[Marxism] Re: Coates & Schaffer: Recrudescent debate on Schiavo

hari.kumar at sympatico.ca hari.kumar at sympatico.ca
Fri Apr 8 19:09:45 MDT 2005

Andy Coates stated a phrase from Che Guevera.
i) As far as I recall his biographies, Che hardly WORKED for a sustained long period as a physician. 
ii) I suggest a more meaningful revolutionary example in this MEDICAL context, s either Virchov, or Bethune. Or, even Henry Sigerist - not quite a revo.
iii) The ultra-leftism _implied_ that within capitalism no meaningful or humane goals can be achieved within the discipline of medicine - is redolent of the whole silly debate about "reform" and "revolution" as stark Two "separately stark & silo-ed" 'realities'..
No thanks to such a dichotomous anti-dialectical viewpoint. 

Les writes: 
"A JAMA article from March 9, 2005 repeats the claim from a 1997 study that 770,000 people a year are killed or injured in Adverse Drug Events 
(ADEs). The article further claimed that prescribing errors are the most 
frequent source of these problems.

The article itself, "Role of Computerized Physician Order Entry Systems 
in Facilitating Medication Errors", is one of the first of its kind to 
evaluate the new IT systems being put in place supposedly to counter 
these errors. Not surprisingly, the authors found some very basic 
problems with the new software which in some cases contributed to 
further injuries.......
The article ends with the claim that many of the shortcomings they discovered in software system could be easily corrected. But in an IT 
industry that gets $34M a pop for these systems, with intense rivalry between existing vendors, IP and privacy, incompatible protocols between 
different database systems, and so forth, fixing the fixer takes on a kind of Rube Goldberg quality. Meanwhile capital investment in medical 
technology channels itself into ventures most likely to turn the healthiest profit, rather than the healthiest system."

What is your point?
Is it worth making minute steps forward, or is it worthless? 
Please explain what you would say is your view: Not to an old Stalinist M-List, but to the nurses and doctors and respiratory techs and ward pharmacists at the bedside. 

Hari K

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