finally some statistics. that wasn't so hard was it.
yes, there are a number of hospital/doctor/medication errors every year resulting in injury and sometimes death to the patient. some of these errors are due to negligence or irresponsibility on the part of the physician or health care facility. in these cases, depending upon the level of responsibility, the health care provider will face disciplanary action ranging from a slap on the wrist to jail and being stripped of their license.
some of the deaths cited in the above article are unavoidable however. the issue with infections caught within the hospital is a constant worry for us that we battle with everyday. we have to weigh the options "should we discharge this patient home now to decrease his risk of infection or do we keep him a few more days until we're sure his (insert disease here) is more stable?"
the other problem is that SICK people come to the doctor. often times people wait until whatever problem they're having is unbearable before they seek medical attention. unfortunately for some at that point theres not much you can do to help.
the fact is however that medicine saves a hell of alot more lives than it takes. as a doctor i approach each patient as if they were a member of my family and treat them as i would want one of my loved ones to be treated. i don't take any of the risks associated with treatment lightly and carefully weigh the risks to the benefits before i do anything.