Iatrogenesis literally means "brought forth by a healer" (iatros means healer in Greek); as such, it can refer to good or bad effects, but it is almost exclusively used to refer to the causation of a state of ill health or adverse effect or complication caused by or resulting from medical treatment.
This excerpt of a JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) article illuminates the failure of the U.S. medical system in providing decent medical care for Americans.
In spite of the rising health care costs that provide the illusion of improving health care, the American people do not enjoy good health, compared with their counterparts in the industrialised nations. Among thirteen countries including Japan, Sweden, France and Canada, the U.S. was ranked 12th, based on the measurement of 16 health indicators such as life expectancy, low-birth-weight averages and infant mortality. In another comparison reported by the World Health Organisation that used a different set of health indicators, the U.S. also fared poorly with a ranking of 15 among 25 industrialised nations.
Although many people attribute poor health to the bad habits of the American public, the article points out that the Americans do not lead an unhealthy lifestyle compared to their counterparts. For example, only 28 percent of the male population in the U.S. smoked, thus making it the third best nation in the category of smoking among the 13 industrialised nations. The U.S. population also achieved a high ranking (5th best) for alcohol consumption. In the category of men aged 50 to 70 years, the U.S. had the third lowest mean cholesterol concentrations among 13 industrialised nations. Therefore, the perception that the American public’s poor health is a result of their negative health habits is false.
Even more significantly, the medical system has played a large role in undermining the health of Americans. According to several research studies in the last decade, a total of 225,000 Americans per year have died as a result of their medical treatments.
• 12,000 deaths per year due to unnecessary surgery.
• 7000 deaths per year due to medication errors in hospitals.
• 20,000 deaths per year due to other errors in hospitals.
• 80,000 deaths per year due to infections in hospitals.
• 106,000 deaths per year due to negative effects of drugs.
Therefore, America's healthcare system induced deaths, are the third leading cause of the death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. If you include the Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and other government agencies that promote bad eating habits, the U.S. government is the number one killer of American citizens.
According to the CDC, the 10 leading causes of death in the United States in 2002 were:
*696,447 Heart disease
*557,197 Malignant Neoplasms (i.e. cancer)
*162,555 Cerebrovascular disease (i.e. stroke)
*124,777 Chronic respiratory disease
105,796 Unintentional injury
*73,248 Diabetes mellitus
65,418 Influenza & pneumonia
*58,866 Alzheimer's disease
*40,801 Nephritis (i.e. is inflammation of the kidney)
*33,569 Septicemia (i.e. an immune dysfunction to bacteria in the bloodstream)
(out of a total population of 283,974,000 people in the U.S. at least 1 year old)
* Directly or indirectly associated with the Western diet high in manufactured goods and refined cabohydrates and low in whole foods.