Pretty Standard, Really

Thanks to The Agitator‘s Radley Balko, who directed my attention to this particular story.

Take a look at this: Oncologist Defends His Work at a V.A. Hospital.

It would be nice to say that this sort of thing were an uncommon aberration in the medical treatment of veterans. It would be even nicer to say that it’s an aberration in medical treatment in general. Unfortunately, no one even loosely familiar with the practice of medicine in this country could honestly express either of those sentiments. This sort of thing happens pretty constantly.

Physicians don’t want to ruin the careers of other physicians. They know that they will make all sorts of stupid errors themselves, and statistically every doctor kills at least one patient in their career. Not loses one patient. The death will occur directly from physician error.

There is an old saying: “The innocent love justice, while the guilty love mercy”.

Doctors just love mercy. Unfortunately, their unwillingness to censure others means that even physicians who are acting grossly irresponsibly are not confronted or stopped, patients are not told about major ‘errors’ even when they’ve been repeated over and over and clearly are not due simply to chance or a fluke of performance, and it takes a monumental effort to stop doctors from maiming and killing.


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