April/May, 2021

Iatrogenic Episodes as the Cause of Mortality in the U.S.

I once researched physician induced illness (iatrogenic) and was dumbfounded at how prevalent doctors cause patients to become fatally ill.

The LA Times Op-Ed page, A19 today, Sunday, May 16, 2021, has an interesting article on this troubling fact, taken from a more contemporary interest, “Doctor culture is sinking U.S. healthcare,” (Dr. Robert Pearl), and it writes from the perspective that not only are doctors encouraged to sometimes perform unneeded surgeries and prescribe unnecessary medications, but this influence spreads to doctors and patients physically, financially, and psychologically.

I have two wonderful M.D.’s in my life: my internist and my gastroenterologist. They are both committed healers. They are both part of the medical culture, yet they have become wise enough to recognize who they are and how to work within this knowledge: the awareness that they are part of a system, yet they adhere to their standard of understanding the Hippocratic Oath, while maintaining personal ethics and integrity.

I, myself, have my own humble belief and awareness that medicine, coupled with natural healing, is just as much “God” as pure energy work. They are equal.

In 2006 a catastrophic illness devastated my family. My daughter was stricken with a near-fatal lymphoma. Although she was covered by two insurance companies, I was left, after a divorce, with over $100,000 in medical co-pays.

I struggled to pay my bills. I was succeeding for a while, but in 2008, the recession finished things off, and I was forced to declare personal bankruptcy the following year.

Statistics show that more people are forced into financial ruin through medical catastrophe than through any other life circumstance.

This is outrageous. We ae punished for being hurt. We are further damaged at a time when we most need support.

I know doctors and medical professionals do not want to hurt people. I am well- aware that well-intentioned people can, and do, get lost in a maze of misunderstanding sometimes.

One of the last paragraphs of this article states things in a great way:

…psychological damage could be avoided if physicians were trained to treat every patient like a family member. We would produce more compassionate physicians if residents and interns were asked, “Did you treat all your patients today as if they were your sibling parent or child.”

It can be that simple.

It can be that simple.

It is that simple.

Love, Gopita

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