Home > Medical/Health Commentary, Miscellany > Around the Mediverse: April 14, 2010

Around the Mediverse: April 14, 2010

Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:

  • A letter to the editor of The Economist tells that “[t]he so-called precautionary principle is, in the words of risk-expert Bill Durodié, “an invitation to those without evidence, expertise or authority, to shape and influence political debates. It achieves that by introducing supposedly ethical or environmental elements into the process of scientific, corporate and governmental decision-making.”
  • Bob Centor points out that increasing medical school enrollment won’t be enough to solve projected future shortages of physicians, especially in primary care.  He looks at increasing the number of primary care residency slots and improving pay for primary care physicians and residents.  I would argue that this might not even go far enough:  if the slots are there, who’s to say they’ll be taken unless the job gets much better than it is now?
  • Eugene Volokh tells of litigation that arose after an accident victim was mistaken as dead many, many, many times.  I’m not one to second-guess decisions made under tricky circumstances (well, maybe I am), and I’m all for reducing “unnecessary medical tests” (whatever those are), but can it really hurt to double-check the pulse?
  • An alternate take on schizophrenia from a behaviourist perspective, entitled “Schizophrenia Is Not An Illness.”  Provocative?  To someone like me with only limited exposure to “traditional” approaches to mental illness, yes.  The three-part series makes some interesting points and is well worth the read.
  • In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson placed an order for new pants.  The tape and transcript of the phone call are … quite something.  Be warned that LBJ uses graphic language to describe the desired specifications of the pants being ordered.  He also belches without saying “excuse me,” and admits to carrying a knife to work.
  • A lot of health care revolves around providing reassurance and peace of mind (kinda like real insurance is supposed to, but that’s another topic for another day).  Sometimes that’s for the patient’s benefit and sometimes for the physician’s.  Oftentimes, it’s for both.  Of course, peace of mind can be an expensive thing to come by.   This story from ACP Internist illustrates this perfectly.
  • There exists a jurisdiction not too far from Florida that has recently imposed a health insurance mandate on some of the people present there.  Those subject to the mandate who don’t already have insurance will have to buy a product that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and features payout caps.  Guess where this is, I challenge you!
  • Don’t believe everything you read online, even from a somewhat-reputable source.  This is especially true when it’s AOL recommending “medical tests that could save your life.”  Or not.
  • Reason explains, in graphical form, a subject near and dear to my heart:  US immigration law.

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