A study found that one third of people who were told they needed heart bypass surgery did not need it. Tens of thousands of Americans have back surgery for pain when there is no evidence to support it; studies have found that pain management and therapy are more effective. The 70 million CT scans performed in 2007 will cause 29,000 cancers in Americans and 15,000 deaths. One third of Americans believe they have received medical care they did not need. There are powerful interests heavily invested in providing too much care, whether we need it or not. The Treatment Trap, by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh, collects mountains of evidence that we are being overtreated and it is killing us. Moreover, we can’t afford it. The authors include heartbreaking real life stories and recommendations that are commonsense and practical. Before people get worked up about “rationing”, they need to read this book.
For more additions to your gift giving list for the health policy wonk in your life, check out our CT Health Policy Project Book Club.