Scientific research threatened by fraud and misconduct

Scientists, like anyone else, can be prone to bias in their bid for a place in the history books.

For several years, Dirk Smeesters had spent his career as a social psychologist at Erasmus University in Rotterdam studying how consumers behaved in different situations. He studied whether color had an effect on what consumers bought or if death-related stories in the media affected how people picked products. And whether it was better to use supermodels in cosmetics advertising than average-looking women.

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When Doctors Admit Mistakes Rate of Malpractice Suits Drops

doctors admit mistakes

Admitting mistakes and apologizing may go a long way.

When doctors make mistakes, admitting the error, saying “I’m sorry” and offering compensation may go a long way toward preventing malpractice lawsuits, new research shows.In 2001, University of Michigan Health System launched a program encouraging health workers to report medical mistakes. The program included a procedure for telling patients and their families about errors; explaining who made the error, how it occurred and what steps were taken to prevent a similar mistake in the future; making a sincere apology to the patient or their family; and offering fair compensation for harm when at fault.


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1 in Four Doctors Order Medical Tests Out of Fear of Getting Sued

medical test

Doctors  might order medical tests that are not needed for fear of malpractice lawsuits

A substantial number of U.S. heart doctors — about one in four — say they order medical tests that might not be needed out of fear of getting sued, according to a new study. Nearly 600 doctors were surveyed for the study to determine how aggressively they treat their patients and whether non-medical issues have influenced their decisions to order invasive heart tests.


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Why Do We Need Health Insurance Companies?

1 demotivator-health-insurance 7

The LA Times asks an interesting question:

In short, this is an industry that acts as if it will have trouble making money unless regulators allow it to cover only injuries suffered by a young single male hit by an asteroid.

Meanwhile, however, it fritters premium income away on expenses generated largely by corporate initiatives having nothing to do with healthcare. WellPoint spent $2.6 billion repurchasing its own shares last year. This was such a good deal for shareholders that its board recently authorized spending an additional $3.5 billion for the same purpose. None of those dollars, it should go without saying, will be available for delivering healthcare to customers.

It would have been marvelous and uplifting if all the participants in Thursday’s health reform summit in Washington understood that as well as the insurers themselves.

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