Last week I wrote about two fallacies:
1) “More Treatment Is Always Better Than Less Treatment.”
2)”Drugs Always Do More Good Than Harm”
Both of these statements are false. The widespread belief that they are true is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths a year along with the terrible, but not fatal, suffering of millions of others. I would amend those statements to read.
1) The Best Treatment Is Like Goldilocks— Not Too Little, Not Too Much— Just Right
2) Drugs Are Like Razor Blades, They Are WONDERFULLY EFFECTIVE and TERRIBLY DANGEROUS.
A new study reinforces the message that more is not necessarily better when it comes to medical intervention. Here’s the latest study that shows the impact of unnecessary surgical procedures on patient care. Regarding childbirth the authors write:
The relationship between rates of induction and cesarean delivery and rates of the three neonatal outcomes show intervention rates had no consistent effect on newborns.
Even after a second round of analysis that accounted for differences among pregnant women that could potentially impact the results, the finding was the same, hospitals with high intervention rates had newborn outcomes indistinguishable from hospitals with low rates.
Promoting the Wise Use of medications and medical procedures is the best strategy for reducing cost AND improving outcomes.