The lagging job market and somewhat stale economy has made it very easy for politicians, policy makers and even our own president to stamp the “jobs creation” label to any bill or production they are urging to get passed. The keystone pipeline was one of them and the construction of California’s high-speed rail system is one other. Those are just two examples of many, but in comparison to this most recent one they don’t seem so bad.
The most recent bill to get the “job creation” label slapped onto it is rooted in the medical device industry. Here’s their pitch. Medical device companies and their supporters, including Republicans Erik Paulsen(MN) and Adam Kinzinger(IL), want to take actions that would speed up the amount of time the FDA takes to approve medical devices and implants. These supporters want the FDA to approve these medical devices that are placed in human bodies faster, rather than have them take the time to adequately test them to ensure their safety.
Why would they want to do that, you ask? Medical devices that haven’t been adequately tested will likely have to be replaced a short amount of time later and that, in turn, will create more jobs for the market and our country. Seem a bit dark and morally corrupt? That may be because it is. By allowing medical devices that aren’t 100 percent tested and safe for human bodies to pass through simply because their failure will create more jobs is absolutely absurd. At it’s core it is dismissing the pain, money and anguish these patients would have to go through if their initial transplant or replacement failed.
Katherine Korgaokar found herself in this precise situation not too long ago. She discovered that she was one of thousands that had an artificial hip implanted that had never been tested in humans. When the implant was later recalled, she learned that excessive wear and tear on the implant had caused pieces of debris to break off the metal implant and flow into her blood stream. A “blood test found excessive levels of toxic cobalt and chromium, which were used to manufacture the joint.” As a result, she had to have a second surgery that was actually much more painful than the first and required a longer recovery time.
It is this exact story that supporters such as Paulsen and Kinzinger are counting on in order to create more jobs for the United States. Since Korgaokar had to have a second surgery, that brought more work to the surgeon, the company supplying the implant and the hospital that held her during her surgery and her recovery. The Huffington Post put it this way:
“Assume 10,000 Americans have to have a second hip surgery to remove a defective hip implant and replace it with a safer, more reliable model. This creates employment for doctors. If an orthopedic surgeon performs two hip replacements a day for 20 days each month, 20 surgeons will be fully employed for about a year. Nurses in the operating rooms, recovery rooms and surgery floors will be employed. Drug companies will employ people to keep producing the pain drugs that people will need to manage their physical suffering. Johnson & Johnson will sell more bandages, sutures, and other materials used during the surgery.
The American Hospital Association will be pleased that its member hospitals will have an additional 10,000 patients that year admitted to their facilities. A certain percentage of them will surely be readmitted because they will get an infection while in the hospital.”
Looking at it this way allows you to see the sick, twisted idea that jobs creation will flourish if the FDA approves these medical devices in a smaller amount of time. Implant devices into patients that may or may not be safe and most of them will have to come back for another one.
The United States needs an increased jobs creation, that’s no secret, but placing devices into human bodies that are potentially unsafe and lethal is not the way. Perhaps someone needs to tell our policy makers, legislatures and politicians the same thing.