It's not an "old joke". It happens to be factually true. And while it appears to be comparing apples and oranges (see timb99's post), let me remind you all of the history behind this comparison.
There were several doctors groups that suddenly got involved in gun ban politics in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s. They were publishing all sorts of junk science to "prove" guns should be banned, or guns were a "disease". Two of the most infamous were the "a gun in the home is 41 times more likely to kill you or a family member" and the Center for Disease Control calling guns a "pathogen". The New England Journal of Medicine carried junk science articles as well.
So gun groups fought back, exposing the junk science for what it was. Congress acted to cut the CDC budget by the amount they wasted on their junk science.
One of the things brought up was this comparison between firearms deaths and deaths caused by doctors. It REALLY cheesed the doctors off when it was used in rebuttal every time they opened their yaps on needing a gun ban.
Today it's one of those tidbits that's a bit out of left field, because most doctor's groups have more pressing issues than banning guns. But, I keep a copy on my hard drive for rebuttal anytime a doctor or a doctor's group sticks its nose into the gun issue. That's the time to hit them over the head with it.
Brian: the problem is that your 'rebuttal' is based on total bs, and insulting to physicians, many of whom are gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment. How could that be a good thing?
According to the U.S. Department of Health Services there were about 780,000 licensed physicians in the United States in 2008.
Finding statistics that everybody agrees with regarding deaths caused by doctors is a little more difficult. Dr. J. Mercola released a book in 2000 titled "Doctors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Causing 250,000 Deaths Every Year". His breakdown, however, largely focuses on errors in hospitals and includes 12,000 deaths by unnecessary surgery, 7,000 due to medication errors in hospitals, 20,000 due to other errors in hospitals, 80,000 from infections in hospitals, and 106,000 from the negative effects of medications.
From another source
Based on the findings of one major study, medical errors (note - not physician errors) kill some 44,000 people in U.S. hospitals each year. Another study puts the number much higher, at 98,000.
It's way past time to stop repeating this extremely poor attempt at humor.
I'm quite familiar with the Dr. J. Mercola article that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). (See link) His numbers are worse by almost double of the figures in the "Doctors are more dangerous than gun owners" article. The latter has a figure of 120,000 deaths, while Dr. J. Mercola cites 225,000.
One simple fact has to stand out. Doctors are FULLY responsible for their patients. They have almost god-like powers in the hospital, and with such power comes the full responsibility. Whatever the cause of death is in the hospital, the doctor is ultimately responsible for it.
As for gun owning doctors not liking the comparison, my attitude is tough. Because they follow the 11th Commandment "Thou Shalt Not Criticize Another Doctor" and would not speak out against junk science, like the "41 times more likely" garbage from a hospital in Seattle. Also, it's amazing how many doctors are the ultimate Fudds, throwing other gun owners under the bus as long as they get to keep their skeet gun.
If anything, the comparison needs to be updated to reflect the figures cited by Dr. J. Mercola, redacting those who were beyond saving.
"One simple fact has to stand out. Doctors are FULLY responsible for their patients. They have almost god-like powers in the hospital, and with such power comes the full responsibility. Whatever the cause of death is in the hospital, the doctor is ultimately responsible for it."
Wow. "god-like powers". Maybe the 30-60% of docs planning on retiring in the next 3 years will stick it out
Your "simple fact" is just silly Brian. If a doc orders the right med, for the right reason, in the right dose and the pharmacy substitutes another med or the nurse administers 10X the dose; the doc will most certainly be named in the Personal Injury suit if the patient is harmed, but will NOT be found liable. If a hospital visitor slips and falls in the lobby, which doc is responsible? Please talk to a personal injury lawyer.
The bigger issue is that EVERYONE in medicine today is angry, because they are trapped in a bizarre and broken system over which they no longer have any control: docs, nurses, administrators, patients, employees of (non) insurance companies who are forced to jerk sick people around. Directing one's anger at the most visible person - the provider - is understandable, but not helpful, and a big part of why many docs are quitting. And false statistics are not helpful either.
My 53 year old doctor just quit his practice. I am now seeing a P.A. that replaced my doctor. What is going to happen when the ObamaCare goes into full practice? I do not like what is happening to our country and way of life that is being forced upon us. Tom
You can count on this crap appearing at least once every 2 months.
1oldtimer and others that spew these ridiculous statistics, well the next time you need some medical help I suggest you find a local hunter who has a skinning and boning knife and seek treatment. I'm sure you'll make out much better than going to an incredibly dangerous doctor.
"I do not like what is happening to our country and way of life that is being forced upon us."
Exactly Tjay. The 'enemy' is not the docs, most of whom feel the exactly the same. The enemy is the relatively small but powerful group of progressive elites in academics, government and the media who want to 'fundamentally transform America' because us rabble are to stupid to know what is best for us. And rather than attacking docs, we should:
3. contact our representatives (few of whom care)
4. get involved in local politics and the school board (all politics ARE local; unfortunately the progressives are using the legal system to circumvent the will of the rabble)
5. consider moving to another state
6. pray for our kids and grandchildren
7. take out our frustration on lots clay targets!
Statistical data is very easily skewed. All you need to do is change the population queried. I.E. to improve the acceptance of gay marriage, change your queried population from a small midwest community to San Francisco.
The NRA claimed in a brief submitted to the Florida legislature that:
• Nationally, "4 times more die from 'medical misadventures' " than firearms.<br>
• In Florida, "6 times more die from 'medical misadventures' " than firearms.
Politifact (see link) says the NRA claim of more people dying from "medical misadventures" than from gun accidents is, quote: "mostly true".
Specifically, here is their bottom line:
<i>"For the point the NRA is making -- accidents only, guns v. medical misadventures -- the numbers back up their claims but need clarification and context. We rate this claim Mostly True."</i>
So the info in the first post in this thread should be retired, and then replaced with this NRA assertion.
Going further, if it is accepted that doctors are responsible for their patients (and in malpractice lawsuits here it's rare that a doctor is not found culpable to some extent when assigned percentage of blame), you could take the number of each incident and do the math for number of gun owners vs number of doctors. The NRA did not go that far, but it would be interesting to see how it pencils out. Any takers?
I give up Brian. These meaningless statistics do nothing whatsoever to contribute to the effort by all of us (even evil and dangerous docs!) to uphold our constitutional right to bear arms, but I now acknowledge that you have proven that we would all be safer if there were no docs in this country.
How about focusing your energy on something that can make a difference brother?
When your son or grandson is lying unresponsive in an ER after falling off the swing-set, that would not be a good time to share your statistics or opinions. As for me and my house, we're moving to the doc-less paradise of Burkina Faso so we'll be safe.
When I was 50 years old I had an unfortunate outcome after an out-patient procedure. I had to return to the hospital, experiencing severe - life threatening - difficulties, and remained in the hospital for two full weeks. The doctor that performed the surgery perforated my colon during the procedure. This is a known fact, admitted by him, known by me, and confirmed by a second physician. This man is human and made a mistake that day. Most people, if they make a mistake at their job, are able to solve it with an apology or a do-over. I continue to have a deep respect for this doctor, as I know he, 1) regretted that this happened and 2) has most likely helped and saved the lives of thousands of other patients in his career. A second physician performed a second surgery - a colostomy - which saved my life - and then a reversal a few months later. Every time I see him, I thank God he practices medicine and was there for me. Don't be so foolish to think that you can point a finger at doctors and so narrowly say they kill more people than guns - as if they chose to. One Dr. made a mistake, another saved a life. Both are good men. JMHO