The glossary post for this week is about illness and morality and how these are treated or enhanced. First, the article, “How Many Die from Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals?” talks about how many patients have died from medical mistakes. This article was interesting in the fact that not only was the number much higher than anticipated, but also because “There’s never been an actual count of how many patients experience preventable harm. So, we’re left with approximations, which are imperfect in part because of inaccuracies in medical records and the reluctance of some providers to report mistakes,” (Allen, 2013). To show an example of possible medical negligence, the next article is called “Geography is Destiny in Deaths from Kidney Failure, Study Shows”. This article talks about how depending on what region someone with end-stage kidney disease lives in, they have a better or worse chance of survival. It then goes on to discuss which kind of dialysis is better for kidney patients and frighteningly states that “Dialysis with an AV fistula is superior to other methods and offers a dramatic survival advantage… the fact that fewer than one in five people start dialysis with a fistula is a real public health concern” (John Hopkins Medicine, 2015). It then goes on to explain that those living in New England and the Pacific Northwest have the greatest chance (1 in 5) of going on dialysis with a fistula, whereas Texas and Southern California have the lowest chance (1 in 9). This is perhaps because the New England and Pacific Northwest regions pay doctors more than the Southern United States.
Next, as many Baby Boomers are getting older and may soon be at the point of needing assisted living or to live in some kind of aging community, the next article called “Aging in Community: The Communitarian Alternative to Aging in Place, Alone” talks about aging communities. Aging in community is not a new concept, many people grew up in a neighborhood, inherited the house from their parents and died there. However, with new medical procedures used to expand the lifespan, people are living longer and not necessarily better. This leads to the invention of assisted living facilities, but these facilities can be costly, and many Baby Boomers have not saved enough money or lost money in the recession of 2007. So communities have started banding together to provide better options for those in need of assisted living. For instance, as nearly 1 in 5 women over age 55 live in poverty, one community has established “house-sharing” for these women. Allowing them to live in a house without paying the full rent. This leads to a more understanding, helpful, and less expensive environment that a long-term care facility.
- Patient Safety: Very limited as evidenced by reports of hospital negligence and the number of medical mistakes contributing to patient deaths.
- Equal Treatment of Patients: Unable to exist in this country due to geographical and socioeconomic differences.
- Aging in Community: Communities banding together to help the older generations with general living requirements while costing significantly less that an assisted living facility.
Allen, M. (2013, September 20). How Many Die from Medical Mistakes in U.S. Hospitals? Retrieved November 14, 2017, from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2013/09/20/224507654/how-many-die-from-medical-mistakes-in-u-s-hospitals
Blanchard, J. (2014, April 2). Aging in Community: The Communitarian Alternative to Aging in Place, Alone. Retrieved November 14, 2017, from http://www.asaging.org/blog/aging-community-communitarian-alternative-aging-place-alone
Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Geography is destiny in deaths from kidney failure, study shows.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 June 2015. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150624115632.htm.