Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. During a time of stress and increased demands on the health care system that is likely to increase. It is imperative that each person be empowered to act as an informed advocate for themselves (or to have someone else to do that for them) because more mistakes than usual will be being made. I haven’t said to disregard your doctor’s advice and do whatever the hell you want. I’ve said to know enough about what is going on to be able to make reasonable challenges to things that don’t feel right to you. No-one should ever blindly give their power away to any “authority figure” or “expert” and that goes double for right now when the response to the crisis is uneven and sometimes downright lacking.

Be smart, be informed, try to work with people who will involve you in their advice and decisions, and if that isn’t possible, then question everything that doesn’t make sense to you. Your life or the life of someone you love may depend on it! Sorry, I’m not backing down from that.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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