The author of that comment is probably referencing Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma related to gravitational challenge: systematic review of randomised controlled trials
which is pointing out the absurdity of radical evidence based medicine. From the abstract:
Conclusions As with many interventions intended to prevent ill health, the effectiveness of parachutes has not been subjected to rigorous evaluation by using randomised controlled trials. Advocates of evidence based medicine have criticised the adoption of interventions evaluated by using only observational data. We think that everyone might benefit if the most radical protagonists of evidence based medicine organised and participated in a double blind, randomised, placebo controlled, crossover trial of the parachute.
A discussion follows and I'm content with this comment that addresses the absurdity of demanding an explicit medical answer:
Not the common sense but simple laws of physics can prove the effectiveness of the parachute as a life saving intervention. When a person jumps from a height accelerates towards the earth and eventually reaches the “terminal velocity”. For an average person this terminal velocity is about 200km/hour and it takes only about 3 seconds to reach the terminal velocity. The damages caused to an individual hitting the ground at this speed is not just broken arms! Now, introducing a parachute reduces this terminal velocity to less than 10km/hour. This is comparable to crashing an old car without any airbags to a solid concrete wall at 200km/h and 10km/h.
According to Wikipedia (and other sources) the Guiness world record for falling without a parachute belongs to Vesna Vulović who fell 10,000m, with several more people falling over 5,000m during WWII. The Wikipedia article also references a pub med article Ten years of experience with falls from a height in children. that states
Falls from a height are a major cause of accidental death in urban children. The medical and social data on 61 children admitted over the last decade for falls of one or more stories were reviewed. Seventy-seven percent of the children survived. Of the children who fell three stories or less, all survived (100%). Fifty percent mortality occurred between the fifth and sixth floors. Seventy-seven percent of the falls were accidental and 23% of the children jumped or were pushed. The 96% decrease in accidental falls from windows since 1979 demonstrates that the "Children Can't Fly" program in New York City has almost eliminated accidental falls from windows in our hospital population.
There are countless of articles about the injury rate of parachuting and base jumping that all give about the same numbers. Parachuting injuries: a study of 110,000 sports jumps from 1987 states:
A total of 110,000 parachute jumps resulted in six (0.005%) fatalities and 155 (0.14%)
cases, requiring medical treatment. The latter group sustained 176 injuries of which 36.9% were significant soft tissue lesions and 63.1% fractures. Landing is the most dangerous part of the parachuting procedure, causing 83.8% of the accidents, while 9.3% were caused by faults during opening of the parachute.
On the age of those that participated it states:
The mean age was 29.3 years, range 16-62 years.
Working with the assumption that survivability doesn't increase with falling distance, and that age doesn't profoundly diminish the damage cause to humans by rapid deceleration, we must conclude that it's the parachutes responsible for the increase in survivability from 50% when falling from the fifth to sixth floor to 99.995% when jumping out of an airplane.
Is the use of parachutes supported by peer-reviewed papers?
Yes, there are many papers that that show that parachutes are being used.
Does the literature show that parachuting increases survivability over free-falling?