Monday, January 13, 2014

Bureaucrats To The Rescue

By Michael D. Shaw January 6, 2014

It has been pointed out—by individuals who are hardly socialists—that a for-profit health care system will be fraught with untold conflicts of interest, most of which can only be resolved after the fact, rather than be prevented. A recent example is the unconscionable overuse of cardiac stents.

As reported last September by Bloomberg, half of elective surgeries to implant cardiac stents may be unnecessary and are inadvertently causing patient deaths. Replete with bona fide horror stories, the Bloomberg piece quotes Nortin Hadler, a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

Stenting belongs to one of the bleakest chapters in the history of Western medicine. Cardiologists are marching on because the interventional cardiology industry has a cash flow comparable to the GDP of many countries and doesn’t want to lose it.

And now comes a study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine entitled “Arthroscopic Partial Meniscectomy versus Sham Surgery for a Degenerative Meniscal Tear.” Here’s the astonishing conclusion: “In this trial involving patients without knee osteoarthritis but with symptoms of a degenerative medial meniscus tear, the outcomes after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy were no better than those after a sham surgical procedure.”.....To Read More....

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