Healthcare consumers, like other buyers of services, must know their rights. Anyone who has ever been admitted to a hospital, or had a surgical procedure has been asked to sign Consent Forms. These forms are typically pre-printed, with very small font, and are chock-full of medical/legal jargon. It should be stressed to the wise health care consumer these documents should be read prior to signature. Usually the contemplated procedure or surgery is handwritten in by the health care provider.
On July 29, 2011, Johnson & Johnson announced it lowered the maximum recommended dosage of Tylenol and other products containing acetaminophen in an attempt to lower the risk of overdose and liver damage. More than 400 people die each year, and 42,000 are hospitalized from drugs that contain acetaminophen. In January 2011, the FDA announced limits on acetaminophen levels in prescription pain killers Vicodin and Percocet.
As the old saying goes, 2 things cannot be avoided: death and taxes. Attorneys representing plaintiffs/health care consumers believe medical malpractice can be avoided, and the quality of health care has improved over the decades (in part in response to litigation).
A recent study from the University of Michigan published in the journal Science Translational Medicine suggests that the diagnosis of prostate cancer may be improved by including a urine test to the traditional blood test commonly known as a PSA. Currently, if the PSA is elevated additional tests including ultrasound guided biopsy are used to diagnose prostate cancer. Unfortunately, the PSA can be elevated for other reasons besides prostate cancer (like infection) and less than half of men who have a biopsy are found to have prostate cancer so the doctors at U of M used a urine test which looked for a genetic mutation and another marker called PSA3 to see if they could more accurately predict which men actually had prostate cancer or were at higher risk for a more aggressive type of prostate cancer.