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Korn
May 2nd, 2004, 05:02 PM
From http://www.naturodoc.com/library/public_health/doctors_cause_death.htm :

"Doctors Are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

[Cause 250,000 Deaths Every Year]

By Joseph Mercola, D.O.

The U.S. health care system may contribute to poor health or death. According to Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 250,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors, making this the third-largest cause of death in the U.S., following heart disease and cancer.



Writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Starfield has documented the tragedy of the traditional medical paradigm in the following statistics:






Deaths Per Year/Cause

106,000/Non-error, negative effects of drugs

80,000/Infections in hospitals

45,000/Other errors in hospitals

12,000/Unnecessary surgery

7,000/Medication errors in hospitals

250,000/Total deaths per year from iatrogenic* causes



* The term iatrogenic is defined as "induced in a patient by a physician's activity, manner, or therapy. Used especially to pertain to a complication of treatment."






Furthermore, these estimates of death due to error are lower than those in a recent Institutes of Medicine report. If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this constitutes the third leading cause of death in the U.S.



Dr. Starfield offers several caveats in the interpretations of these numbers:



First, most of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.



Second, these estimates are for deaths only and do not include the many negative effects that are associated with disability or discomfort.



Third, the estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.1 If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000 deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the United States, after deaths from heart disease and cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebro-vascular disease)."