Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prisons to be full of Doctors

I noticed where officials are calling Michael Jackson’s death a homicide . Michael didn’t just die; he was Murdered!

“The coroner determined a fatal combination of drugs was given to Jackson hours before he died June 25 in his rented Los Angeles mansion, according to the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been publicly released. Forensic tests found the powerful anesthetic propofol acted together with at least two sedatives to cause Jackson's death, the official said.”

“Dr. Conrad Murray, a Las Vegas cardiologist who became Jackson's personal physician weeks before his death, is the target of the Los Angeles Police Department's manslaughter investigation.”

Here’s my concern regardless of the outcome of any star studded trial put on for the benefit of the media and throngs of adoring fans who cannot bear the thought of life without Michael; if they start putting doctors on trial each time they unsuccessfully treat a patient, a patient who then dies, then where does that kind of law enforcement strategy end? Lots more folks die in hospitals, the result of poorly administered health care, than ever died from gunshot wounds.

There are plenty of articles which touch on the subject of hospital caused deaths; too many to read for my purposes; but I will include a statement found in one study which sums up the idea that doctors kill people all the time and about the only thing done is another box on the statistic sheet gets a mark.

“One of the most universally accepted and available indicators of a hospital’s performance is mortality. However, mortality may reflect differences in the mix of patients rather than differences in quality of care. Attempts have been made to adjust hospital death rates in order to make it a more accurate tool for measuring the quality of hospital care. Up to 27% of deaths have been found to be potentially preventable and between 4.9 and 13.6% of adverse events in a hospital, lead to death.” (emphasis added )

If I read that correctly, one fourth of all the people who die while in the care of doctors did so when their lives could have been extended and between five percent and fourteen percent died as a direct result of “adverse events in a hospital”; in other words they were homicide victims, negligence either from health care technicians, doctors or nurses.

Dr. Conrad Murray is now on the chopping block of a media frenzy because one of his patients died and the world wants to make sure someone gets axed, “Michael Jackson could still be alive for his fans if only…” Like I said to begin with, prisons will be full of doctors if we start locking them up just because a patient died.

What about the statements of other medical professionals who got in front of the television cameras and boldly stated how the use of this particular drug outside of a hospital setting was criminal or at the very least, unprofessional? I’m not defending the actions of Dr. Murray; but that’s the way the medical profession works, get a second opinion or quit your bellyaching.

Michael Jackson seemed content with whatever treatment he was being given regardless of what other folks may think. Michael was under Dr. Murray’s care, his own decision, and it ended his life. Michael could have switched doctors at any time; but he didn’t. The fact remains that patients and doctors play out the statistics of life and death taking into account that once in a while the roll of the dice comes up snake eyes.

So, why the big media hype over one more patient who didn’t make it? Drum roll please… could it be a smoke screen for other more important news items? Nationalized health care legislation, Cap and Trade legislation, nukes in North Korea, nukes in Iran or any number of other government fiascos which are not being properly evaluated? The “drive by media” sold their souls and are nothing more than propaganda outlets for the Obama administration, with few exceptions.

When I see front page coverage of a non-story such as Michael Jackson’s doctor being targeted for homicide charges, not just for a day or so; but for a couple of months, little red flags start waving in the background alerting me to some kind of shenanigans to divert attention away from something much more important; so, what is it this time? What dark cloud looms on yon horizon that should have been on page one; but instead we get another picture of Michael Jackson?

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