Opinions / Op-eds

When Money Trumps Common Sense

Based on my 30 years of practical experience on the prescription and use of respiratory protection equipment, I gave testimony last month on the proper use of masks in this crisis we have found ourselves in over this past year. This month, I wish to direct my testimony to a little known topic by the public, and that is medical mistreatment (or should I say misinformation??) that is purported by medical professionals and other medical experts in public statements, some recent statements have been quite sensational, and contrary to common sense, if you still have the ability to think critically or logically.

Just a quick & easy side trip down some of the back roads of the information superhighway, reveals some astounding annual statistics of the number of deaths attributed to the medical industry.

An oft cited 2016 Johns Hopkins study estimated 250,000 deaths a year in the US annually due to medical errors. John Hopkins and its studies have been cited many times during this crisis. To be fair, this study has been attacked and there are other analyses to discredit it, and an article published by David Gorski on February 2019 suggests the numbers are about 50% less than those cited by the Johns Hopkins study, and those numbers spread out over a period of years. Another citation states about 4,000 surgical errors occur each year, and 7 – 9,000 patients die every year from medication errors.

I pose this question: Who are we to believe? Is the first study credible, or the second? Are second opinions worth pursuing and listening to and worthy of consideration, or silencing?

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Quoting from the Journal of Radiological Protection’s paper on “Unintended and Accidental Medical Radiation Exposures in Radiology: Guidelines on investigation and prevention”: “Radiation-related errors in medicine can be considered as medical errors. Medical errors have been recognized increasingly as a contributor to patient morbidity and mortality. Errors in medicine are likely underreported and when they are reported the information recorded is often limited. However, not all errors cause harm and the health effects from the majority of radiation exposures that are greater than intended due to errors in x-ray imaging will be negligible. The U.S. Institute of Medicine reports that 90% of medical errors result from systemic problems, rather than purely random events.”

In a conversation with a former medical physicist who worked for Siemens in the San Francisco Bay Area, a diagnostic and therapeutic radiation machine manufacturer, he doubted the numbers are correct because of experience he had with lawsuits that are settled out of court that contain Non-Disclosure Agreements that conceal cases from publicity. Some studies indicate that death from medical errors could be even higher due to the way medical errors are reported on death certificates – that number may rise to 440,000 persons dying every year from medical errors, another statistic discounted by David Gorski in his analysis.

We’ve seen numerous reports in the press from around the country and Idaho of deaths from car crashes and heart attacks attributed to Covid, because Covid diagnoses convert directly to dollars collected.

From the start of this “crisis” our medical professionals and experts have gotten it wrong at every step. Errors in diagnosis and testing, PCR in particular, quarantining healthy people, efficacy of flimsy paper and T-shirt quality masks of zero protection factors, the use of multiple masks (that have zero protection factors), censorship of experienced medical colleagues, threatening licenses to practice medicine, State Boards of Pharmacy that intervene in the doctor patient relationships and prohibit or make more difficult the prescription of any drug that might help treatment (what happened to that “Right to Try” law that was passed last administration?), the arbitrary 6ft distance decided on for social distancing, the promotion and administering of an untested experimental drug that does not either immunize or prevent transmission, with unknown long term side effects, passing laws that absolve drug companies of liability for future side effects…all for a flu that has over a 99% survival rate. I ask you, where has Common Sense gone in the medical profession and in the general public. Are we all that fearful and dumb now?

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3 replies on “When Money Trumps Common Sense”

Mr. Thinkagain:

David Gorski is right. Your description of an article on medical errors was so vague I barely recognized it. It was in BMJ on May 3, 2016, by Martin A. Makary and Michael Daniel, and titled Medical error – the third leading cause of death in the US.

Similarly, you referred to David Gorski as having discussed that article in 2019. He first did so in 2016, in an article at the Science Based Medicine blog titled Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.? He also had two more articles with that title and the suffixes (2019 edition) and (2020 edition).

Gorski’s latest discussion of it is at his Respectful Insolence blog on August 13, 2021 titled A bogus statistic about medical errors rears its ugly head in STAT. He calls it a ‘slasher statistic’, and describes in detail why you should not believe it.

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