Health care is a service that solely sustains many individuals living with short or lifelong ailments. Notably, people may have different or similar health issues. In recent years, technology has been greatly induced in the medical world for various purposes, such as x-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) scan, and MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans among others. However, medical practitioners have taken up the instruments because a new problem has emerged, which is overtesting whereby patients undergo a series of tests before doctors give their diagnosis. Although each different test done reveals a medical condition that needs treatment, they aim at giving medication to illnesses that would never have caused harm to patients.
Health administration and caregiving is a matter that binds every individual to the same eventual circumstance. Gawande, the author, reads an article concerning unnecessary care and it draws his attention since it claims that much of the mortality is caused due to inadequate care. When he seeks proof of that, he finds out that the same thing was happening in his vicinity. Out of the eight patients that were at his clinic, seven of them had been victims of overtesting (Gawande, par 5). During that day, the last patient he had seen was alarmed by a thyroid that she was informed was cancerous and needed surgery to remove. However, as per the author’s opinion, it was better if the thyroid was left as it was because removing it posed a higher risk to the patient. Therefore, much awareness should be created around the subject since it is a matter that affects us all. He even synthesizes the knowledge difference between buyer and seller whereby the doctor, having more facts concerning a person’s situation, may oversell that information and the patient would take it without question.
Regarding the rising health issues in Overkill, the resulting outcome of overtesting is overdiagnosis (Gawande, par 20). Besides, every human being is out of sync with perfection; and as such, many doctors try to make the human body perfect and more efficient. As Gawande shows, a new problem may arise with different scans. The author blames the testing spree on the upcoming technological innovations and the natural order that events are now following. It is time to question the norm and sense of naturality that has been established. As stated by Pollan, naturality refers to something not yet contaminated by humanity (par 3). Through this definition, we can realize the inevitability of the turn of events concerning how doctors want to analyze and fix the human body.
As discussed above, overtesting leads to overdiagnosis that can treat ailments that would never have sufficed and later cause iatrogenesis. The latter refers to an illness that a person may develop from a health care professional’s diagnosis. The author narrates a friend’s story who signed for a surgery that he had hoped would better his father’s condition, but instead leaves him more damaged than he was before getting to the operating room (Gawande, par 10). During the surgery, Bruce’s father had a stroke that in turn leaves him with limited mobility and inability to speak. Therefore, this example depicts what may stem from a series of wrong diagnoses.
The unaccountability is one of the themes that are not illustrated as the rest. This case outlines how much doctors get away with malpractice as they walk around not being held accountable for their actions. The entirety of the article by Gawande shows instances where doctors are making life-threatening decisions and no action is being taken, even though we cannot help but question, “would caregivers be more careful about the choices they made if they knew at the back of their minds that they would be held accountable for their actions?
Darkening Mortality is an implicit pair term concept that emerges from Gawande’s reading. Besides, it acts as some double entendre that signifies below average services and declining mortality rates. The idea finds a correlation between the quality of services offered by healthcare professionals and mortality rates. Pollan, in his piece regarding naturalism and its current meaning, states natural death as a term that will be used in the foreseeable future (par 5). He views death as a natural and inevitable outcome. By this perception, medicine is an unnatural way of trying to avert death. That being said, though, medicine and healthcare may lead to death if not well offered.
In his analysis of underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis, Leong attests to the inevitability of either of the two happening (par 1). Thus, he creates the notion of questioning the reliability and competence among medical practitioners, “what has to be done for clinicians to give the right medical opinion to patients?” The article also reveals the effects of underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis in regards to a person’s social setting. To explain these effects, the author cites an example whereby a person may submit his or her medical test scores while seeking a job opportunity, but gets rejected due to overdiagnosis of the test scores. A mirror reflection is depicted on a ripple effect that a practitioner’s decisions have on an individual’s livelihood.
Although side effects are present in drugs, they determine the medical use of a medicine. Before trusting a substance for safe use, the question ‘do the therapeutic functions of the drug out way the side effects?’ is employed. If the therapeutic functions of a medicine out way its side effects, the drug may be used. Keeping in mind this rule, if a patient was diagnosed with the wrong symptoms and prescription done based on that wrong diagnosis, the total effect would be fatal considering the side effects of the drug and the wrong prescription.
The rising technological innovations are being made with the intent to make health care more accessible and of better quality. However, concerns need to be raised when the same technology is wrecking people’s lives rather than improving them. Is there a point where we should start to question if a rationale is just too much, and where do we draw the line in regards to technology involvement? Gawande airs the same matter and even concludes to practitioners. He also cites the fact that one individual in every household has fallen prone to unnecessary testing and the consequences are unnecessary expenses (par 6). Millions of people are also undergoing surgeries and taking prescriptions that are not helping them get any better.
Psychosurgery is one of the ways that health patients are meant to be treated. However, it leads to undesirable outcomes when there is formation of iatrogenic illnesses as it mainly involves physical removal or cutting of healthy brain tissue (Scull, par 4). The surgery’s side effect is that it leaves irreversible damage on the patients. Some of the effects are obesity, loss of motor functions, loss of cognitive abilities, as well as blunting of emotion and personality.
It is possible that most practitioners are not aware of the ongoing crisis? Therefore, much emphasis needs to be placed on Gawande’s raised issues in his article. The author admits that he had not even noticed the prevalence of adverse healthcare services, yet it was all happening behind his back. This prevalence creates the notion that an intensive awareness program should be initiated informing medical practitioners about the issue at hand. Furthermore, we do not need more fatalities to occur so that we can become aware.
From the Pollan’s writings on naturalism, we understand that sooner or later the natural course of action may be the best option. The paper also brings to light man’s creative nature and the general appeal to reinvent and recreate everything he touches. Although much is leading to an unnatural course of events, the outcome may become worse than it should be. Underdiagnosis and Overdiagnosis have made Leong evaluate the effects from a mental health point of view. The author explains the way underdiagnosis may lead to suicidal cases and how overdiagnosis in psychiatric centers can lead to many instances of worsening bipolar conditions. In Scull’s writing, his main study analyzes the effects of a diagnosis of mental health patients. Overkill bases most of the arguments on the Gawande rant over overdiagnosis and overtesting, and how they lead to unnecessary as well as causing unnecessary financial constraints on patients.
With recent events in mind, the questions that remain are where do we draw the line on how much medication is given? What new ways should be brought to light to place doctors who give a diagnosis that undermines the medical field under review? Should doctors who issue medication that causes more harm than good be put to trial no matter how good their intent is? The queries that are still left are indeed grounds to tread lightly, and as much as we would want the doctors to be more vigilant, we should also consider the good they are trying to do. Furthermore, it is all a conundrum that needs urgent solving to have a system in place.
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Gawande, Atul. “America’s Epidemic of Unnecessary Care.” The New Yorker, 11 May 2015, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/05/11/overkill-atul-gawande. Accessed 29 Oct. 2018.
Leong, Frederick T. “Underdiagnosis/Overdiagnosis.” Encyclopedia of Counseling, 2008.
Pollan, Michael. “Why ‘Natural? Doesn’t Mean Anything Anymore.” Breaking News, World News & Multimedia – The New York Times, 28 Apr. 2015, www.nytimes.com/2015/05/03/magazine/why-natural-doesn’t-mean-anything-anymore.html. Accessed 29. Oct. 2018.
Scull, Andrew. “Iatrogenic Illness.” Cultural Sociology of Mental Illness: An A-to-Z Guide, 2014.