I plan to write a massive critique of the medical profession, but for now I want to quickly criticize their interaction with patients. They treat patients as idiots unable to understand numbers, basic scientific research, and entities incapable of doing cost/benefit analysis. And while many people may suffer from one or more of these conditions, the opportunity for others to have their doctors geek out on them should be available (and bad decisions by the patients tolerated and chalked up to free will).
For example, in my initial wave of research on liver transplantation, no Web site provides numbers, references to research studies, detailed analysis of the situation, and/or in-depth discussion of post-op survival rates. Instead, each and every one of the many sites I visited–this included reputable university medical centers, renown private medical centers, and organizations dedicated to the situation–take a superficial and ultra-basic approach. While this is nice for an introduction or for people who do not care, it is unsatisfactory for those who want, or need, to know more.
While this is an extreme example, Web sites like liverdisease.com, which was recommended by USC’s Liver Transplant Program not only should have been banned from the Internet in 2000, but are criminal. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone familiar with 419 is involved.