On my mind: Health care policy

Posted on February 21, 2009

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At work, I have a variety of clients, they do consumer tech stuff, make software, and as of this week, are entrenched in the health care market.  I love my job because it gives me the opportunity to become an expert (well, sort of) on all those things.  What's hard about that is I love learning – the more information the better… so when I start getting into a new industry, it takes up most of the space in my brain, leaving little time for personal blogging. 

That said, the health care market and especially what's going on with health care policy is totally interesting and raises all sorts of moral debates.  One of those that I found most interesting as I jumped in this week is the push to return to consumers the right to sue device manufacturers when their devices fail.  Read about it in the New York Times here.  I'm exceptionally good at seeing both sides of every story and there's no exception here.  You can see how if someone in your family is hurt, you want the right to sue.  On the other hand, you can also see how, if companies have to jump through hoops to be certified by the FDA only to learn that they can be sued on the other end, it really stifles their desire to innovate – it's not worth the risk. 

What do you think?  Whose side are you on?  Also, where is the doctor in all this?  Is it the doctor's responsibility to inform patients of risks – potentially life threatening ones?  Finally, shouldn't patients be happy for the extra life they were granted if the device worked for a few years or even a few months… or days? 

Innovative technologies have the power to save and lengthen lives… which leads to another debate I just don't have enough space to get into here.  Would love to hear where you stand.   

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