Thursday, June 23, 2005

Common Good: Defensive Medicine Widespread, with Serious Consequences

Common Good: Defensive Medicine Widespread, with Serious Consequences: "Defensive medicine is 'a deviation from sound medical practice that is induced primarily by a threat of malpractice suits.' Forty-three percent of physicians said their most recent defensive act was 'using imaging technology in clinically unnecessary circumstances.'"
You should be aware why your doctor may over-test and over-treat you.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Dr Malpani,

    Traditional approaches like ayurveda and the contemporary homeopathy do not require extensive use of diagnostic procedures but they have recorded instances of cure, specially in chronic ailments where modern medicine is a dismal failure. The latter can only indulge in "disease management".

    We have already seen how invasive diagnostic techniques like x-ray's of the chest cavity, ultrasound of the foetus etc. have had severe physical repurcussions. This is in addition to the high costs involved. Today it is very obvious that a nexus exists between many unscrupulous doctors and the diagnostic clinics.

    Moreover very recently the efficacy of psa tests and mammography have been questioned. Scientific studies say that these techniques may not serve any purpose.

    Many other facets of modern medicine are also under attack like the concept of reductionism, the failure to treat the patient as a whole. Surgeries too are done more for the lure of money than need. The surgery department in all private hospitals are the profit centres, coming next only to the diagnostic department. Thus doctors in these hospitals are given specific instructions on how best to fleece their patients. These are not figments of imagination but reflect recent newspaper headlines.

    While the patients of developed nations are aware of what ails them and have the financial acumen to sue the erring medical community, the patients of the developing nations never really know what hit them in the first place. They are not informed about drug reactions or surgical blunders either.

    Thus today there is an urgent need to review modern medicine and bring it around from being a killer money spinning industry to being a system that heals at all levels and concentrates more on wellness than disease.



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