As Much Nothing as Possible

If less is more, then is nothing everything? A long-ago op-ed ("More Treatment, More Mistakes" by Sanjay Gupta, 2012-07-31 New York Times) begins with the classic Hippocratic "First, do no harm." Gupta discusses overprescription of medications and overuse of diagnostics: "... each additional procedure or test, no matter how cautiously performed, injects a fresh possibility of error." He concludes with a quote from the 1979 novel The House of God by Stephen Bergman, writing as Dr. Samuel Shem. The book's "Rule No. 13" for hospitals is:

The delivery of medical care is to do as much nothing as possible.

... a principle that applies in countless other fields!

^z - 2016-08-05