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Essay Samples > Book Review > How We Do Harm
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How We Do Harm

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The book “How WE Do Harm” by Otis Brawley is a book that exposes the happening in the health care system today. The book exposes the under treatment of the poor, the overtreatment of the rich, the insurance companies that do not demand the best care, the pharmaceutical companies that are only concerned with the selling of drugs, the financial conflicts that are significant in determining the care that is provided by the physician’s.  All this takes place regardless whether they are improving the health of patients or doing more harm.

Brawley gives a personal history that starts from his childhood. This is a period that he lived in black Detroit that was a gang ridden street. He continues to give the story of his life in the green hallway of Grady memorial Hospital. This is the biggest public hospital in the U.S. the story goes further to the time that he is in the boardrooms of The America Cancer Society. This makes him give a personal perspective and passionate view on the politics of illness and medicine that takes place in America (Hobson, 2012). The book gives the general and deep understanding of the health care system that is in place in the society today. The book when well read gives a masterly perspective on how change can be achieved in the health care system. Dr. Brawley has tried to give his well reasoned manifesto that when implemented can bring considerable change in the health care system.

In the book, Dr. Otis Brawley tries to show the real situation on how medicine is practiced in America. He has experience in the medical field, and Brawley, is a chief medical and scientific officer with The American Cancer Society. In addition, Otis Brawley is an oncologist, who has an astounding research, policy, and clinical career.  In the book, he talks about doctors who decide on treatment depending on the compensation that they receive. This is taking place instead of, the verified scientific outcomes. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies and hospitals that are looking, for patients, to treat do so even in situations that patients are not in reality sick. This happens as long as the insurance for such patients is paid (Brawley, 2012). The public is forced to be, in a position, to accept what is taking place. This happens no matter the cost of treatment. Therefore, the rising health care costs are not called for and are unnecessary.  This is because the treatment that people pay for is usually unproven.

The happenings in the health sector have made Brawley in his book to call for the rationalization of the health care. He proposes for the health care to be scientifically justified in treatment. In addition, health care should be drawn from treatments that are result oriented, and it should not just be on peddling of the hot new drugs. The many health care providers in place allege lack of enough funds or that they are financially short changed to provide better health care. Moreover, there are those who claim that they are low reimbursements for programs that require some cost shifting. However, according to Dr. Brawley, the state providers can in reality make money from the reduced rates. They can treat even the most complex cases that involve uncontrolled cases like, kidney failure, diabetes, late-stage cancer, and heat diseases.

The book gives an insight to the current health care in the state and should be recommended for giving the actual situation image of medicine. The reality that comes out is that the profession is driven by an outrageous greed (Young, 2012). The recent health care trends and experiences are exposed by Dr. Brawley. In addition, the disparity of the health care providers is captured well in the book. They give different list of prices and the prices that are paid by the insurance firms also indicate this disparity. 

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