- Tonsillectomies are increasing. This article calls them “unnecessary”. In fact, cutting off part of the immune system is likely to be harmful.
- Doubts about Johns Hopkins genetics research (via Robb Wolf)
- The bad record of heart surgery. “Angioplasty can save the lives of heart-attack patients. But for patients with stable coronary disease, who comprise a large share of angioplasty patients? It has not been shown to extend life expectancy by a day . . . and it’s done a million times a year in this country [America].” American health care is like a bad dream.
- Why aren’t birth control pills available without a prescription? “The current arrangement forces women to go to the doctor at least once a year . . . That demand may suit doctors’ paternalist instincts and financial interests, but it doesn’t serve patients’ needs.”
- Cancer: the importance of what surrounds a cell (its “microenvironment”).
Thanks to Nandalal and Bryan Castañeda.
2 Replies to “Assorted Links”
Do prescriptions serve patient needs in the first place? The idea is that the doctor & pharmacist know more than you & have to protect you from yourself. It may be true that the experts know more than the patient in many cases, but information is spreading faster & faster these days. Anyone with an internet connection can check out a drug on Wikipedia & search PubMed. Because the relationship is set up this way (doctor tells patient what they need & gives them the permission slip to get it) patients may be more likely to blindly trust that what their doctor ordered is good for them, safe, etc. In fact, the opposite could just as easily be true. If patients could freely choose their own medicine, maybe they would more carefully research the options & potential consequences. Maybe it would reduce lawsuits against doctors (you can’t sue a doctor for a drug you yourself decided to purchase & take!) and help lower healthcare costs across the board.
Seth: I completely agree, that’s an idea worth testing. It’s quite plausible. Surely drug companies, pharmacists (whose advice would be more valued), and the general public would like it. Only doctors and perhaps lawyers would be against it.
Wow, that article about “Cancer: the importance of what surrounds a cell (its microenvironment)” is more than five years old (magazine dated December 12, 2007).
Seth: It’s a classic.
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