How Doctors do Harm


Helen, 50, was college educated, married, worked in middle management at a financial services company and had good health insurance.

She was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in 1990. She saw doctors with some of the best reputations. After an appropriate surgery, she was given high dose chemotherapy with a bone marrow transplant.

The treatment almost killed her several times and she was hospitalized for nearly a year.

My book, “How We Do Harm,” co-authored with Paul Goldberg describes the challenges that some ordinary Americans experience while trying to get quality health care.

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  • buck

    In my case they left me with an unrepairable hernia and one leg , in my wifes case they left5 hher with a panceatic tumor and a severly damaged knee . How do they harm ? let us count the ways .

  • Violet

    I am one of the elderly, I think, since I am 70. My health care isn't free. I pay for Medicare. It comes right off the top of my Social Security payments which I and my husband paid into for over 40 years. I also pay for medigap insurance and prescription insurance. I don't feel entitled to anything other than the best care available and appropriate for my age and general health conditions. In fact I wish I had all the difference, in cash, between what I pay and what I receive in medical treatment. Not all seniors waddle up to the trough and plenty in my age group are probably sicker because of the government suggestions as to what to eat to maintain good health.

  • pearl

    This article is correct, but doesn't go far enough. It admonishes the medical providers, but half the blame lies with the general public, who take no responsibility for their care and exhibit no interest in understanding their own health challenges.Why would any sane person torture themselves when they have cancer or believe that by so doing it will restore their health? I have no patience with those who think that, because they have insurance they should take advantage of any expensive treatment available, no matter how painful or useless. The elderly are most guilty of this, thinking they are entitled to "Healthcare entertainment" because Medicare, i.e. taxpayers, pick up the tab. My grandfather used to say, "To stay healthy and wealthy, avoid doctors and lawyers." I couldn't agree more.