing what they should.

For now, the effort involves three common and deadly afflictions of the elderly - heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia - and asks about lifesaving treatments that everyone agrees should be given but that hospitals and doctors often forget to give.

The expectation, though, is that this is just the beginning; other diseases, other treatments and surgery are next. Within a few years, individual doctors will be rated as well.

Using incentives like bonus pay and deterrents like public humiliation, it is a bold new effort by the federal government, along with organizations of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and health researchers, to push providers to use proven remedies for common ailments.

And it is a response to a sobering reality: lifesaving treatments often are forgotten while doctors and hospitals lavish patients with an abundance of care, which can involve expensive procedures of questionable value. The results are high costs, unnecessary medicine and wasted opportunities to save lives and improve health.

Simple things can fall through the cracks.

"In some ways, it's kind of scary," said Dr. Peter Gross, the chief of the department of internal medicine at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. "The doctor today is much too busy and has too much to remember."

The hospital ratings are being done by Medicare and posted on the Internet (www.cms.hhs.gov/quality/hospital/).

And already, hospitals are responding, often with shock, when they discover they have been forgetting some of the very treatments that can make a difference between life and death, or sickness and health.

At Duke University's hospital, for example, when patients arrived short of breath, feverish and suffering from pneumonia, their doctors monitored their blood oxygen levels and put them on ventilators, if necessary, to help them breathe.

But they forgot something: patients who were elderly or had a chronic illness like emphysema or heart disease should have been given a pneumonia vaccine to protect them against future bouts with bacterial pneumonia, a major killer. None were.

All bacterial pneumonia patients should also get antibiotics within four hours of admission. But at Duke, fewer than half did.

The doctors learned about their lapses when the hospital sent its data to Medicare. And they were aghast. They had neglected - in most cases simply forgotten - the very simple treatments that can make the biggest difference in how patients feel or how long they live.

* * *
25 posted on 01/02/2005 8:28:52 AM PST by Rockingham
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To: Bushforlife

I think this is an example of how medicine and science have become over-politicized


26 posted on 01/02/2005 3:53:27 PM PST by virgil
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To: Rockingham
Dr. Gross has an opinion. He has that right.

So the State sets a standard which may or may not be a valid one. The State then says that we will impose that standard, measure that standard, and declare that non-compliance with that standard is "inadequate care".

I guess Dr. Gross agrees that being managed by the State is OK.

My contention is that the State is not there when you bring your sick child to the ER at 3 am, nor when you need an examination for your severe rectal pain. The State is real good, however, at imposing standards of care, even though the State Functionaries sit in offices from 9 to 5 and never put hands on patients. They of course find non-clinical doctors to "validate" these imposed standards, so they can say that these recommendations are from "doctors" who no doubt have imposing titles from the days that they actually treated patients. Some of those docs were probably pretty good, in the pre-penicillin era.

So much for "federal government prodding doctors toward improvement".

As for anesthesiologists, the improvements in technology you cite function merely to provide hard copy that everything was done correctly, making it harder for malpractice attorneys to unjustly point the finger at the doctors. The measures allow the docs to PROVE that proper safeguards were employed. Instead of just relying on their "word" that adequate oxygen was supplied to the patient at all times, a hard copy trace can be provided that PROVES it. The new measures you cite allow the doctor th document the good care he has been already providing for years, so the finger is not unjustly pointed at his "deep pockets" when bad outcomes occur.

Just because something is in the NYT doesn't mean it's true. Don't all of us on FR know that all too well?
27 posted on 01/03/2005 10:22:04 AM PST by Bushforlife (I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Bushforlife

Federal research for the sake of measuring medical quality is not the same as being managed by the state. The bad news is that quality is poor by some simple and useful measures. The good news is that doctors and hospitals are taking the information and using it to improve patient care.

As for anesthesiologists, I am freep mailing you an article from the British Medical Journal supporting the point that I made that technical improvements in anesthesiology have improved patient care and safety. The approach deserves wider use.


28 posted on 01/03/2005 5:07:39 PM PST by Rockingham
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To: Bushforlife

Has anyone connected the dots between Leape, the IOM, the Clintons and the trial lawyers? I remember when the IOM report first came out and (Bill) Clinton was gloating about it. Also, do you know of any studies that dissect Leape's bogus statistics?


29 posted on 02/11/2005 9:14:38 AM PST by Ragnar54
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