February 24, 2017

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The Ethics Of Practicing Procedures On The Nearly Dead

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I had never thought about this, and should have. On one hand, I am quite familiar with medical students dissecting cadavers. On the other, I have spent much of my life studying the behavior of physicians treating live patients. BUT. I had never considered the gap in between those two sets of circumstances. The area in which physicians must be trained by working on patients’ bodies that still exhibit many attributes of living patients, although there is no hope for recovery.

As the result of reading this blog post, I have now given this middle ground due consideration and, I must admit, am not entirely comfortable with the results of having done so.

The blogger does a far better job of reviewing the relevant issues here than I would do. You know, things like exploring the meaning of the term “informed consent” under these circumstances.

Bottom Line. Here’s my real problem. Who gets to look at a patient’s clinical situation and decide that she is an appropriate candidate for such training exercises? I’m thinking that if it is my body on the table, or the corpus of one of my loved ones, I want this decision to be made very carefully! Erring in the direction of effective treatment, although unlikely to succeed, rather than too rapidly defaulting to training exercises.

BUT. Does that continue to leave the training to be done on the bodies of the less fortunate? The uninsured? Those who have no family members on hand?

I’m hope not, but I am afraid so!

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February 23, 2017

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And These Three Guys Are Who???

Sweetcoin

They are the founders of “Sweatcoin,” a new app (one of several) that lets you trade in steps recorded on the app for products.

Bottom Line. While some people may in fact find these apps to be motivating(?), I still wrestle mightily with the notion of providing extrinsic rewards to people who take care of their health. You may remember my previous rants on this topic, which have consistently maintained that such shenanigans teach people that their health has no intrinsic value, and that therefore doing healthful things is work for which one should be compensated. 

Bitwalking, another of the apps, maintains that it is “a new way to participate in the world.” Wow!!!

 In my opinion, this is silly, dysfunctional and not likely to work in the long run. I am betting I will not be proven wrong!

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February 22, 2017

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The Intersection Of Faith And Healthcare

Okay. We now have DJT’s nominee for the Supreme Court. AND. He is actively being talked about in terms of his healthcare views. More specifically his views on contraception coverage and “right to life.”  Check this out! Bottom Line. While Obama’s Affordable Care Act was front and center during the last presidency, it seems that […]

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February 21, 2017

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“Astronomical”

That’s the way Trump described pharmaceutical pricing at his recent confab with drug manufacturers. Bottom Line. I could go on and riff about other topics that were discussed at this session, but I won’t. I would rather just pose a thought question. What threshold do drug prices need to get below in order not to […]

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February 17, 2017

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Where Do The BEST Doctors Come From?

  Interesting stuff. Turns out that patients treated by International Medical Graduates (They have apparently cleaned up the terminology from “FMG’s,” Foreign Medical Graduates, that we used to condescendingly call these practitioners when I was working in a hospital system) have outcomes as good as those treated by physicians trained in U.S. medical schools. Demonstrating what? […]

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February 16, 2017

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Dear Lord, I Hope Not!!!

A recent article from Bloomberg reports that Mylan has received preliminary notice that the FTC is investigating whether the company unfairly blocked EpiPen competitors from the marketplace. Did the company make minor changes to the product strictly for patent protection purposes? Enter agreements to stave off competition? Etc.? The company says no. We shall see. […]

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February 15, 2017

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Physician Specialties Most Likely To Be Made Obsolete By Artificial Intelligence???

I bet most of you could figure this one out on your own. If not, the graphic above might provide some assistance. Okay, here’s the deal. The medical specialties most likely to be replaced by machines are those that center around pattern recognition. Yup, Radiology and Pathology. As you will see in this article, these […]

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February 14, 2017

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Big Bellies Are Big Business

Let’s note in passing a few simple facts. First, despite myriad public health efforts designed to get people to control their weight, obesity is a problem that is rapidly growing (pun intended) in the U.S. Second, it has become painfully clear that traditional medical practices do a lousy job of treating obesity. Third, it has […]

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February 13, 2017

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HIPAA And Civil Liability

Please pardon the lawyer speak in the title here, but that is sort of what this post is about. Check out this piece. It is about the two lap top computers, stolen from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, that contained unencrypted information about 840,000 plan members. Guess what happened next. You got it! A lawyer […]

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February 10, 2017

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Patients And “The Ban”

  Having said in a previous post that Trump’s travel ban will impact virtually every aspect of healthcare, you can sort of rush out ahead of these posts and figure out where all this is going. Yesterday we talked about the impact the ban is having on bio-pharma employees. In future posts, we will focus […]

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