This post was originally published in July 2013, and was updated in July 2020.
Two unrelated stories have crossed my path, but their bottom lines are the same. It’s too easy to be fooled.
Story #1: … is based on a scathing article from the Wall Street Journal about the amount of money medical device companies pay to the doctors who use their products. The story is mostly focused on investigations from the Justice Department starting with one doctor who lived and worked in California, Dr. Aria Sabit, who insisted on using certain spinal implant products because he owns part of the distributorship company and is making money in a half dozen ways – from kickbacks to distributorship profits – over each surgery he does.
But the story-within-the-story is that Dr. Sabit is also named in 12 lawsuits over the deaths of people who died as a result of his surgeries – and who had received those implants to help them live better-quality lives. It matters little whether the fault lies with the implants or the doctor’s skill level; those patients are dead.
But there’s more to the story, of course, and unfortunately, it’s not a part of the WSJ article.