Throughout this book, author Robert Welch demonstrates values of compassion, caution, and knowledge. These values interweave in Welch’s explanations of how the healthcare system of this country has so much money invested in it, and yet, manage patients receive so little care. This country has a healthcare system that is currently operating out of a broken model that does not place value on individual health, but on profit incentive.
Values of caution and knowledge coincide in driving Welch to his conclusion of overdiagnosis due to society’s enthusiasm for everything medical. Welch concludes early on that the benefit of sticking to tried and true forms of healthcare overrides the belief that new forms of medical care are best, because in reality, “new” usually means “untested”. Experimental procedures or screenings can have other unintended results that make matters worse, or can cause overdiagnosis. In most circumstances of screening, experimental or otherwise, harm is to be expected, not benefits. Those in the business of screening want everyone to be tested, not just the relatively sick—this increases their profit. This is why Welch emphasizes the importance of being informed and cautious health care consumers as a way to prevent overdiagnosis.
Values of compassion drove Welch to his conclusion of prudent and reasonable care. Welch explains that the doctor who does the least harm, is the one who no longer practices medicine; referring to the fact that all doctors, as long as they work with patients are capable of causing some degree of harm. The author tells the story of patients who have undergone invasive surgeries or procedures, only to have matters made worse. That is whe...
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... must regulate these drug companies on their costs, influence, and values, in order to better serve patients.
Welch also briefly discusses the value of implementing a comprehensive single-payer healthcare system. He explains that a single-payer healthcare system would help track what is actually happening to people who undergo procedures, and how often individuals who have had surgery need to return to the hospital to fix something that went wrong in the first surgery. This would help in increasing communication between medical institutions, and reduce the negative incidence rate of patients who have undergone invasive surgeries. Data from multiple institutions would serve to present a bigger picture and macro understanding of the complications that derive from certain procedures. This would go a long way in reducing over-diagnosis and enhancing medical procedures.
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