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Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass

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GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 243
Re: Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2017, 19:11
puto,
Quote:
Choice D - Patients were aware of the consequences of the surgery before hand and still opted to undergo the operation -> Doctors less culpable.
Doctors' motive might have been practice/fee but ultimate decision making power was with the patients.

Choice E - Before surgery patients were medically indistinguishable but we do not know if doctors were forthright in conveying surgery associated risks to them -> Doctors may or may not be culpable.

Let's start with the conclusion: "it appears that for one in four such patients, the doctors who advised them to undergo this surgery, with its attendant risks and expense, were more interested in an opportunity to practice their skills and in their fee than in helping the patient." This implies that the doctors knew that the surgery would probably not help those patients but advised them to undergo the surgery regardless (in order to practice their skills and collect the fee). Thus, the argument would be undermined by any evidence that the doctors thought that those patients were no less likely to benefit from surgery than the other 75% of patients.
Quote:
D. The patients over 65 years old who did not benefit from the coronary bypass surgery were as fully informed as those who did benefit from the surgery as to the risks of the surgery prior to undergoing it.

Does D undermine the argument? Not necessarily... this does not tell us whether the doctors knew in advance that the group of 25% would probably not benefit from surgery. In fact, if the doctors informed those patients of the risks but failed to tell those patients that they would probably not be helped by the surgery, then this would in fact strengthen the argument.
Quote:
E. The patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery but who did not benefit from it were medically indistinguishable, prior to their surgery, from the patients who did benefit.

If there is no way for the doctors to distinguish between the two groups, then they have no idea whether one group is more or less likely to benefit from the surgery. Since the argument rests on the assumption that the doctors knew that the surgery would probably not help those patients (the one in four who did not benefit), choice E undermines the argument.
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Re: Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass [#permalink]

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28 Apr 2017, 22:03
GMATNinjaTwo wrote:
puto,
Quote:
Choice D - Patients were aware of the consequences of the surgery before hand and still opted to undergo the operation -> Doctors less culpable.
Doctors' motive might have been practice/fee but ultimate decision making power was with the patients.

Choice E - Before surgery patients were medically indistinguishable but we do not know if doctors were forthright in conveying surgery associated risks to them -> Doctors may or may not be culpable.

Let's start with the conclusion: "it appears that for one in four such patients, the doctors who advised them to undergo this surgery, with its attendant risks and expense, were more interested in an opportunity to practice their skills and in their fee than in helping the patient." This implies that the doctors knew that the surgery would probably not help those patients but advised them to undergo the surgery regardless (in order to practice their skills and collect the fee). Thus, the argument would be undermined by any evidence that the doctors thought that those patients were no less likely to benefit from surgery than the other 75% of patients.
Quote:
D. The patients over 65 years old who did not benefit from the coronary bypass surgery were as fully informed as those who did benefit from the surgery as to the risks of the surgery prior to undergoing it.

Does D undermine the argument? Not necessarily... this does not tell us whether the doctors knew in advance that the group of 25% would probably not benefit from surgery. In fact, if the doctors informed those patients of the risks but failed to tell those patients that they would probably not be helped by the surgery, then this would in fact strengthen the argument.
Quote:
E. The patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery but who did not benefit from it were medically indistinguishable, prior to their surgery, from the patients who did benefit.

If there is no way for the doctors to distinguish between the two groups, then they have no idea whether one group is more or less likely to benefit from the surgery. Since the argument rests on the assumption that the doctors knew that the surgery would probably not help those patients (the one in four who did not benefit), choice E undermines the argument.

D - > Specifically addresses the focus group [patients over 65 years] whereas E does not.

Also, argument says: "The doctors who advised them to undergo this surgery, with its attendant risks and expense"->
Does this statement not imply that risk of 'not helping the patient' was informed to the patient !?

Option E -> Again this option talks about patients in general not about the group in contention.

Since there is no way for Doctors to medically distinguish they have more incentive to recommend surgery to patients as any complication arising later could be attributed to lack of sufficient information.
GMAT Club Verbal Expert
Joined: 20 Nov 2016
Posts: 243
Re: Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2017, 13:11
Quote:
D - > Specifically addresses the focus group [patients over 65 years] whereas E does not.

Also, argument says: "The doctors who advised them to undergo this surgery, with its attendant risks and expense"->
Does this statement not imply that risk of 'not helping the patient' was informed to the patient !?

Option E -> Again this option talks about patients in general not about the group in contention.

Since there is no way for Doctors to medically distinguish they have more incentive to recommend surgery to patients as any complication arising later could be attributed to lack of sufficient information.

The possibility that the surgery does not help the patient is not a risk. A risk is something that exposes the patient to danger or harm. Not being helped by the surgery isn't a positive outcome, but by itself this doesn't imply any danger to the patient. For example, imagine a new back surgery that is only 25% effective (ie only helps 25% of patients) but has absolutely no risks (no possible dangers); surely, most people with back pain would be willing to try it, even though the odds of success are low (there are no risks, so why not?).
Quote:
D. The patients over 65 years old who did not benefit from the coronary bypass surgery were as fully informed as those who did benefit from the surgery as to the risks of the surgery prior to undergoing it.

Choice D states that the patients in the focus group were AS FULLY INFORMED as the others. That means both groups understood the risks. But this does not rule out the possibility that the doctors KNEW that some of those patients were less likely to have successful outcomes and withheld that information from those patients.
Quote:
E. The patients who underwent coronary bypass surgery but who did not benefit from it were medically indistinguishable, prior to their surgery, from the patients who did benefit.

The argument accuses the doctors of recommending the surgery to those in the focus group despite knowing that the surgery was unlikely to help those patients. If the patients in the focus group were medically indistinguishable, there would be no way for the doctors to make that distinction (ie as far as the doctors knew, ALL patients recommended for surgery were equally likely to have successful results). Lets say that out of 100 patients, 75 had successful surgeries. If the doctors knew in advance that the other 25 were unlikely to have successful surgeries but still recommended the surgery, this would support the argument. But if all 100 were medically indistinguishable, the doctors cannot be guilty of the alleged behavior; perhaps the surgery simply has a 75% success rate and there is no way to know in advance who is more or less likely to have a successful outcome.
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Re: Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass   [#permalink] 29 Apr 2017, 13:11

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