8/04 Medical System Leading Cause Of Death

Medical System Leading Cause Of Death

Larry Pratt

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) seems to believe that the only safe gun is no gun at all. This has been the view of most doctors who publish in medical journals in this country.

Data that have been collected about fatalities caused by America’s health care system suggest that the anti-gun fervor of some doctors is born of a desire to shift the blame from their own shortcomings.

Deaths from guns are more highly publicized than are deaths from malpractice, hospital-induced infections, careless prescriptions and other health care system causes, and that makes guns a handy target for diverting attention from medicine’s own death toll. It is not good science to depict guns as the biggest threat to America’s children, but it sure beats accepting responsibility for one’s own shortcomings.

In an article by Dr. Gary Null, et. al., (archived at http://www.mercola.com/2004/jul/7/healthcare_death.htm) government statistics were gathered to present an overall picture of the extent of death-by-medical-system that afflicts the United States.

Here is a summary of the data supporting Dr. Null’s conclusion that the American medical system is the leading cause of death and injury in the United States.

For comparison, in 2001, the heart disease annual death toll was 699,697, and the cancer death toll was 553,251. The medical system death toll was 783,936!

Murder committed using firearms accounts for less than 10,000 victims and the accidental firearms death toll is little more than 1,000. About 120 or so kids under 14 are killed by gunshots.

The medical system mortalities break down this way: adverse drug reactions: 106,000; medical error: 98,000; bedsores: 115,000; infection: 88,000; malnutrition: 108,000; outpatients: 199,000; unnecessary procedures: 37,136; surgery-related: 32,000. As Dr. Null explains, these are conservative estimates that do not attempt to overcome the considerable limitations of self-reporting regarding error and negligence.

In view of this information, it might be asked, is the patient more at risk at the hospital when the nurse and doctor are in his room, or when four of his armed buddies are visiting? When the pediatrician, following the AAP’s advice, invades his patient’s privacy and asks if daddy has guns and where they are, who or what is the most dangerous — the pediatrician or daddy’s guns? Before answering, quick, review the numbers again.

If anti-gun doctors think we need gun control, should we ask them instead about medical system control?

Oh, physician, heal thyself!