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Hospital Keeps Patient Alive a Year to Boost Survival Rates

After an unsuccessful heart transplant, Darryl Young, 61, was unconscious and in a vegetative state but was kept alive for a year at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center — despite quality of life or his family’s wishes — in order to maintain the hospital’s transplant survival rates, according to Mother Jones.

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A federal regulation statistic regarding survival rates for transplant patients tracks people undergoing transplants who are still alive a year after their operations. Federal regulators use the statistics to evaluate — and sometimes penalize — transplant programs, “giving hospitals across the country a reputational and financial incentive to game it,” the report said.

The one-year survival rate for heart transplants had gone down at Newark Beth Israel, and the program’s standing depended on keeping Young’s heart beating.

This is not an isolated case. America spends more per capita on health care than any other developed nation, yet health outcomes are among the worst.

The U.S. health care system is rife with medical waste and overtreatment. Tests such as mammograms, PSAs and CT scans often produce false positives that lead to risky drugs, unnecessary surgeries and expensive medical interventions.

Studies show that cancer patients who receive fewer standard cancer treatments but earlier palliative care live longer and report superior quality of life.

Worldwide, Americans are 50th for life expectancy and near the bottom for everything from infant mortality to obesity, heart disease and disability. And yet, U.S. health care costs are off the chart due to excessive administrative costs, fraud, tons of medical waste and a fragmented insurance system that lacks any standardized price setting mechanism.

Add to that the number of lethal medical errors that take place each year: 19% of elderly patients are injured by medical care in the U.S., and those injured have nearly double the death rate compared to those who receive proper treatment.

In 2012, iconic astronaut Neil Armstrong, aged 82, underwent heart surgery at Mercy Health Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, and died two weeks later. His two sons insisted his death was caused by medical error and a multimillion-dollar settlement suggests they were right. An anonymous source leaked documents to the press showing the hospital paid the Armstrong family a $6 million malpractice settlement.

Conventional medical care is a leading cause of death, often causing people to sacrifice their health instead of improving it, while “healing” has been replaced with “treating” disease, primarily with toxic chemicals and surgery. If everyone simply embraced their bodies’ natural healing potential, the drug-based, disease-treatment medical system would crumble.

Nearly 4.6 million people visited U.S. emergency rooms in 2009, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications — most of which were being taken exactly as prescribed.

Your best health strategy is to establish and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle by eating whole, unprocessed foods, regular exercise, stress reduction, positive thinking, avoiding as many chemicals, toxins and pollutants as possible and getting enough sleep.

Adopting this lifestyle will do wonders to empower your body’s healing abilities and minimize your need for drugs, surgery and conventional medical care.