Home > Critical Thinking, Dystopia, Philosophy sans Sophistry, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Who Kills More: Doctors or Convicted Murderers?

Who Kills More: Doctors or Convicted Murderers?

OK, here is a question?

Who is responsible for more preventable deaths: An average doctor or a median convicted murderer?

Important: I am not counting deaths due to physician errors, oversight, unclear disease presentations, problems with diagnosing uncommon diseases, lab test errors, hospital administrative errors, equipment malfunction etc.

I am restricting my definition of preventable deaths caused by physicians to the following categories:

1] Physicians who prescribe drugs known to increase net mortality without any therapeutic effect on the disease/ condition being treated (Example- COX-2 Inhibitors for Inflammation, Atypical anti-psychotics for senile dementias or “difficult kids” etc).

2] Physicians who give information that has been shown to have no basis in reality, and is actually harmful. (Putting Type-2 Diabetics on a low-fat/ high-carb diet, advising against moderate alcohol consumption for patients who have survived a MI- heart attack)

3] Physicians who knowingly prescribe drugs/therapies that do not increase survival to any worthwhile extent but are very expensive and have serious side effects (anti-cancer “therapies” for most metastatic cancers)

4] Physicians who direct or mislead patients into surgeries or therapies that are expensive, result in a much poorer quality of life when less expensive/ invasive options are available (most cases of prostate cancer in the post-65 age group can be managed with drugs/targeted local irradiation as opposed to surgery which is expensive, causes tons of problems and has a very marginal effect on survival).

What do you think?

Comments?

  1. September 29, 2010 at 12:14 am

    An average doctor causes more death (and lot more suffering) in a month than an average *serial* murderer in his entire “career”.

    And yet somehow we consider the average doctor to be more respectable than the average serial murderer.

    • September 30, 2010 at 12:19 am

      Deansdale –

      Your term “average doctor” is seriously flawed, and that blows your underlying argument, which is inherently correct.

      I am a physician misbehavior investigator, and have been throat-deep into just this subject for many years. What I can say without exaggeration is that our system of disease care provides fertile ground some of the wackiest, most reckless, egotistical and morally bankrupt degreed charcters to found anywhere. I have on my computer 11,000 physicians who couldn’t seem to stay on the right side of the law, just during the last decade alone. 2,490 convictions in ’09. 204 behind bars for murder (that I know of) with 19 awaiting trial.

      By now we know the ‘Anthrax Terrorist,’ three of the five worst child rapists, and two of the last three mass shooters – were doctors.

      The premise of my website (and my book, for anyone interested) is also the undisputed answer to this outstanding question:

      NO profession wreaks more havoc; spills more unwarranted blood; takes more lives unnecessarily; plunders more national & private treasure, commits more crime, nor avoids more appropriate punishment, than the errant doctor population.

      But we didn’t hear any of that during the incessant 2-year babble of the ‘Health Care’ debate, did we?

      Check out “America’s Dumbest Doctors” if you’re interested. The truth is both ugly and – at times, thank Heaven – funnier than a crutch.

  2. Hughman
    September 29, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Good thought experiement.

    A reversal of the classic ‘Leave no one behind’ idea – modern medicine would rather spend more money per quality of life year gained when it is more noticable (ie surgery for a few, rather than mass vacination/prophylactic programmes for many)

    Nope, I am talking about obvious fuckups, lying, laziness and scams.

    Because the murderer kills people ‘obviously’, he (or she) is considered to be more immoral. Equally, (most) doctors bring net good, in terms of utilitarian philosophy. Losing the odd person is regreatable, but saving hundreds is not.

    The question is- can this net ‘good’ be achieved with far fewer obvious fuckups (read the examples I have used).

    We are not talking about mistakes made in good faith. The stuff I am referring to would be considered overtly criminal in many other lines of work.

  3. John
    September 29, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Describe “Good Faith.”

    Is “Willful Ignorance” or the practice of medicine while influenced by personal financial profit due to the obvious “Conflict of Interest” resulting from kickbacks to doctors by pharmaceutical corporations exempt from the definition of “Good Faith?”

  4. Nestorius
    September 29, 2010 at 9:46 am

    AD, here is an example of what you’re saying. Few years ago, I had a clinical depression due to a combination of accidents. So I went to a neurologist who identified my case as “general anxiety” and prescribed to me “seroxat” to be taken fully. Well two days after starting taking it I made some internet search about this seroxat and immediatly I stopped taking it. So I though that after all it was just a depression caused by the accidents and I was to recover to normal, there was no such thing as “general anxiety bullshit”. It was since then that I noticed that there is something wrong with some doctors.

  5. WP
    September 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Conflict of interest, anyone? Businesses exist to make money and ultimately be profitable. The medical industry is no exception.

    What incentive does the medical profession have in keeping someone healthy without drugs, surgery, or treatments of any sort?

  6. RogerSun
    September 29, 2010 at 10:43 am

    Moral judgments factor in intent as well as action. Humanity has a Good Samaritan rule: if you have good intentions and aren’t obviously an idiot, then you are shielded from punitive action. This raises several questions:

    1. Can we reliably gauge intent?

    2. When someone’s working in their profession, do you use the “average joe” scale of idiocy, or an industry specific one?

    3. Do we punish people who were ignorant of the Better Way, or punish those who chose to be ignorant after knowing the Better Way?

    A convicted murder is very likely to kill while having someone’s life in their hands; a doctor is very likely to save while having someone’s life in their hands. You have to make a distinction between incidence rates and absolute cases.

    WP – There are easier ways to make money than medicine. Doctors have a financial interest in their profession, but are no more likely to make evil choices than the rest of us. Consider the most idealistic of them: wouldn’t they want to find the Cure for Cancer? Immortality in history is their payoff!

  7. WP
    September 29, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Roger, you seem to have missed my question:

    What incentive does the medical profession have in keeping someone healthy without drugs, surgery, or treatments of any sort?

    (If I didn’t know any better, “finding the cure for Cancer” would most likely fall under drug/surgery/treatments.)

  8. RogerSun
    September 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

    While this is not a universal solution, I know of one model called concierge medicine. You pay a doctor X amount every year, which buys you his on-call services. He doesn’t gain money by prescribing you medicine, but he does have an incentive to keep you healthy enough that you do not need to call him! The key is to make him utterly insensitive to parts of the medical equation.

    Any time a doctor’s wallet is somehow tied to the drugs, surgery or treatments directly traced to him, this creates a loop. The idea is to ensure there is never a loop.

    Also, if the doctor is your buddy from way back when, he’s less likely to insert you into the cold financial equation. For those who can’t afford concierge medicine, this is an alternative defensive measure.

  9. John
    September 29, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    WP –
    Of course businesses exist to make money, but the purpose of profit making does not axiomatically argue that the business person is caught up in the moral conundrum of “conflict of interest.”

    In the case of our wonderful physicians and the pharmaceutical companies, this subject having been discussed vociferously numerous times in J.A.M.A., as well as just last year the students at Harvard Medical School pleading with their faculty to get said corporations out of their teaching facility. Big Pharma basically pays doctors to prescribe their product. All too often, drugs are prescribed by the doctor whether truly needed or not, as well as far less expensive “generics” being made unavailable to the patient due to the relationship between the doctor and his Drug Company, not the patient. This relationship doesn’t make for “good medicine.”

    Where, may I ask, is that so-called Hippocratic Oath in all this? Absent.

    Given your argument and to quote, “What incentive does the medical profession have in keeping someone healthy without drugs, surgery, or treatments of any sort?”, well, they don’t. In fact, one can argue that the entire industry has an interest in keeping everyone unhealthy, correct?

    Take mammograms as an example. Every woman over 35-40 has been brainwashed into irradiating her breasts on a yearly basis for decades. Mammograms generally don’t detect anything until cancer is already present, not to mention that after years of doctor-prescribed and encouraged irradiation, lo and behold, cancer does appear. And the rates of such in this country lead the world. The more we irradiate, the more breast cancer their is. Hell of a deal.

    Thermography as a substitute has been available since the early 1990’s, and there is no radiation involved in the process. Detection of abnormal cellular activity utilizing this method occurs at micro-levels compared to what a mammogram eventually detects. Why hasn’t the medical community junked the mammography machines and embraced thermography? Share your insights.

    Let’s look at the P.S.A. test as another Big Dollar joke. The “false positives” off that test exceed 50% and even the gentleman who invented the test now says “It’s worthless.” Has the medical “profession” ceased to use it? Hell no, the cash register keeps ringing. And what happens after a “false positive?” Drugs, chemo, radiation treatments (see above), etc., and guess what? Damn near every male past the age of 65 has prostate cancer and in 99.9% of the cases, it never goes anywhere. It comes, it goes, it comes and goes, and we die of other causes. But you take the P.S.A. test and it’s “intervention time.”

    CAT scans. Anywhere between 100 to 1000 times the radiation a regular old chest X-ray dumps in you, depending on make and model. Those things are ordered up like coffee at Starbucks now. So your idea of a good moral and ethical business model is a group of Doc’s joining their monies together buy A CAT Machine, then since CAT scans are now regular part of medicine to oft times needlessly irradiate the hell out of their patients (ka-ching!), drive up medical costs in general, and down the line “see” those patients again for new maladies that then require a referral to their Country Club buddy, the oncologist.

    Yes, I have a problem with “conflicts of interest” whether in law, medicine, the grocer or the horse-shoer. Your perspective simply gives license to amoral behavior and calls it “business as usual.”

    Unfortunately, both your argument and the standard operating procedures of “Sick Care” in this country supports the reasoning behind those who want to socialize medicine. The phrase “Medical Ethics” is a sick joke, particularly in the practice of allopathic medicine. What used to be a ” Humanitarian calling” no longer is. It’s now simply a profession that reflects the “Show me the money” attitude that has brought the civilization to the edge of ruin.

    • WP
      September 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

      John – you misinterpret which side of the coin I was supporting.

      • September 30, 2010 at 12:27 am

        John –

        Just when I think practically nobody “gets it” along comes a fellow who paraphrases the ugliness with as accurate an analysis as I’ve seen in years.

        Bravo, my man, and thank you for your clarity.

  10. September 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    It’s the new Hippocratic oath: “Do no wrong… to the shareholders”

  11. September 29, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    *Do no harm, I mean. -_-

  12. The Plague Doctor
  13. September 30, 2010 at 12:35 am

    Oh, my God, Plague Doctor. You guys are filling my soul with hope.

    Maybe all is not lost.

    I bow to your beacon of common sense in the darkness.

  14. John
    September 30, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Patric:

    From the same critical John as above – You have a great website!

    Everyone else should click on his name and go for a visit. The societal myth about our “Dear and Glorious Physicians” is rightfully ripped to shreds.

  15. thegenius
    October 1, 2010 at 7:57 am

    -john

    I am training at a major academic institution and the stuff i see on a daily basis makes me sick to my stomach. I make it a point to NOT prescribe questionable yet expensive therapies much to the chagrin of my mentors and oftentimes my patients!

    As for mammograms, some members of the “medical community” (if you can call it a community) tried to debunk the myth of yearly mammography but were quickly silenced by the American Cancer Society and whiny women’s groups. Political influence and the demands of the misguided american public keep things the way they are. God help the people who want to change the system for the better.

  16. grrr
    October 1, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Don’t forget antidepressants. In every major meta-analysis, they come up to be bunk, but are still sold on amassive level.

    Fucking scammers.

  17. October 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

    John –

    Hey, thanks for the good words. Every now and then I get busy for a while and i don’t see it for a month. Then I open up the site to add something and the reality of the volume of continued lunacy is . . . scary.

    And just for the record, I am soooo glad I found this blog site. There’s some real thinking going on here.

    Keep up the good work, blog-master. And I’ll keep spreading the word about the Devil’s Advocate.

  18. Jahayah
    May 31, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Very interesting.. It’s called.. population control

  19. P Ray
    July 5, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Finally, doctors can rightfully claim their wages are “hazard pay”
    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/why-doctors-are-dying-murders-on-hospital-wards-happen-every-month/story-fneuzlbd-1227429172026
    There are now shootings in US hospitals every month, Boston Magazine has revealed.

    Remember, if you hold power of life and death over someone …
    better makes sure they live, or YOU DIE.

  20. P Ray
    June 20, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5866637/GP-left-broken-jaw-ex-patients-son-punched-fives-fathers-death.html
    GP was left with a ‘broken jaw as ex-patient’s son barged into surgery and punched her up to fives times ‘because she failed to diagnose his late father’s motor neurone disease’

    Dr Victoria Hunter was repeatedly hit by Steven Cook, 41, when he burst into her surgery in Bury St Edmunds. She is believed to have suffered a broken jaw in the attack, Ipswich Magistrates Court heard.

    Ah, more of that high-risk high-reward situation … plus this time, no pussy pass.

    Only a badly broken jaw..

    • P Ray
      July 21, 2018 at 3:58 am

      In apology for that poor performance, someone else tried again:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5975821/Police-Doctor-fatally-shot-riding-bike-Houston.html
      George H W Bush’s former cardiologist is shot and killed while riding his bike to work
      Dr Mark Hausknecht was killed Friday while riding his bike in Texas
      Hausknecht treated Bush in February 2000 for an irregular heartbeat after the ex-president complained about lightheadedness while visiting Florida
      Bush called Hausknecht a ‘fantastic cardiologist and a good man’
      Can’t have been that good if someone wanted to kill him, just wanted to put that out there …
      Police are still looking for the suspect who rode past the doctor and fired two shots, killing the man

      I actually tried a variant of your question at a gathering:
      Who kills more, doctors or terrorists? … people looked at me as if I had asked their grandmother for a blowjob. Har har!

  1. January 3, 2011 at 9:50 pm
  2. January 5, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: