December 8, 2012
His name is Marty Makary. He’s a cancer surgeon and researcher at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the School of Public Health.
Propublica’s Marshall Allen interviewed him about patient harm, in conjunction with an ongoing propublica investigation.
Keep in mind that these quotes are coming from a mainstream doctor who is inside the system and who believes in the system. That makes Makary’s statements all the more shocking.
“… 1 in 4 hospital patients are harmed by a mistake.”
“A cardiologist in Wisconsin was fired for pointing out that EKGs were misread more than 25% of the time.”
“We [doctors] are also evaluated by the number of ‘value units’ at the end of each fiscal quarter. Our management will sit down with us and say your work units are down or up and in order for you to receive a large bonus you need to increase the number of operations you do…”
“There is New England Journal of Medicine-level data that suggests that almost half of [health] care is not compliant with evidence.” [In other words, almost 50% of all health care in America isn’t even based on published mainstream studies…and, I should add, there is conclusive evidence that half of these studies are untrustworthy in the first place. Therefore, to say that conventional doctors are winging it is a vast understatement. JR]
“…up to 30% of health care in unnecessary…”
“I saw cases where a patient was not told about a minimally invasive way of doing a particular surgery because of physician preference or training, and the doctor would just hope the that he [the patient] wouldn’t find out.”
“Medical mistakes are fifth-or-sixth-most common cause of death in the United States, depending on the measure.”
“…The desire and reflex of docs to offer something to patients, even when there’s not much more else they can offer. There’s a strong financial incentive. Doctor groups pay for new equipment that they purchase on borrowed money.” [In other words, ‘we have this expensive equipment, we have to use it to pay for it.’ JR]
Since Dr. Makary works at Johns Hopkins, he is no doubt familiar with a landmark review done by the late Dr. Barbara Starfield, who also worked at Hopkins for many years.
On July 26, 2000, the Journal of the American Medical Association published Starfield’s review, “Is US health really the best in the world?” Starfield revealed the following facts:
In the US, the annual death rate, as a direct result of medical treatment, is 225,000 people. Of those, 106,000 are killed by FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs. The other 119,000 are killed by medical mistreatment in hospitals. This makes medically caused death the third leading cause of mortality in America.
In 2009, I interviewed Dr. Starfield. She assured me that, since the publication of her review in 2000, no federal agency had contacted her to ask for help in fixing this unconscionable horror, and no agency had undertaken a significant program to reverse the third leading cause of death in the US.
Aside from the medically caused death rate, there is medical maiming. In 2001, the LA Times published a shocking article by Linda Marsa. The article revealed that, in addition to the deaths, 2.1 million more people were admitted to US hospitals every year as a result of severe reactions to pharmaceutical drugs. And, every year, there were 36 million adverse drug reactions in America.
Those people who support the onset of Obamacare might reflect on all these things. With millions of new people brought into the medical system, the horrific pain-and-death numbers cited in this article are going to escalate. And those numbers equal real human beings.
But don’t worry. You’re humane to want Obamacare. You’ll get a gold star on the blackboard for your sentiments.
Keep sending me your emails expressing those sentiments. I print them and tape them to my wall, right next to the death-and-maiming numbers. It’s a nice collection.
Jon Rappoport is the author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED. Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.