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In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was

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In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was [#permalink]

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In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was restricted to emergency procedures during a five-week period.
Mortality in these hospitals was found to have fallen by nearly one-third during the period. The number of deaths rose again when elective surgery (surgery that can be postponed) was resumed. It can be concluded that, before the five-week period, the risks of elective surgery had been incurred unnecessarily often in the area.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion above?

(A) The conditions for which elective surgery was performed would in the long run have been life-threatening, and surgery for them would have become riskier with time.
(B) The physicians planning elective surgery performed before the five-week period had fully informed the patients who would undergo it of the possible risks of the procedures.
(C) Before the suspension of elective surgery, surgical operations were performed in area hospitals at a higher rate, per thousand residents of the area, than was usual elsewhere.
(D) Elective surgery is, in general, less risky than is emergency surgery because the conditions requiring or indicating surgery are often less severe.
(E) Even if a surgical procedure is successful, the patient can die of a hospital-contracted infection with a bacterium that is resistant to antibiotic treatment.


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[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

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Re: In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2014, 06:19
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notrandom wrote:
In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was restricted to emergency procedures during a five-week period.
Mortality in these hospitals was found to have fallen by nearly one-third during the period. The number of deaths rose again when elective surgery (surgery that can be postponed) was resumed. It can be concluded that, before the five-week period, the risks of elective surgery had been incurred unnecessarily often in the area.

Which one of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the conclusion above?

(A) The conditions for which elective surgery was performed would in the long run have been life-threatening, and surgery for them would have become riskier with time.
(B) The physicians planning elective surgery performed before the five-week period had fully informed the patients who would undergo it of the possible risks of the procedures.
(C) Before the suspension of elective surgery, surgical operations were performed in area hospitals at a higher rate, per thousand residents of the area, than was usual elsewhere.
(D) Elective surgery is, in general, less risky than is emergency surgery because the conditions requiring or indicating surgery are often less severe.
(E) Even if a surgical procedure is successful, the patient can die of a hospital-contracted infection with a bacterium that is resistant to antibiotic treatment.


Kudos if my post helped! :)


Ok, let's see what's going on here. They first had this elective surgery and a high mortality rate. They suspended this elective ones and left only the riskier ones and mortality dropped. Therefore, the argument assumes that this elective ones were not necessary. We need to weaken this point.

Answer choice A does the best job here since it says that if these other elective procedures were not carried out the problem would aggravate and these patients would then need to undergo a riskier procedure in the future. This is in fact the best answer choice as it weakens the conclusion that these elective surgeries are unecessary.

I'm going to quickly go through the other answer choices:

(B) The physicians planning elective surgery performed before the five-week period had fully informed the patients who would undergo it of the possible risks of the procedures. OK so the patients know about the risks, so what?
(C) Before the suspension of elective surgery, surgical operations were performed in area hospitals at a higher rate, per thousand residents of the area, than was usual elsewhere. Why are we comparing rates between hospitals here? Totally out of scope
(D) Elective surgery is, in general, less risky than is emergency surgery because the conditions requiring or indicating surgery are often less severe. OK that is pretty obvious
(E) Even if a surgical procedure is successful, the patient can die of a hospital-contracted infection with a bacterium that is resistant to antibiotic treatment.Out of scope/Who cares?

Hope it helps
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Re: In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 08:15
Hello from the GMAT Club VerbalBot!

Thanks to another GMAT Club member, I have just discovered this valuable topic, yet it had no discussion for over a year. I am now bumping it up - doing my job. I think you may find it valuable (esp those replies with Kudos).

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Re: In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was [#permalink]

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New post 11 Sep 2015, 14:41
"It can be concluded that, before the five-week period, the risks of elective surgery had been incurred unnecessarily often in the area. "

Hi ,
can someone help me understand the meaning of the sentence?
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Re: In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2015, 22:27
iikarthik wrote:
"It can be concluded that, before the five-week period, the risks of elective surgery had been incurred unnecessarily often in the area. "

Hi ,
can someone help me understand the meaning of the sentence?


I think they are saying - "By restricting elective surgery, mortality rate can be reduced. Elective surgery therefore unnecessarily increased the mortality rate."

So, to weaken, we need some statement which will show that elective surgery is indeed helpful.
Re: In response to high mortality in area hospitals, surgery was   [#permalink] 30 Oct 2015, 22:27
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