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Indexed: A Big Gassy Ball of Fear Edition

With the current installment of Indexed, Jessica Hagy wanders firmly into Freakonomics territory — the economics and politics of oil and of fear. She calls this pairing “Slippery and Magnetic.” (Here are her past posts.)

Is breast cancer a fatal disease that should be vigorously prevented and treated? Of course. But it is a good example of a “cause” disease that outdraws the attention of many other problems that need at least as much attention and funding. Here’s what we wrote, e.g., a while back in an article on preventing bacterial infections in hospitals:

In its 2000 report “To Err Is Human,” the Institute of Medicine estimated that anywhere from 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year because of hospital errors – more deaths than from either motor-vehicle crashes or breast cancer – and that one of the leading errors was the spread of bacterial infections.

Jessica Hagy

Jessica Hagy