Posts tagged medicine
Posts tagged medicine
In Memoriam : Robert G. Edwards (27 September 1925 – 10 April 2013)
The Nobel Prize-winning scientist Robert G. Edwards has died. He was a physiologist in Britain who helped develop the techniques used for in-vitro fertilization, or IVF. His work led to the birth of the first test tube baby, Louise Brown, in 1978, and millions of babies since.
Remember when this beautiful child was condemned as an abomination by the Catholic Church and millions of believers around the world? Although Edwards was “accused of playing God” and became the focus of a “storm of criticism and controversy,” the pioneering work he and Patrick Steptoe did enabled “millions of infertile couples to bring children into the world and women to have babies even in menopause.”
It’s sad that even today, over 30 years later, many religious leaders and their follows all around the world still condemn this procedure and the children it produces.
No question about it – holistic therapies are “in” at addiction rehabs, particularly ones at the more elite end of the rehab spectrum. One of the ways that treatment facilities attempt to attend to the whole person and to individualize care is by providing such alternative treatments—sometimes called “complementary” or “integrative” therapies—including acupuncture, energy psychology, equine-assisted therapy, neurofeedback, psychodrama, Reiki, somatic experiencing, and massage therapy. Yet when I investigated scientifically sound approaches for helping people with addictions for my book, Inside Rehab, none of these holistic therapies surfaced.
Do these holistic interventions add to the quality of the rehab experience, increasing the chances of recovery from addiction? Could their benefit be in the user’s head—that is, just a placebo effect? Are they worth the added expense? Or could some of them pose harm?
In my opinion, the answer to most of these questions is a resounding NO!
The rehab industry just recently started to overcome many of the antiquated, non-scientific methods of treatment which has been fostered by and promulgated by AA for over half a century so the last thing people need now is to be swindled by woowoo like this when reaching out for help for their substance abuse and/or addiction problems.
As Anne Fletcher says, “consumers have a right to know whether therapies are science-based and that those that aren’t should not be presented as such.”
Tomas Young was paralyzed from the chest down during his deployment to Iraq. Since then, his health has only deteriorated. He has decided to refuse care and end his life, and his wife, Claudia Cuellar, says she respects his wishes.
I think it is not only ethical but a moral imperative that everyone have the right to die with dignity and that is why I support organizations like the Death With Dignity Center therefore I obviously do not object to the decision made by this young man.
Fortunately for Mr. Young, the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 allows competent adults to refuse care so “A health care provider can follow the instructions of a patient and not provide or withdraw medically administered nutrition and hydration.”
Unfortunately, there are many who disagree with a persons right to die with dignity and continue to make it illegal in most states for people who are terminally ill to seek assistance from medical professionals in ending their life peacefully. As a result, Mr. Young will have to endure more unnecessary suffering and die a slow and painful death.
Hopefully this will change sooner than later.
US teenager crafts early detection tool for cancer
Jack Andraka catapulted from being a typical US teenager unaware of the pancreas to one with a cheap way to detect cancer in the organ before it turns deadly.
“Through the Internet, anything is possible,” Andraka said while telling the story of his screening breakthrough at a prestigious TED Conference in Southern California on Wednesday.
“There is so much more to it than posting duck-face pictures of yourself online,” he continued, sucking in his cheeks and pushing out his lips to playfully underscore his point.
“If a 15-year-old who didn’t know what a pancreas was could figure out a way to detect pancreatic cancer, imagine what you could do.”
The Chappelle Show On America’s Ridiculous Drug War
“In an alternate universe, drug dealer Tron Carter switches places with a white man convicted of the same crime.”
As noted by Tony Newman, “This skit reminds us how quick the war on drugs would end if white people were arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated the way black and Latino people are under the war on drugs. White and black people use and sell drugs at similar rates, but black people go to jail 13 times more often than white people. In New York, 84 percent of those arrested on marijuana possession charges are black and Latino, despite the fact that white people smoke at similar rates.”
If you agree that the governments war on drugs is ridiculous and unjust, please sign the below petitions.
(Source: The Huffington Post)
A new technology makes it possible for a quadriplegic to use only thought to move a robotic arm. According to a report out yesterday, a Massachusetts woman was one of two patients to use the arm. She picked up a bottle with coffee in it and drank it, using a straw. This is the first time in 15 years that she was able to feed herself.
And to explain how the technology works, we’re joined now by Dr. Leigh Hochberg, who is a neurologist, an engineer and the lead author on this study. Welcome to the program.
Using tadpoles as a model, researchers have identified a “self-correcting” mechanism by which developing frogs recognize and repair head and facial abnormalities. The team has published its finding in the latest edition of the journal Developmental Dynamics. Laura Vandenberg is one of the authors:
Laura Vandenberg: If we could stimulate the pathway that’s regenerating and repairing in a frog…in a child…it has huge implications for dealing with children who have these deformities that currently can only be fixed by surgery.
In 1992, Congress allocated $2 million for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Alternative Medicine. Seven years later, in 1999, the Office of Alternative Medicine evolved into a fully independent NIH center called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Since 2000, NCCAM has been awarded $2 billion for research, and currently has an annual budget of $134 million.
Yet nearly twenty years of study have shown that most alternative medicine “cures” work no better than placebos, and that NCCAM should be defunded or abolished, according to the authors of an upcoming report in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer. In Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources, Eugenie V. Mielczarek and Brian Engler examineall NCCAM research between 2000 and 2011, and find no discoveries that justify spending taxpayer dollars to maintain its existence.
A downloadable preview version of Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources is available here.
The full report will appear in the January/February issue of Skeptical Inquirer, which is published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an affiliate of the Center for Inquiry.
Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources was authored by Eugenie V. Mielczarek, emeritus professor of physics at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Her 40 years of research is in the area of materials science and biological physics. Mielczarek was assisted by Brian Engler, a retired U. S. Navy Commander. His fields of study include operations research and business administration.
The report builds on a 2009 paper that Mielczarek lead authored for the Center for Inquiry, A Fracture in our Health Care: Paying for Non-Evidence Based Medicine. You can read more about that report here.
I just read a very disturbing report from change.org about a system on clinics in Ecuador where one of the goals of “Doctors” is to cure lesbians of their homosexuality. Obscene and this idea of “curing” someone of homosexuality seems to me, the methods described below that are being used in an attempt to achieve this goal are even more repulsive. If you agree, please read the bellow message and sign the petition that follows.
Paola Ziritti is unthinkably brave to speak publicly about the “clinic.” She endured physical assault, sexual abuse, and a constant battery of insults. Guards would even throw buckets of cold water and urine on her. For two years, this was Paola’s waking nightmare… because she’s a lesbian. The “doctors” and guards at the clinic were trying to “cure” her.
Paola lives in Ecuador, where these so-called clinics are terrifyingly common — although the government shut down 27 this year, 180 clinics remain open, and most of the prisoners there are women. (Some gay men and transgendered people are in the clinics as well, but far fewer.)
Paola’s parents knew they were sending her to a forced confinement clinic, but they had no idea how awful it would be. Once Paola’s mother realized what she’d done, she tried to get her daughter back, but the clinic said no. The process to free Paola took a year.
A few incredibly courageous Ecuadorian women are fighting back — they call themselves Fundacion Causana. The women of Fundacion Causana started a petition on Change.org demanding that Ecuadoran Minister of Public Health Dr. David Chiriboga Allnut investigate and shut down all 180 remaining clinics that torture women to “cure” them. Please sign the petition right now.
Fundacion Causana does direct-service work on the ground to save women from the clinics, but they say it’s not enough. They need the unbridled support of the Ecuadoran government to get all of the clinics shut down.
So far, the government has only shut down a small cluster of clinics in one region of the country. Ecuador’s government officials need to know that we are watching and will not stand idly by while women are imprisoned and tortured.
Please sign Fundacion Causana’s petition demanding that the Ecuadoran Minister of Public Health investigate and shut down every “clinic” that tortures members of Ecuador’s LGBT community:
Also, I think it is important for us to remember that it was not that long ago when our own governments held and acted on such views. If we let the religious bigots in the often dubbed “civilized world” get their way our societies and it’s laws may one day once again reflect these intolerant views on human sexuality and equal rights.
George Carlin, Last Words
The debate over male circumcision has been in the news lately and I’ve been meaning to research the actual medical science on the issue but I’ve yet to take a comprehensive look at the subject. At some point I may have to really do some research since my wife and I are currently hoping to make a baby.
That being said, I’ve been reading George Carlin’s “Last Words” recently and found this quote to be very topical since I too have survived circumcision:-)