Here are some things I’ve come across recently. Categories include: Aging/End of Life/Death, Doctors, Influenza, Genetics, and Health Care Reform.
AGING, END OF LIFE, AND DEATH
End-of-Life Care: Where Ethics Meet Economics (The New York Times – Uwe Reinhardt)
Health spending in the United States has doubled every 10 years during the last four decades. Americans sooner or later will have to confront the hard questions about access to expensive treatments, perhaps after a rational national conversation, if such can still be had in America.
Health Care’s Generation Gap (The New York Times – Richard Dooling)
Money spent on exorbitant intensive-care medicine for dying, elderly people should be redirected to preventive care for children and mothers.
Cry (Mothers in Medicine)
“Don’t EVER let them see you cry. Not the attendings, and NEVER the nurses…..This will make you look weak and they will walk all over you.” This is what my chief resident told me on my first night of call as an OB/GYN intern
Pandemic waves (NHS Choices)
JAMA article questions whether the prevailing belief that the current pandemic flu will return in a more dangerous second wave is justified. … They conclude by advising readers to remember that, as Kierkegaard said about life, influenza epidemics are lived forwards and understood backwards.
Child DNA donors should have their say (Nature)
Children whose parents have signed them up for long-term studies should not have their genetic data distributed or made public until the donors consent at an older age.
Gene Therapy Creates a New Fovea (MIT Technology Review)
Twelve months after receiving an experimental gene therapy for a rare, inherited form of blindness, a patient discovered that she could read an illuminated clock in the family car for the first time in her life.
HEALTH CARE REFORM
How to Rein in Medical Costs, RIGHT NOW (The Health Care Blog – George Lundberg)
American health care costs will never be controlled until most physicians are no longer paid fees for specific services. The lure of economic incentives to provide unnecessary or unproven care, or even that known to be ineffective, drives many physicians to make the lucrative choice.
The Return of the Viral Email (The White House)
The White House would like you to send a link to this page, to counteract the viral emails of health care reform opponents.
Health Care Reform 2009 (The New England Journal of Medicine)
New website from The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) with articles from NEJM, editorials, foreign perspectives on what’s happening in the US, links to news stories, and interactive polls. Very nicely done.
Palin stands by ‘death panel’ claim (National Public Radio)
[Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.] said the measure [the House bill] would block funds for counseling that presents suicide or assisted suicide as an option, calling references to death panels or euthanasia “mind-numbing.”
Obama Says Insurers Are Trying to Block Change (The New York Times)
Amid the din, a woman stood with a sign that said, “Please be civil.”
Health Debate Isn’t About Health (The Wall Street Journal)
On a deeper level, it’s about the role of government in America’s economy. And that is a raw and unresolved topic, only made more so by months of exceptional government intervention amid a deep recession.
In Debate Over Health Policy, Some Words Are Seldom Spoken (The New York Times)
How do we think about the ultimate goals of the health care system and even about health itself? (Daniel Callahan)
Sarah’s Ghoulish Carousel (The New York Times – Maureen Dowd)
Palin put out a 2008 proclamation for Healthcare Decisions Day “to raise public awareness of the need to plan ahead for healthcare decisions, related to end of life care … and to encourage the specific use of advance directives to communicate these important healthcare decisions.” Consistency was long ago sent to a death panel in Palin world.
Lining Up for Help (The New York Times)
… thousands of people waiting stoically outside an improvised clinic in Inglewood, Calif., near Los Angeles. It looked as if it was happening in an underdeveloped country, where villagers might assemble days in advance for care from a visiting medical mission.
The Whole Foods Controversy in 15 Minutes (The Atlantic)
For those who haven’t been following, a number of bloggers are currently talking about why they are not intending to boycott Whole Foods, organic supermarket chain par excellence. What’s the backstory here?
‘Rationing’ Health Care: What Does It Mean? (The New York Times – Uwe Reinhardt)
Free markets are not an alternative to rationing. They are just one particular form of rationing. Ever since the Fall from Grace, human beings have had to ration everything not available in unlimited quantities, and market forces do most of the rationing.