When Doctor Say No But Doctors Say Yes Analysis

1985 Words 8 Pages
The article, “When Evidence Says No, but Doctors Say Yes,” by David Epstein analyzes how doctors use treatments and procedures by demand or because they have been using them for so long. He presents the argument as to why these treatments can do more harm than good, and why doctors need to look at the evidence about the treatments to make sure they are actually beneficial. Epstein talks about two patients, and how in both stories neither of the patients needed stents. By doing some research and looking at treatments that can be done before surgery, one patient escaped with his life intact. The other patient; however, passed away after being hospitalized for a period of time. Epstein discusses how some procedures have been implemented based …show more content…
Often times Epstein will quote doctors from various universities around the nation that give their accounts. By him doing this, he establishes reliability and a sense of trust which is vital in his argument because many readers probably don’t have the knowledge or experience to verify what he is describing. A seminal study, the COURAGE trial, shows that stents did not prevent heart attacks or death in stable patients, which provides a significant amount of proof for his argument. This study discusses how a trio of doctors at the University of California, San Francisco, conducted 90-minute focus groups with cardiologists to answer the question of whether stents prevent heart attacks or not. They presented then with a fictional scenario of patients who had a narrowed artery without symptoms and asked them if they would recommend a stent put in. No matter what the income was of each of the doctors, almost all said they would still put a stent in the patient. There were four themes that each focus group followed. The first one being that doctors feared they would regret it if a patient did not get a stent put in and then dropped dead. The second was that cardiologists believed that a stent would relieve patient anxiety. Third, cardiologists felt they could better defend themselves in a lawsuit if a patient received a stent and then died, instead of them not getting a stent and …show more content…
About one in three American adults have high blood pressure. Blood pressure is measured by how hard your blood is pushing on the sides of vessels as it moves through your body; the harder the blood is pushing, the more strain on your heart. Those who deal with high blood pressure are at an enormously increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the number one killer in the nation, and a stoke is the number three killer. Epstein states in the article how Sir James Black won a Nobel Prize for his discovery in the 1960s on beta-blockers. This appeals to pathos by allowing the reader to emotionally connect to the subject. The great discovery that was found by Black was approved by the FDA in 1981. The beta-blocker, atenolol, was shown to dramatically lower the blood pressure. Atenolol became a standard treatment for high blood pressure because of it being known as a reference drug. Epstein proves his argument through the Swedish study done in 1997. This study shows that a competitor drug of atenolol had fewer deaths than the actual atenolol. Although these results were found, doctors continued to use atenolol. Atenolol did not reduce heart attack or deaths compared to its competitor, it just showed that when a person died they had better blood pressure numbers. This shows how scientifically ineffective drugs are still used even though they don’t show any

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