« on: 30/07/2009 02:04:48 »
I always get suspicious when statistics like this are thrown around without context.
It's easy to say "look at all these people that doctors kill!", but what you really need to ask is "how many of them would have died anyway?" Doctors treat sick people, and sick people tend to die. The idea behind seeing a doctor is not to guarantee good health and survival, but to improve your odds of having those things.
Of course, not all (or even most - i don't know the numbers) of the people who die from medical mistakes would have otherwise been done in by their illnesses. But that's hardly an indictment against the medical profession as a whole. Any time you elect to have surgery or take drugs, you're taking a risk, and it probably isn't possible to eliminate mistakes entirely. You shouldn't recoil in horror when you see large numbers of medicical treatment-related deaths; that's to be expected regardless of the quality of the medical profession, given the size of the population of a country such as the United States. It isn't sensible to say "these numbers are too high, they need to be lower!" without first establishing what, exactly, an acceptably low number of medical fatalities would be. This is necessary because the number will never be zero.
Could you pray tell us why these figures are never on television or on the front page?