Study finds many medical practices ineffective

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

New York residents should not feel an obligation to follow a doctor’s recommendations. In fact, according to a recent study, it is better in many cases for people to question what a medical professional is telling them if they do not feel it is accurate. A doctor from the National Institutes of Health found that many accepted medical practices are not effective. It is not that these practices are no longer as effective as current practices, it is that these methods of treatment never worked and may have caused preventable errors.

The study was completed by looking at articles published in The New England Journal of Medicine between 2000 and 2010, a total of more than 1,300 articles. The doctor’s team focused on articles that discussed new procedures or tested established ones. The goal of the study was to find practices that do not improve the health of patients because they waste resources, erode trust in the medical profession and keep people from receiving necessary treatments.

The results the doctor’s team came up with were very disheartening to the researchers. Of 363 articles that discussed testing current medical practices, 40 percent determined the practices in question were not effective. Another quarter of those 363 articles determined the practice being tested ended with inconclusive results. A mere third of these articles were able to confirm that the medical practice being tested did what it was purported to do.

People should be able to rely on medical practitioners to help them recover from medical conditions and illnesses. If someone has been harmed due to a doctor’s negligence, they may have legal recourse. A lawyer could explain an individual’s rights and options on these matters.

Source: Medical Daily, “Medical Errors: How Common Are They Really?“, Susan Scutti, July 22, 2013

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