A high fever, night sweats, periodic chills, and bouts of delirium can seem like pure hell. My recent bout with this year’s flu (influenza virus) had completely knocked me out of commission. Like so many others that were infected this year it was a long road to recovery. It has been more than a week since I came down with the flu and I am just now finally feeling like I am back on my feet. Through the whole ordeal I had one lingering question: I got my flu shot this year so why did I still get so sick?
In an NY Times Op-Ed article yesterday, neurosurgeon and journalist Sanjay Gupta (@sanjayguptaCNN) cited a recent anonymous survey where orthopedic surgeons said “24 percent of the tests they ordered were medically unnecessary.” The suggestion was that the surgeons were performing the unnecessary tests as a form of “defensive medicine” that is meant less to help the patient than to protect the doctor and hospital from lawsuits. Why has it come to this? How has society come to expect “zero defects” from the medical industry?
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