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Editor's Choice

Premature deaths should be the priority for prevention

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 22 July 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c3946

Where governments and big industry are in cahoots it is to the detriment of the people

Dear Fiona Godlee,

I couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed by Iona
Heath and your editorial regarding premature mortality.
(Fiona Godlee. Premature deaths should be the priority for
BMJ 2010; 341: c3946)

However, the leading cause of premature mortality, Death by
Medicine, seems to have missed both of your concerns. It is
worth talking about it. It is not the bad people that are
responsible for bad deeds. It is the silence of the good
people that matters more for bad things happening in
society. (

Your own journal had reported the drastic fall in mortality
and morbidity when doctors went on strike in Israel and
another article reported similar occurrence in other parts
of the world at different times.
( and
In addition, the IOM audit on US medicine in 2000 and a
recent detailed study by Drs. Gary Null gives a
graphic picture. (JAMA 2000; 284: 483-485)

I strongly feel that we could do a lot to change the
situation without hurting any one of the players in this
sordid drama. Time has come to talk of many things-cabbages
and Kings and premature deaths! History tells us that blood
letting and branding with red hot iron killed quite a few
prematurely leading to the birth of the American Homeopathic
Association by a few thinking MDs around 1828 or so.
American Medical Association came much later!

The caption is from Bismark.

Yours ever,

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

23 July 2010
BM Hegde
Editor in Chief, Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes
Mangalore-575 004, India