One Word that can Save Your Life?
One word that can save your life is, to just say no. On July 26, 2000, the US medical community received a titanic shock to the system, when one of its most respected and honored public-health experts, Dr. Barbara Starfield, revealed her findings on healthcare in America. The landmark Starfield study, “Is US health really the best in the world?”, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, came to the following conclusions:
Every year in the US there are:
- 12,000 deaths from unnecessary surgeries;
- 7,000 deaths from medication errors in hospitals;
- 20,000 deaths from other errors in hospitals;
- 80,000 deaths from infections acquired in hospitals;
- 106,000 deaths from FDA-approved correctly prescribed medicines.
The total of medically-caused deaths in the US every year is 225,000. This makes the medical system the third leading cause of death in the US, behind heart disease and cancer. The Starfield study is the most explosive revelation about modern healthcare in America ever published. The credentials of its author and the journal in which it appeared are, within the highest medical circles, impeccable. The Starfield’s astonishing findings, although media reporting was extensive, it soon dwindled. No major newspaper or television network mounted an ongoing “Medicalgate” investigation. Neither the US Department of Justice nor federal health agencies undertook prolonged remedial action. All in all, it seemed that those parties who could have taken effective steps to correct this mind-boggling situation preferred to ignore it. However, the findings on the relatively poor health in the US have received almost no attention. The American public appears to have been fooled into believing that more interventions lead to better health, and most people that I meet are completely unaware that the US does not have the ‘best health in the world’.