Panaceia or Hygeia

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Archive for August, 2009

President Obama couldn’t have known (he should have)

Posted by Colin Rose on August 31, 2009

When Obama or any other polititian talks about “health” care and saving money in the same breath their popularity sinks. In spite of much evidence to the contrary, there is a pervasive myth that the more one spends on hospitals and doctors (so-called “health” care but, in reality, disease care) the happier and longer-lived will be the population. Every time doctors have gone on strike and treated only life-threatening disease, average mortality has decreased. Spending more money on doctors and hospitals above a minimum, far below what we spend today, only increases mortality because drugs are given and operations done, both potentially fatal, for less and less significant indications. Cubans spend at most 4% of what the Americans spend per capita on doctors and hospitals and have a longer life expectancy. True health care is things like safe housing, safe sex, safe driving, garbage collection, clean water, control of addictions to alcohol, tobacco and junk food and immunization, things that doctors and hospitals don`t do. But every polititian who wants to get elected again must repeat the shibboleth, quality “health” care equals more money on doctors and hospitals.


President Obama couldn’t have known
JONATHAN COHN The New Republic
National Post
31 Aug 2009

The pundits are busy filing their reports on how President Obama blew it on health care reform. And while the health care fight is far from over — I remain convinced the Democrats will pass a bill, maybe even a good one — the pundits have a point….read more…

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MY FAITH IN SWEET SCIENCE IS DOUBLE-BLIND

Posted by Colin Rose on August 16, 2009

Those chiropractors certainly look like willfully ignorant charlatans but some medical doctors are also guilty of the same unwillingness to perform or abide by the results of randomized trials. For example angioplasty of coronary arteries for “treating” stable angina (chest pain caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart during exercise) has been shown in multiple randomized trials to cause more heart attacks than treating with drugs only. But these procedures are still done at great expense to our medical system. As an example of unwillingness to perform randomized trials, consider “bariatric” surgery. Even our Minister of Health and Social Services, Yves Bolduc, a neurosurgeon, believes various forms of gastric surgery is a cure for obesity but there has never been a single randomized, sham-operated controlled study showing surgery is any better than treatment for junk-food addiction alone without the operation. Bariatric surgeons refuse to do a randomized trial and are not compelled to. And yet $billions are being spent on these operations. Like the chiropractors, if you ask these doctors why they are ignoring or not doing randomized trials they will answer that they know what is right for the patient, no need to do trials.


MY FAITH IN SWEET SCIENCE IS DOUBLE-BLIND
SCHWARCZ
The Gazette
16 Aug 2009

“Awhite crystalline substance is known to be either glucose or fructose. How would you identify it?” That’s been a standard question asked on organic chemistry exams for over a hundred years. Glucose and fructose are both simple sugars with exactly…read more…


Posted in bariatric surgery, coronary artery disease, ethics, obesity, professionalism, randomized trial, surgery | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »