John Grenville: Unwarranted conclusions
April 8, 2009
I am a British physician visiting Summit County for the skiing. I read with interest the letter from Dr. Richard Nishman (4 April).
Like Dr. Nishman, I always wear a helmet to ski and, like Dr. Nishman, I find it difficult to understand the circumstances in which Natasha Richardson died. However, unlike Dr. Nishman, I do not jump to conclusions. Very little medical information has been released regarding Ms. Richardson’s death and, in my opinion, it is outrageous to conclude with such certainty that Ms. Richardson’s death was avoidable or that she was denied a CAT scan and subsequent treatment because of resource constraints in a nationalized health care system. I cannot speak for the Canadian system but in Britain anyone (including a drunk, out-of-work person) with a head injury who was assessed as requiring a head CAT scan would have got it and would have received any subsequent treatment (including long-term rehabilitation) ” and there would have been no bill to pay.
There are discussions to be had regarding the financing of health care in all countries, but drawing unwarranted conclusions from individual tragedies is not the way to pursue them.