Friday, October 12, 2007

Perspective

I use a rather crude method of comparison when looking at tragedy or product recalls or medical trials.


Every year in the United States for the last 20 years we have averaged around 400 deaths per year from Aspirin. (Taken as directed)

Here is a product that can be purchased over the counter, that helps millions of people everyday and yet for one person who takes it every day in this country it is fatal. We love aspirin. We know its usefulness. There are no lawsuits. No protests to have it removed from the shelves.

I wonder why we have different standards for other drugs? Even though they could save people whose illness is much more severe then a headache. 10 people die and a glaucoma drug is removed from the market. 10 people get the runs from some undercooked meat and 12 million pounds are pulled from the shelves of stores.

We then sue companies for our own ignorance. Because we expect that it is other peoples jobs to keep us safe. To make sure that our lives are wrapped in bubble tape and everything I ingest is bland, radiated, inspected.

It might seem callous to say if 400 people haven't died from it don't raise a fuss because in reality it is probably safer for the general public then aspirin.

It does suck if you are one of the 400 but isn't there a certain point when individuals must sacrifice for the whole?

4 comments:

Mags said...

I can see your point about the drugs, but you know me, Miss Straight Arrow when it comes to that...but you always make very good points with facts and all. My favorite one though was where you said "what if I were a stranger and I came up to you on the street and told you to read this book..." And I believe in God.

And also, being wrapped in bubble wrap is sometimes fun. Don't ask.

Mags said...

And can we have another BNN sometimes soon? I liked that.

the108 said...

Thi is how I feel when people refuse to vaccinate their children because a half dozen kids have died from freaky reactions. It sucks, but the vaccinations overall are still best to keep these deadly diseases off our planet.

DKW said...

I like your pragmatic view of the issue. Vioxx is one such drug, really only dangerous when prescribed improperly. The same could be said for many things that the government considers too dangerous for public consumption, but until people start taking responsibility for their own actions, protecting them from themselves is probably the best way to protect the rest of us.
BTW, have a look at Drug War Facts. Quite enlightening.