An obit for Alfred Freedman, a psychiatrist and social reformer who declared homosexuality is not a mental illness, reported that he died from “complications of surgery to treat a fractured hip.” He was 94. I was incensed when I read it. Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, a New York orthopedic surgeon, said my 86-year-old mother needed surgery when she broke her hip two and a half years ago. She died two weeks after the operation.
The mortality rate one year following hip surgery in people over 60 is an astounding 25 percent. Complications include blood clots, infections, and pneumonia. My mother also had diabetes and osteoporosis, two other reasons NOT TO operate at her age. Unfortunately, I didn’t learn this until after her death.