More is Not Better


In an editorial comment Kevin Sacks in the NY Times addresses the risk vs. benefits of  excessive and premature testing in the medical field in the USA.

My friend Bev had a cold a while ago. She is 85 years old but totally independent. Her son urged her to go to her doctor who prescribed antibiotics.  Shortly after she started taking the drugs she passed out and fell on the floor injuring her coccix.  The concern of her family and doctors was that she might have had a stroke. So she was hospitalized and extensively diagnosed. After much expense and anxiety nothing was found except that she had injured her tailbone and could not walk.  Her independence had been seriously compromised. She is essentially housebound now. This episode cost her her independence.  How sad and irresponsible.

The reason she passed out is that she was given a standard amount of the antibiotic even though she weighs only 95 lbs.  She was overmedicated. Why was that not considered before she was so thoroughly tested?  Could it be that that approach would have been less profitable?  Or is this just the knee jerk approach used by doctors and hospitals?

More is not better.  We need to be thoughtful and personally proactive about our health and well being.  What if Bev had not gone to the doctor?  She might well be well today.

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