Fatal Flaws in American Health Care

Cardiac bypasses, stents and angioplasties, all elective orthopedics, all spine surgery for back or leg pain, screening for bone mineral density, mammography, all pills for treating diabetes and moderate hypertension, "me too" drugs and many a biotechnological marvel, screening for prostate cancer, screening for high cholesterol, and much, much more.

And we'd be better off because they are all ineffective. Furthermore, American medicine would be effective and transparent.

This is the way to transform the American patient from cash cow to sacred cow. There need be no misdistribution were this to come to pass.

Dr. Nortin Hadler is a professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of "Last Well Person: How to Stay Well Despite the Health-Care System" published in 2004 by McGill University Press.

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