Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 25, 2013

Learn something daily

(Continued)

Just a couple of reasons why we should realize that there are not many problems we face that cannot be traced to special interest groups buying our politicians and the shrinking of our middle class to a smaller group daily. It has been reported that the middle class measured by income has declined from 61 percent to 47 percent and is still slipping.

Let me finish with one that I think will startle you. It's a story by Ben Goldacre who happens to be a doctor. He reports we now have a reported $10,000 lawsuits over a hip replacement that has experienced a 40 percent failure rate within five years. Some would say that mistakes happen, but it is reported that internal documents indicated that the flaws were known, but never made public. A failure to report after doctors and internal analyses were alerted to the problem is one thing, but, "Goldacre states these problems would be bad enough on their own, but they are compounded by a generation of 'fake fixes' that have delivered fake reassurance and so prevent realistic public discussion."

He discusses the many so-called fixes in the system to bring more transparency to clinical trial results and prevent drugs and medical items from reaching the market that are not safe nor do what they are advertised to do. I am quoting Dr. Goldacre, "This cannot be acceptable. Withholding data not only misleads doctors and patients; it's an insult to the patients who have participated in clinical trials, believing that they were helping to improve medical knowledge."

The thought of putting something in our bodies whether it is a pacemaker, artificial hip or anything else that was not properly tested with clinical trials and full transparency of results should make all of us mature folks not only nervous, but very scared. Please note that I said "mature" and not "old." I did not want to offend my playmates and friends. If you dig deep enough and really root cause the problems we face as a nation or state in unaffordable health care, education, debt and many others, you will eventually find a corrupt political system at the bottom.

 

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