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Archive for June, 2005

Monday, June 13th 2005

Family v. Doctors

This is a home state case that has grabbed national attention.

A child with Hodgkin’s who had been through chemo was told she would have to go through radiation therapy by her oncologist. When the family decided to postpone the therapy and try to get a second opinion with another oncologist, the physician’s practice reported them to CPS, and the state took the girl away and her brothers.

Child negligence when it comes to healthcare is a tough situation. How far do, say, religious freedoms extend when it comes to trying to force your children to practice them. It’s perfectly all right for a Seventh Day Adventist to refuse a blood transfusion but should he be able to refuse one for his child?

Monday, June 13th 2005

1 Million HIV Cases

The CDC estimates that as of December 2003 the number of Americans infected with the AIDS causing virus broke the 1 million mark.

Friday, June 10th 2005

The Uninsured & Universal Healthcare: Ideologies (Part 3)

Finally, I come to it.

I am not a pragmatist. I do however define myself as an idealist. That title however has come, with time, to denote a bleeding heart. I’m much more cerebral about my ideals but they are certainly there. I would rather do what I believe to be right despite charges that sometimes such action lacks real world functionality.

To all who level such charges I paraphrase George Bernard Shaw:

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world…The unreasonable man expects the world to adapt to himself…Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

Individual liberty versus equality. From slavery to the welfare state to the Cold War, it has simply been the underlying struggle of America’s more than 200 year history. There are notable historians and political philosophers who will say it is not simply that black and white. There are well versed and highly educated and intelligent individuals who claim that these two things — individual liberty and equality — are not mutually exclusive and to view all political debates in terms of one or the other limits your thinking and blocks out solutions to the problems facing the world.

However, more than the trailblazers of political correctness and moral ambiguity would have us believe, the world is often black and white. The world has come to accept all viewpoints and potentially legitimate; it is the greatest folly of the political correctness ‘movement,’ although giving such a title implies an organization not present. It dilutes individual responsibility, excusing any situation and with the erosion of responsibility comes the loss of liberty and morality as well. Perhaps what we have witnessed in the past forty years is merely the inevitable liberalization of the western world which history has clearly shown. Such inevitability does not however make the ideology correct, of course.

I’ve rambled off track and I’ve failed to mention universal healthcare once so far, but bear with me.

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Thursday, June 9th 2005

Private Insurance In Quebec

It is no longer illegal to pay for your care out of pocket in Quebec. Canada’s high court has struck down Quebec’s ban against private insurance.

This quote shows the type of thinking that proponents of socialized anything have going for them:

Opponents of changes to [Canada's] Medicare claimed it could force Canada into a two-tiered health care system in which those who have deeper pockets get faster, better service from doctors who opt out of the public health-care program.

And I ask, So?

They deserve to be able to do that at the least. It’s one thing to say that everyone deserves some subjective level of care and that the rich should be made to pay to guarantee such care for the poor. It’s a step beyond, in the absurd department, to say that the rich shouldn’t be able to pay for their own medical care.

“Well the wealthy can certainly chunk up some money to pay for care for the poor but the idea that they can pay for their own choice of care…hmph…”

Wednesday, June 8th 2005

Questionable Study on Uninsured Costs

Family USA has released a study about what the uninsured cost in terms of premium increases for the insured. An article on it can be found here.

The mere fact they cite a ludicrous figure for the number of uninsured in this country (48 million; see previous posts and do a google search: here and here) raises questions about the credibility of all other figures in the study and potential bias from this partisan group. I’m not sure this is even newsworthy except for liberal media outlets.

I’m a little vindictive right now.


Kevin, M.D. has posted on the topic.

Wednesday, June 8th 2005

80 Hour Resident Work Weeks

A Chance To Cut… has analysis, comments, and quotations on and from an Annals of Surgery published study of the effect of the 80 hour week work limit during residency and patient safety.

Wednesday, June 8th 2005

Refill: A Short Short Story

At the end of the day there are a dozen messages to be sorted through. As if the days in clinic don’t try your stamina enough.

You flip through them looking for the one’s you can ignore until tomorrow or the next day or a week from now when they’ll call back angry. You thank God they can’t see you roll your eyes (and you understand why video phones never took off).

Five messages in is the one you really want to ignore. You stop at it though. Mr. Jones has dropped his pain killers down the sink. You would go grab his chart or call the pharmacy but you know he’s weeks from his next scheduled refill.

Two weeks ago Angela told him to bring in a police report if he wanted a refill, after he claimed his pills were stolen out of his car. Kind of amusing. Kind of sad.

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Tuesday, June 7th 2005

Mental Illness Overdiagnosed

Are some mental illnesses — some anxiety disorders, ADD, etc. — overdiagnosed or simply not truly diseases at all but personality traits as they used to be considered?

Anew study shows that 46% of Americans suffer from some sort of mental condition.

Monday, June 6th 2005

Photography As Writing

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Monday, June 6th 2005

How Many Med Mal Bills?

A democrat has introduced yet another medical malpractice reform bill in the House. This ‘compromise’ bill tries to address the three major lines of reform — tort reform, insurance regulation, and physician negligence.

This bill caps awards at just under a million dollars. That ain’t right.