Tag: medicine

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Testing… Testing…

 

If I were a certain sort of woman, I’d blame it on The Patriarchy. If I were another sort, I’d blame it on A Culture Insufficiently Supportive of Life. (And, if I were a very specific sort, I’d do both.) Instead, it was the understandable result of The Powers That Be in our neighborhood hospital system not having leeway to make more fine-grained distinctions in a crisis. Which is how pregnant women, who aren’t permitted to receive any in-person prenatal care right now if they have the least little sniffle but no negative lab result for Covid-19, must go through a lengthy, frustrating, and high-exposure screening process to see if they qualify for Covid-19 testing, while the nonpregnant may simply waltz – or rather drive – through safer, low-exposure Covid-19 testing in about 15 minutes.

If you’re pregnant, though, the screening process might take hours, during which you hear, at each step along the way, that you may be ineligible for the lab anyhow – and that’s just your time spent at the walk-in screening center. It doesn’t count the hours (days) you may have spent trying to find a walk-in screening center that hasn’t run out of swabs for the day, and finding out whether you’re even eligible to visit it.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. American Emergency Medicine Works

 

This is both a brief story in itself and preface to another tale, “Strategic Logistics Work.” The point of observation: the Valley of the Sun, Maricopa County, the population center of Arizona. The time: summer 2018 and last weekend, March 21-22, 2020.

Foreshadowing: It was a normal summer Saturday afternoon in 2017. Which is to say, it was a dry heat in the Valley of the Sun. I was out for a 2.5-mile brisk walk when I got the urge to sprint. Nevermind that I had not done a wind sprint over a year, I just had the urge. Pulling up at the end of a 200-yard dash, I noticed something was a bit odd. My heart rate was not slowly dropping. I got indoors, sat down, and drank water. No change. In fact, I was getting increasingly light-headed, even with my head down, so I had someone dial 911.

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One of our Resistance Library readers reached out to us recently and shared a BBC article that they found interesting. They said it reminded them of our piece Prescription For Violence: The Corresponding Rise of Antidepressants, SSRIs & Mass Shootings and thought it supported some of the connections made there.   They’ve been linked to road rage, pathological gambling, and […]

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Article I Section VIII of the Constitution lays out the Powers of Congress, among them is: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;” * The temporary monopolies we grant to drug companies is a balancing […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. But Wait, There’s More!

 

You have to go looking for this kind of news. You might find it online, but won’t find it printed in the paper. If a local TV station heads out for some brief coverage, you can be certain they will heavily edit any interviews so they can maintain a sense of decorum. After all, we can’t discuss what really happens out there. Our local crime story continues:

“When I saw it on the news, I’m like, ‘If this guy’s that nuts, would he do something like that?’ And evidently, he did.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Maybe, Baby

 

If you knew you only had a 1% chance of surviving tomorrow, would you consider that a death sentence? What about 2%, 5%, 10%… at what point would your odds of survival be good enough you wouldn’t feel doomed? And what if you had to purchase your fairly slim chance at survival by risking the life of another? When would you do it? What balance of risk would just barely escape counting as doom?

What if you were the other whose life was risked on the slim hope of avoiding someone else’s death sentence? When would that hope be worth it, and when would it be a forlorn one? How effective must our efforts to lift another’s doom be in order to merit the price?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Should We Just Let Them Die?

 

I just logged onto our computer system at work to see what our patient list is looking like and if there have been any emergency surgeries this weekend. I noticed something peculiar about the bed assignment of one of our young patients. I opened a nurse’s note to discover that just two days after we operated to repair one of the heart valves that had been damaged by this patient’s IV drug use, the patient was discovered using IV drugs while in the bathroom.

Of course, they deny any wrongdoing but the evidence is overwhelming. I have no idea how this young person’s life will turn out after the follow-up visits are done, but I can say the chances are they will end up like so many of our other patients that require open heart surgery because of their drug use — dead.

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Can a story about a potato be disarming – ok, downright alarming? This story titled “Beware of GMO Potatoes.” was scary. We know Monsanto and spin off companies, the producers of seeds that don’t reproduce, seeds that contain “Round Up”, the pesticide that is a potential carcinogen, is altering the genetic makeup of several species […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Medical Doctor Pushes Political Agenda with Patients

 

If this story is true, it’s a disgusting abuse of power by a doctor, and worse yet—he’s a Republican. A doctor in Lakeland, FL, apparently makes a practice prior to important elections of promoting Republican candidates. A patient of his, who was receiving injections for chronic pain, described the exchange in this way:

The patient lay on an examination table, semi-clothed and crying, after having just received excruciating injections to help relieve her chronic pain.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

The post-modernist obliteration of language to appease the latest oppressed identity groups marches on. The medical and healthcare professionals at Healthline.com, a site, much like WebMD, that offers information on myriad of ailments, diseases, and health risks that human beings can contract or should be aware of, have made the determination that the medical term […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Let’s Blow It Up

 

In a recent comment, Ricochet member @DonG wrote, “The drug industry in the US is a giant racket enabled by a corrupted regulatory system.” After over 20 years of working in medicine, and doing occasional part-time work for pharmaceutical companies in the cardiovascular field, I find that statement to be precise and accurate. Fascism is an explosive word, almost like Nazi. But this is, precisely, fascism. It’s not socialism. Our government does not want to own the means of production; it just wants to control it. Regulate the heck out of it, get private industry to do what you want, then tax the crap out of it to fund a welfare state huge enough to buy sufficient votes to get you re-elected. It’s simple, really. It’s too bad that the term “fascism” is widely viewed as a pejorative because it’s a perfect description of much of our government.

To get back to Don’s point regarding the pharmaceutical industry: This is what excessive regulation creates. You destroy everybody, except for the few corporations enormous or well-connected (usually the same thing) enough that they can withstand the regulatory pressure with top-flight, very expensive legal departments. Then you control and profit from those few. You can’t control 1,000 drug companies, but you can control six of them; maybe eight. Note that this type of evolutionary pressure selects out those who are good at government, not those who are good at creating new drugs. As is true in every industry.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Hospital Ethics Committees and Death Panels

 

Remember how people were afraid that based on the Affordable Care Act, “death panels” would be making life and death decisions for their patients? The fact is that at least in hospitals, these panels have existed since the 1970s, in the form of ethics committees. I must say after researching these committees, I’m even more confused and ambivalent about their roles and decisions.

Listening to talk radio in my car, I learned about this issue and how it became a hot topic in Texas. One of the most publicized cases was the case of David Chris Dunn, 46 years old and a former deputy sheriff for Harris County, Texas. He was transferred to Houston Methodist on October 12, 2015. He had a mass on his pancreas which affected his other organs and was in renal failure. The family was told he would die that night, but he didn’t. Over time the medical team met to discuss Dunn’s condition; he wasn’t improving.

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Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Alfie and the Failure of Medical Ethics

 

The case of Alfie Evans once again brings to light the ethical and moral landmines that are promulgated as governments intrude further and further into the personal lives of its citizens.

Young Alfie suffers from a so-far unknown and undiagnosed congenital ailment that has left him in a near-vegetative state since late 2016. As such, the officials of the UK’s National Health Service have brought it upon themselves to hasten the death of the child … for his own well-being.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Opioid Use Hiding Behind the Alleged Superiority of “Nonopioid” Chronic Pain Treatment

 

The SPACE randomized clinical trial, which 234 veterans with chronic back or knee pain completed, has been touted as demonstrating that opioids are superfluous to chronic pain management. According to JAMA’s summary of the trial,

In the opioid group, the first step was immediate-release morphine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone/acetaminophen. For the nonopioid group, the first step was acetaminophen (paracetamol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Medications were changed, added, or adjusted within the assigned treatment group according to individual patient response.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Give Me Misery or Give Me Death?

 

Doctors retire. That’s the context of my recent experiment in “detoxing” from two prescriptions, both of which strike me (but not yet the FDA) as good candidates for over-the-counter (OTC) sale. (Most striking detox effect so far: a massive earache.) One is Celecoxib, an anti-arthritis drug. The other is Montelukast, an anti-asthma and anti-allergy drug. What’s scary about selling both these drugs OTC is allegedly death.

Celecoxib is a Cox-2 inhibitor, and those drugs as a class still haven’t completely aired out the stink of death brought on by Vioxx. Montelukast maybe sometimes cause psychiatric side-effects, according to postmarketing reports, raising the specter of suicide (though postmarketing reports could report anything as a side-effect, short of “pet turtle died”). But the most frightening thing about Montelukast appears to be that it’s an effective asthma control medicine, and the FDA is apparently nervous about making effective asthma control medicines available to consumers directly.

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In an exchange with @phcheese on my post yesterday, I made the following snide remark: JosePluma (View Comment): More

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Contra Caplan on Physical Illness, Too

 

In 2006, insouciant economic imperialist Bryan Caplan published a paper outlining a consumer-choice model of mental illness designed to rehabilitate the anti-psychiatry of Thomas Szasz. Caplan claimed this model shows that mental illness should not to be understood as a “real illness” (and therefore as a matter for medical rather than moral treatment) at all, but that mental illness should be understood as a weird preference rational actors persist in despite their preference being a poor match for functioning in society.

From the perspective of Caplan’s model, mental-health treatment is a form of rent-seeking designed to paper over the interpersonal conflicts that arise when somebody won’t relinquish a preference grievously at odds with society, rent-seeking that, on the one hand, provides the “mentally ill” with official-sounding excuses for their weird preferences while, on the other hand, providing the families of the “mentally ill” with medical justification for treating sufficiently “ill” family members against their will. In October 2015, the blogger Scott Alexander, himself a psychiatrist, published “Contra Caplan on Mental Illness”, an essay pointing out why, from his perspective, it seems so strange to call mental illness merely a weird preference. Given Caplan’s framework, I would like to point out how strange it is to call physical illness not a “weird preference”, albeit a weird preference most of us take pity on out of belief that it arises from physical derangement that we don’t expect sufferers to be able to compensate for completely.

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In this AEI Events Podcast, AEI’s Tim Carney hosts a panel discussion regarding whether obtaining medical care from trained health care professionals who are not doctors, such as nurses and nurse practitioners, could drive down costs. The panel of economists and medical professionals discuss this issue of regulation, safety, and economic opportunity, and conclude with a discussion of the role for new innovations, such as telemedicine, in the future of health care.

Panelists include Benedic N. Ippolito (AEI), Cindy Cooke (American Association of Nurse Practitioners, and R. Shawn Martin (American Academy of Family Physicians).

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In this AEI Events Podcast, a panel of experts gather to discuss the role of government in medical innovation. AEI’s Thomas Peter Stossel begins with an overview of the eras of medical innovation. He describes the current environment and discussed how the value gained from medical innovation has changed over the past century.

In the following panel conversation, leading health and science experts discuss the role of National Institutes of Health funding, the future of academic bioscience, the recent crisis in quality of scientific work, and the future of medial innovation. Panelists include Jeffrey Flier (Harvard University), Daniel Sarewitz (Arizona State University), Frances Visco (National Breast Cancer Coalition), and Mary Woolley (Research!America). The discussion is moderated by Thomas Peter Stossel (AEI).

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