Tag: iatrogenesis

Ban The Doctors!

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressThis week we have been treated to the ridiculous picture of Hillary Clinton giving her best stump speech, railing against guns. Those mean guns are out there are killing lots of people, she says. There’s over 30,000 people killed by guns every year, and we cannot let that happen, the woman continues.

Of course, everybody knows that very few of those killed are in a mass murder situation, and then there are those poor Chicago black kids killed by their black neighbors. There are accidents and suicides, Dick Cheney notwithstanding. By the time you work your way through the numbers, Hillary is obviously out to lunch.

Just in case you are curious, here’s the Wikipedia write-up.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013, firearms (excluding BB and pellet guns) were used in 84,258 nonfatal injuries (26.65 per 100,000 U.S. citizens) [2] and 11,208 deaths by homicide (3.5 per 100,000),[3] 21,175 by suicide with a firearm,[4] 505 deaths due to accidental discharge of a firearm,[4] and 281 deaths due to firearms-use with “undetermined intent”[5] for a total of 33,169 deaths related to firearms (excluding firearm deaths due to legal intervention). 1.3% of all deaths in the country were related to firearms.[1][6]

Of course, we all know that a gun is not necessary for suicide. My son killed himself with a CAT5 cable. You don’t see me marching to ban Ethernet cables, do you? That would be stupid. He might have used a gun, but we knew he was suicidal and refused to have a gun in the house.

OK. That’s a lot of folks being injured and killed with guns. However, it helps to take a look at the real story of deaths in the United States. Take a seat, because more people are killed in automobile accidents every year than in gun related murders, suicides, and mass murders.

But, wait. There’s even more to the story than Hillary Clinton’s raspy intonations. The number three killer of citizens in the United States is not guns, traffic accidents, or Coca-Cola. The third highest killer in the United States is our medical industry.

Say what?

That’s right. Over 100,000 people in the United States of America are killed by their medical doctors every year. No, this is not people who otherwise would have been dead, and the doctor could not get to them in time. These are people with major and minor illnesses that trusted the medical industry in the United States and died for their trouble.

There’s a term for this phenomenon, and it is iatrogenesis. I have blogged on this before, and it looks like a good time to remind folks of what’s happening.

Of course, Hillary doesn’t talk about this huge problem. Instead she homes in on a relatively small problem, but one with big political support, mostly from liberals who simply cannot figure out when to come in out of the rain. The gun control solutions are irrational. No surprise, there.

You see, with millions of firearms in the hands of Americans at the present, it is beyond rational to take those guns away. We are guaranteed the right to bear arms, and with the rise in terrorist actions world-wide, it is obvious that we need those guns.

When seconds matter, you need a gun. Terrorists and home invaders will not wait for the police to show up. No, they are long gone, and you may be long dead by the time law enforcement gets there.

So, our unthinking former Secretary of State can rave all she wants, but we will never give up our guns.

Guns don’t kill people, doctors do!

The Dirty Little Health Care Secret

In reading the book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, I learned about a field of study called, iatrogenesis.

Iatrogenesis is the degree of harm committed on patients by doctors and the health  care systems. In other words, iatrogenesis is all about how many people die because of errors by physicians and hospitals. The numbers are staggering.

According to one source, the number of deaths in the United States due to medical error is approximately 98,000! Remember, this number is from reported deaths, and may or may not be correct depending on how or whether errors are reported within a given hospital system.

The 98,000 to 100,000 number is supported by the references in this Newsweek article.

Other sources credit the number of deaths as over 225,000 patients. This is the number that brings iatrogenesis deaths up to the third largest killer in the nation. Even if this number is not correct, the 98,000 to 100,000 number is roughly equivalent to the deaths that would have been caused by a jumbo jet crashing, everyday.

One thing we do know is that the 100,000 level of iatrogenic deaths is conservative. Some say it is very conservative.

So, how does this affect us today? How does this affect Obama care? Here is my reasoning.

1. The mortality numbers published for the United States show our health system to be more deadly that many other countries. This difference is in large part attributable to our much larger number of doctors, hospitals, MRI and CT Scan machines per capita than any other country in the world.

2. It is obvious that the more health care you get, the greater you are at risk for being killed by the system.

3. According to Nicholas Taleb, the life expectancy of Americans will get longer as our medical care becomes rationed more and more like European health care.

You will notice that I have found one of the only positive things about Obama care. Even though everybody will pay more for healthcare, and everybody will get less healthcare, more people will live through the experience.

We will get the shaft from Obama in our healthcare system. Simply by the principles revealed in iatrogenesis, we should benefit.

How do you like them apples?