Thursday, October 04, 2007

Always Verify

Why would anyone have a life altering operation based on a single diagnosis?

A New York woman is suing a medical lab that apparently mislabeled a tissue sample which resulted in a diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent mastectomy. The woman is only 35 years old.

Although the lab made a horrible mistake and this is certainly a case in which a law suit was justified, I can't imagine allowing myself to undergo such a profoundly life changing surgery based on a single opinion.

Doctor: Difster, you have colon cancer.

Difster: I want a second opinion.

Doctor: OK, you're ugly too.

Difster: Go ahead and operate then.

Doctor: On the cancerous colon or the ugly?

Difster: Your choice. You're a doctor. I trust you and have no opinions on my own medical health. Whatever you think is best MUST be right.

In defense of a government health care program, the woman would have had to wait years for the surgery and might have finally questioned whether she had breast cancer or not. But certainly mistakes like this aren't possible under a government run health care system. Noup -- couldn't happen.