The person who is most likely to kill you is not a mugger or a drunken driver, it’s your doctor!
Doctors nowadays are counting deaths at a faster rate than car crashes, homicide or Alzheimer’s.
In nearly all jobs, messing up means back-chatting your boss, sending the wrong email, losing a client, or even causing a financial loss. But things are a lot worse if you work in a pharmacy or a hospital.
As stated by the Institute of Medicine, mistakes kill about 44,000 American patients every year! (Such a terrifying number).
There are so many cases of ending a patient’s life due to a mistake, such as the pregnant woman who visited her pharmacist for antibiotics to find out later that she swallowed a home-abortion drug. Fortunately, her unborn child survived.
Others haven’t got lucky like that woman who went to have her kidney removed at a UK hospital to die when the surgeon tried to remove her liver. While in Italy, 8 people were killed due to a mix up between an anesthetic and an oxygen tube.
The medical profession comes with benefits (pretty much like politics), and by benefits I mean bribes!
Just last year, a popular pharmaceutical company was charged for offering doctors kickbacks to promote their products.
It’s not just a few bucks every now and then, doctors who went with the flow could get themselves into 5-star hotels in locations like Bermuda as well as luxury day trips there.
Pfizer, one of the world’s premier biopharmaceutical companies, might have even bribed the Chinese government.
At present, at least 4 major companies, including some of the biggest names in the business are facing trial for bribe cases.
Almost any business has some feature of performance-related pay. Basically, targets accelerate productivity, shake off laziness, and increase performance.
However, at one UK hospital, government-imposed targets were so bad that they were killing patients.
By putting pressure on doctors as well as managers to accomplish unrealistic goals, bosses were simply skipping patient safety with predictable consequences.
According to a Royal College of Nursing 2008-survey, 78% of nurses thought patient care was compromised and 93% said they felt themselves under endless pressure.
Stressing out to the point of distraction is everything but life-saving.
Whenever you get an infection or virus, you mostly visit your doctor, get some antibiotics and get rid of it, as simple as that.
In fact, it’s not really that simple. Antibiotics aren’t dollar-spinners, which means that those bribe factories aren’t concerned about investing in new ones.
This leads to a terrible phenomenon called antibiotic resistance. The bacteria’s rapid process of evolution grants strains resistance to certain drugs to generate until almost all of them are immune.
Bad news: all those scary Victorian diseases we thought long gone may make a nasty return. E.coli and gonorrhea are already rejecting antibiotics and it may be about to get worse.
6. Experimental Drugs
Everyone knows that famous scene where the patient lays on the hospital’s death-bed, the doctor desperately asks if they’d want to try a new experimental drug that might work even though still untested. The exhausted patient nods, after all, they have nothing to lose.
According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, only less than a third of experimental drugs had a positive effect on the patient, on the other hand, two-thirds caused at least one serious or deadly side effect.
You might be dying anyway but using these experimental drugs is more likely to end your life sooner rather than save it.
5. Unnecessary Surgery
We often consider surgery as a last resort which hospitals do only when they must to. The picture of someone making you unconscious and dig into the inside of your body can be unbearable.
It was reported that 4,000 women are opened up every year to treat breast tumors that were harmless in the first place.
Equally disappointing is this Kentucky hospital being sued by 400 patients for carrying out surgeries just because they want to rank in the subsequent insurance payouts!
Neglect can be much worse than needless surgery.
In UK hospitals, the cases of neglect-related deaths are too many that it would be impossible to list them all here.
A 22-year-old male died of thirst in his bed after the staff refused to provide him with water, even worse, about 110 other patients experienced the same fate last year while 43 others starved to death.
These are humans in hospitals, in developed countries, who are supposed to take around the clock care.
Elderly patients are struggling too, with ill-treatment including harassment, bullying, and abuse. Complaints totaled over 36,000 in just one year.
Even when they’re not neglectful, some doctors endanger patients through laziness.
A few years back, the Long Island North Shore University Hospital was caught with a hand washing rate of 10%!
Hundreds of doctors and nurses fail to check routine things such as the patient’s blood pressure, either because they forget or they’re not supervised.
Basic care also got worse. Doctors in Worcestershire hospital were prescribing tap water to make sure the nurses would actually bother to give patients the needed water to survive!
There are numerous similar stories but we’d like to stop here because this is just too depressing.
2. Involuntary Euthanasia
Sometimes, there’s just no possible way to save a life. For instance, they may be brain dead in a coma with zero chances of recovery, besides taking up some needed beds.
With a sinking heart, the doctors in accordance with the family pull the switch, knowing that was the best option.
Some UK hospitals were found pushing patients to welcome death to help the terminally ill before they’re ready to pass away. Six doctors told the Daily Telegraph that this procedure was used at times to lessen the strain on hospital resources, meaning that their duty to save your life doesn’t come first.
1. Gagging Orders
Well, not all doctors are that bad, some happen to be decent people who truly want to help patients. Unfortunately, the rest of their profession is not letting them be.
Gagging orders are what restrain doctors from speaking out against their colleagues or hospitals, even if things were at their worst.
In some states, doctors are now asking patients to sign these orders, meaning that the thing endangering your life can take you to court if you try to warn other people about it.
The doctors who decide to speak out anyway get their life and career totally ruined. Some experience serious stress-related illnesses, others may lose everything, and few manage to cling to their career.
The system doesn’t only ignore whistle-blowers, it destroys them. Only fewer come forward and we remain in danger.
Good luck not thinking about all of this during your next check-up.
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