A Question for Readers

Film-makers who are making a documentary about Money-Driven Medicine have contacted me to ask if I know of anyone who “is suffering  from, has suffered from, or is related to a patient who they believe has suffered from some type of over-treatment.

“It doesn’t have to be a dramatic case – just someone who feels they were pushed through a cascade of needless scans towards some surgery or treatment that they would rather not have had would make the point, too.”

I don’t think we’re looking for a case of malpractice, but rather a case where the patient chose elective surgery or an elective procedure without having the opportunity to fully understand the risks and benefits in the way he or she would have if they had gone through a “shared decision-making” process. (See related post on “consumer-driven” vs. “patient-centered” medicine). It could be a knee replacement or hip surgery; it could be angioplasty or by-pass, it could be treatment for early-stage prostate cancer, another round of chemo, etc. 

If any readers have a suggestion, please comment or e-mail me at mahar@tcf.org.

4 thoughts on “A Question for Readers

  1. Most, if not all men will suffer from over-treatment for the prostate. The PSA is a money maker, big time

  2. I’m sure they’ll be inundated with stories. No one here gets out alive. The medical profession is not, and does not practice medicine any more. Physicians are drug and device pushers who cash in even in a universal access system.
    Speaking of which; did you know that it is the medically injured taxpayer who picks up the tab for a physician’s legal expenses? That happens because the insurer is the government, rather than some private entity. And the pit is bottomless.

  3. That’s a tough one, sounds like your friend “Tom.”
    What comes to my mind specifically is the invasive heart test my husband was subjected to…I commented in the the book it was ordered by one doctor to throw some business to his golf buddy cardiologist.
    Much more so as an outpatient my husband was subjected to countless unnecessary tests but this was because nobody was communicating with each other (physician to physician.) Hey, that was a problem in the hospital, too.
    Everybody had to get their own baselines, etc, so my husband was constantly getting blood drawn, et al and most of it wasn’t necessary at all. We were encouraged by several physicians (as an outpatient) to have some sort of painful nerve testing done, some type of painful procedure to determine nerve damage. In the event there was nerve damage, there was nothing that could be done about it, so I really didn’t see the point of subjecting the poor man to more painful poking and prodding…and it’s obvious without a painful test he has nerve damage.
    My point is, we tried to get “sold” on a lot of stuff primarily as an outpatient.

  4. Why Some Hospitals Are Allowing Unnecessary Suffering

    Easing pain is arguably as important as saving a life. But far too many U.S. physicians focus only on the latter. …..“I realized he didn’t know any better,” said Meier. “Neither did the resident or the attending physician. I realized that this was an …