About The Book
the slippery slope of healthcare
Dr. Steven Kussin, physician and a pioneer in the Shared Decision movement, takes readers through the steps of how to avoid the many pitfalls of unnecessary and dangerous medical care.
A slippery slope describes how events progress from an initially innocent step to a cascade of subsequent misfortunes that are increasingly inevitable, difficult to stop, and more harmful than the last. In the attempt to improve what is already just fine, patients can unknowingly find themselves on this Slope. The downward slide from healthy to unhealthy occurs when consumers agree to or ask for unnecessary tests, or for which there are safer options. This book helps consumers learn why less can be best and to know where the dangers lie in wait.
The American healthcare system is subsidized by its services to healthy people. The goal as it is for any business is to encourage people to become consumers by creating an emotionally-fueled demand for things that are suddenly and urgently needed. It’s hard to make healthy people well; it’s easy to make them sick.
Under the goal to make you even healthier, the medical industry identifies and encourages investigations and preventive technologies for ‘problems’ unlikely to occur, unlikely to harm, unlikely to benefit from testing, and, once diagnosed, unlikely to benefit from treatment.
Profitable services go on indefinitely for those who are young and well. For the health care industry being in good health is not just the best way to live; good health is also the slowest way to die.
When an unnecessary test begets more tests, the cascade of escalating misfortunes with higher risk, expense, and fewer benefits can become unstoppable. Many people pay an immediate and visible price for what are distant, invisible, and uncertain benefits. The central starting point for initiating a Slippery Slope adventure can be the first blood test, the first screening test, the first x-ray, the first pill, or the first diagnosis that’s accepted by unwitting and trusting consumers.
The bottom of the Slippery Slope is occupied by those previously well but who now are damaged, and by others who suffered needless unscheduled deaths. America’s famed consumer skepticism when judging retail products is curiously and dangerously absent in their interactions within the healthcare system. Here, Dr. Steven Kussin offers strategies that give readers knowledge and power by providing unique perspectives, information, and hundreds of resources that collectively cannot be found elsewhere.
He confronts the mighty forces arrayed against health care consumers and helps readers learn to identify them. A powerless medical consumer is pitted against the power of money, the authority of science, the stature of physicians, the lure of elective health improvements, the promise of technology, and the pitch-perfect, perfect pitches of televised ads. And against these forces, many will fall prey to needless medical adventures and their consequences.
This book is dedicated to one lesson: The view from atop the Slope, before making a health care decision, is better than the view from the bottom, after having made a bad one.
Doctor, your patient will see you now
Gaining the Upper Hand in Your Medical Care