Monday, 6 October 2014

Anesthesia - just a thought

We live in a time where medical advances are happening in leaps and bounds. We are living in an age where diseases like cancer can be cured. We are living in an age that is extremely advanced, yet it seems that some basic medical concepts are still not understood.

Often this misunderstanding is used deliberately to either gain money, or publicity. However, there are other times that people get plain duped into believing rubbish. A perfect example is the recent Joan Rivers death, which had merits for medical malpractice and then also idiocy in some other claims. Now while I agree, that if the doctor was not registered to be working in the operating theater there is a case for medical malpractice (not of the doctor but of the clinic). I also agree that that if the doctor took a selfie with his patient, then there is reason to sue the doctor for malpractice.

But to try sue the doctor for doing an unauthorized biopsy is just stupid. Now let me explain why, as this is simple math and is something that I wish a lot more people understood. Every time you go under general anesthesia you can die, albeit that the chance is very small.

So, if the doctor took a biopsy (which needed general anesthesia to do) while his patient was under general anesthesia, then in effect the doctor has done the math that this is in fact a safer option even without consent. The doctor has in effect decreased the chance of death by anesthesia by half. Now, was it unauthorized? Yes. Was it smart to do it? Yes. Is the outcome desired? No. On balance, was it the best option? Yes.

Its math, its simple. Its something I just wish more people understood.