According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medical errors account for nearly 100,000 deaths every year. By contrast, motor vehicle accidents cause about 46,000 deaths yearly. At the same time, road blocks to improving the system are being put up by the medical industry and the federal government.
At the same time, Congress and the White House (not to mention the medical industry) are doing little to improve the situation. Consider this: if the FAA allowed 27 jets to crash every month for a year, the death toll would be about 98,000. Do you think the FDA would be left to plod along to remedy the situation on their own time? Of course not. There would be a public outcry and legislators would instantly respond.
But that is exactly is what the medical industry is doing: plodding along
at their own pace, and the death toll continues to increase. Consider
the effect if insurance, medical, HMO, nursing home, and drug industries
decided to devote to patient safety the tens of millions of dollars they
spend on lobbying each year to take away patient rights…
Consider the story of Krista Roeper, whose colon cancer went undiagnosed for two years. Not only did the doctor fail to order the proper testing that would have revealed the cancer, but he altered medical records when the cancer was found. The attorney general of Delaware filed charges against the doctor, but the charges were dropped when Krista died. She was 28 years old.