• 7 CATs FREE!
    If you earn 100 Forum Points

    Engage in the Beat The GMAT forums to earn
    100 points for $49 worth of Veritas practice GMATs FREE

    Veritas Prep
    VERITAS PRACTICE GMAT EXAMS
    Earn 10 Points Per Post
    Earn 10 Points Per Thanks
    Earn 10 Points Per Upvote
    REDEEM NOW

Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass

This topic has 1 expert reply and 0 member replies

Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass

Post

Timer

00:00

Your Answer

A

B

C

D

E

Global Stats

Difficult



Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass surgery, a procedure widely prescribed for people with heart diseases, only 75 percent benefited from the surgery. Thus 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.

Which of the following, if true, most seriously undermines the argument?

A. Many of the patients who receive coronary bypass surgery are less than 55 years old.

B. Possible benefits of coronary bypass surgery include both relief from troubling symptoms and prolongation of life.

C. Most of the patients in the survey decided to undergo coronary bypass surgery because they were advised that the surgery would reduce their risk of future heart attacks.

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.

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.

OA E

Source: GMAT Prep

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Post
Whenever we're asked to WEAKEN an argument, we must find the LOGICAL FLAW that exists between the premises and the conclusion.

Premise:
Of patients over 65 years old who survived coronary bypass surgery... only 75 percent benefited from the surgery

Conclusion:
Thus 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.

Logical flaws:
- did the doctors of those 25% of patients know that surgery would be unhelpful in their particular case? If doctors had no idea beforehand which patients would be helped and which wouldn't, then they could recommend surgery with the hope of helping every time.
- do we know that the doctors were the sole decision-makers? Maybe insurance companies or hospital procedures dictated that doctors should recommend surgery in more cases than would be helpful. This would indicate a reason other than skill-practicing or money.
- do we know that doctors need to practice their skills, or that they get more money? If either of these were untrue, it would undermine the causation in this argument.

We want to choose an answer that attacks one of these logical flaws.

A. Many of the patients who receive coronary bypass surgery are less than 55 years old.
Irrelevant. The argument is only concerned with patients who are 65+.

B. Possible benefits of coronary bypass surgery include both relief from troubling symptoms and prolongation of life.
The argument is all about people who did not benefit from surgery, and the intentions of the doctors. It doesn't really matter what the benefits actually were.

C. Most of the patients in the survey decided to undergo coronary bypass surgery because they were advised that the surgery would reduce their risk of future heart attacks.
This speaks to the patients' motivation, but doesn't do anything to weaken our conclusion about the doctors' motivation.

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.
Again, this does nothing to undermine the conclusion about the intentions of the doctors. This could be true and the conclusion could still hold.

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.
Correct! If the patients are indistinguishable, then doctors wouldn't know ahead of time who was going to benefit and who wasn't. Therefore, we can't assume any ill-intent in recommending surgery to those who end up not benefitting.

The answer is E.

_________________


Ceilidh Erickson
Manhattan Prep GMAT & GRE instructor
EdM in Mind, Brain, and Education
Harvard Graduate School of Education


Manhattan Prep instructors all have 99th+ percentile scores and expert teaching experience.
Sign up for a FREE TRIAL, and learn why we have the highest ratings in the GMAT industry!

  • +1 Upvote Post
  • Quote
  • Flag
Free Manhattan Prep online events - The first class of every online Manhattan Prep course is free. Classes start every week.
  • EMPOWERgmat Slider
    1 Hour Free
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    EMPOWERgmat Slider
  • PrepScholar GMAT
    5 Day FREE Trial
    Study Smarter, Not Harder

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    PrepScholar GMAT
  • Economist Test Prep
    Free Trial & Practice Exam
    BEAT THE GMAT EXCLUSIVE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Economist Test Prep
  • Varsity Tutors
    Award-winning private GMAT tutoring
    Register now and save up to $200

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Varsity Tutors
  • The Princeton Review
    FREE GMAT Exam
    Know how you'd score today for $0

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    The Princeton Review
  • Kaplan Test Prep
    Free Practice Test & Review
    How would you score if you took the GMAT

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Kaplan Test Prep
  • Veritas Prep
    Free Veritas GMAT Class
    Experience Lesson 1 Live Free

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Veritas Prep
  • e-gmat Exclusive Offer
    Get 300+ Practice Questions
    25 Video lessons and 6 Webinars for FREE

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    e-gmat Exclusive Offer
  • Target Test Prep
    5-Day Free Trial
    5-day free, full-access trial TTP Quant

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Target Test Prep
  • Magoosh
    Magoosh
    Study with Magoosh GMAT prep

    Available with Beat the GMAT members only code

    MORE DETAILS
    Magoosh

Top First Responders*

1 fskilnik@GMATH 92 first replies
2 Brent@GMATPrepNow 51 first replies
3 Jay@ManhattanReview 37 first replies
4 GMATGuruNY 24 first replies
5 Rich.C@EMPOWERgma... 24 first replies
* Only counts replies to topics started in last 30 days
See More Top Beat The GMAT Members

Most Active Experts

1 image description fskilnik@GMATH

GMATH Teacher

172 posts
2 image description Scott@TargetTestPrep

Target Test Prep

118 posts
3 image description Brent@GMATPrepNow

GMAT Prep Now Teacher

103 posts
4 image description Max@Math Revolution

Math Revolution

91 posts
5 image description Jay@ManhattanReview

Manhattan Review

74 posts
See More Top Beat The GMAT Experts