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Invited Commentary
March 2014

Truth and Consequences: It’s Not a Game Anymore

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus
JAMA Surg. 2014;149(3):228. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.4073

In the 1960s and 1970s, “Truth or Consequences” was a popular game show in which contestants were challenged to successfully answer a perplexing question that usually had no obvious answer, determining whether or not the responses were truthful.1 If incorrect, they were left to deal with the consequences of a wrong answer, often in a comical manner with uncertain outcomes. Although the paradigm was intriguing during its time, in the current health care environment, the “truths” about racial disparities in mortality after coronary artery disease—in particular, coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery—and our understanding of the “consequences” of these truths no longer leave room for laughter.

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