Subject: Alarming Statistics

A recent study by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences estimated that as many as 98,000 patients may be killed each year in hospitals alone as a result of medical errors. Harvard researchers found that 1% of a representative sample of patients treated in New York state hospitals in 1984 were injured, and one-quarter of those died, because of medical negligence.Nationwide, that would have translated into 234,000 injuries and 80,000 deaths in 1988 from negligence in American hospitals. Most of this involves physicians. In 1976 the HEW Malpractice Commission estimated similarly that one-half of 1% of all patients entering hospitals are injured there due to negligence. 44,000 and 98,000 people die in hospitals annually each year due to preventable medical errors, the Institute of Medicine found. That estimate would have indicated 156,000 injuries and deaths resulting from doctor negligence in 1988. This would amount to 7,703 (1 of a 100) physicians being disciplined each year, a number that, unfortunately far exceeds the actual number of physicians disciplined. ( )

Number of physicians in the US: 700,000. (~800,000
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000. (~ 150,000-250,000 &
Accidental deaths per physician: 0.171 ( &
(U.S. Dept.of Health & Human Services)
Number of gun owners in the US: 80,000,000. (~ 235,000,000 weapons
Number of accidental gun deaths per year (all age groups): 1,500. (~ 1447 [28,874 all causes, including suicide/homicide]
Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188 (computed)
Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.
"Not everyone has a gun, but just about everyone has at least one doctor."
Please alert your friends to this alarming threat.
We must ban doctors, before this gets out of hand!

(Source: anonymous email, 2001)
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