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October 17th, 2011:

Why is Isra Levi and Ottawa Public Health…

…running the real risk of freaking people to the point of bringing on a negative health outcome out over such a low, low health risk? I just don’t get it.

Key statement in this article:

However, the chances that someone could have been infected with hepatitis B is less than one in a million. In the case of hepatitis C, those odds drop to less than one in 50 million and are less than one in three billion for HIV, according to OPH.

Other things that are about one in a million:

Less than 1 in 50 millionish:

And one in 3 billion???

Get the drift?

With odds this long, wouldn’t it be better to just shut up about it? Why call a presser and go off the deep end over what will almost certainly be a non-issue??? Surely more harm than good will come of this due to increased stress? Out of the 7,000 or so people who will receive letters telling them that there is an infinitesimal chance that they may have contracted something bad at the endoscopy clinic, I would estimate that more than a few of these folks will experience a negative health impact just because of the letter!!!

Am I so off-base on this??? I’m not the only one who thinks this way.

Dr. Michael Gardam, director of infection prevention and control for Toronto’s University Health Network, told CBC News that in cases like this where the risk is so low, not informing the patients at all might be the better choice.

“When you get to less than one-in-a-million, we often times give advice not to tell anybody because the risk is so small, that you’re actually creating more harm by worrying people,” said Gardam.

In fact, one in 100,000 is what I have been told is the threshold for the act/don’t act decision.

Yet the question – “wouldn’t you want to be informed if you had been treated at the clinic” question rightly comes up. Of course, but is the ancillary risk to the greater population worth knowing?

Interesting question.


Cherry gets humble?

… not a frickin’ chance!

So Big Don says sorry for calling a few ex-NHLers “pukes”… big whoop! And now commentators and Tweets and
Letters to the Editor are all a-gummy about this! “Takes a big man to say sorry” “Cherry eats humble pie” – this crap is everywhere!

Well, NO! I’m sorry, but it does not take a big man to apologise. Nothing big or heroic about it. Apologies should be made when needed. If I wrong someone, I’m not going to go around with my chest pumped out touting what a brave act I just performed. We say sorry when we screw up and want to acknowledge the screw-up… it is the “right” thing to do… not the “big” thing to do.

Plus, and maybe this is the “black helicopter” side of me talking, but didn’t this whole sham stink a bit too much? Think about it. Guys like Cherry need to have attention focused on them at all times; kinda like my 4 year old. And he hadn’t been in the spotlight for a while… begging the question: was this whole farcical act contrived?

Yeah… I know, black helicopters… but ya have to admit that it does make a bit of sense.

Thanks to Montreal Simon for the image…