Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I don't suppose Sarah is going to start reading NEJM any time soon

They're getting max cred from me for making articles of general public interest open access, and they definitely get a dog biscuit today. Kerianne Quanstrum and Rodney Hayward tell it like it is -- the crapstorm over the Preventive Services Task Force revised recommendations on screening mammography was largely propelled by the economic interest of radiologists. They even start off with that famous Adam Smith quotation, the one Smith's libertarian fans (who have never bothered to read him) pretend doesn't exist: "People of the same trade seldom meet together . . . [without] the conversation end[ing] in a conspiracy against the public." And yep, they are talking about the American College of Radiology, in your face.

As long as Americans have it stuck in their craniums that in medicine, more is always better and the only reason people argue for less is because they want to kill your mother, we are, well, going to kill people. That's the result of squandering and misallocating limited resources, and it's even the direct result of intervening when it's likely to do more harm than good.

So let's bring on the Life Panels. Tell us what not to do. Please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stop putting in gastro feeding tubes in people who don't stand a chance! Make people comfortable and if death occurs, so be it! It makes no sense to keep vegetables alive! You have to show that you want to and can understand why you are on hemodialysis and to learn to eat, drink and take their medication properly and the first time you say "I know my body", you are dropped from the program!