Monthly Archives: January 2010

Baby Isaiah: Ethical dilemmas of modern medicine (2)

Baby Isaiah James May

Source: Rant Rave

As I described in a previous post, the parents of Isaiah James May, who has been declared brain dead, are engaged in a legal battle to keep their son on life-support. At their last court appearance on January 27 they were granted an extension of their appeal. The next court date is set for February 19, when a medical expert will testify.
For updates on baby Isaiah, there is a Facebook page (available if you’re a member of Facebook). The page mysteriously disappeared on Friday, but was restored on Sunday. Curious. The site includes three videos: A diaper change, baby Isaiah moving his leg, and a thank you from the parents. Although the parents find the movement of his leg an encouraging sign, I found that particular video – which shows the baby’s feeble movement, as if in slow motion — quite sad.

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Why did we shoot ourselves in the foot on health care?

Unlike the US, where a turkey dinner is traditionally associated with Thanksgiving, the United Kingdom dines on turkey at Christmas. So when the British or Australians accuse you of acting like “a turkey voting for Christmas,” they mean you’re going against your own best interests.
The BBC has a new radio series that addresses the question: Why turkeys vote for Christmas. David Runciman writes the first installment, in which he asks: Why is it Americans who would benefit the most from health care reform are the most opposed? One third of Texas residents have no health insurance, for example, but 87% oppose reform.
There are many opinions on why Obama’s reform didn’t pass, and pundits will be arguing this issue for months, if not more. Texans, for example, are likely to oppose government involvement in any aspect of their lives, and that opposition can easily outweigh the value they place on health insurance.

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Baby Isaiah: Ethical dilemmas of modern medicine (1)

Baby Isaiah James May

Source: The Province

Isaiah James May was born last October in a small town (population 7,000) in Alberta, Canada. For Rebecka May, age 23, this was her first child. The pregnancy was normal, and both mother and child were healthy at the time of delivery.
Labor was difficult, however. It went on for 40 hours, including four hours of pushing. It’s not clear why a Caesarian section was not performed. When baby Isaiah finally appeared, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck. This had deprived him of oxygen, and he suffered severe and irreversible brain damage.
The child was flown to a children’s hospital in Edmonton, where he was placed on a ventilator. After evaluating Isaiah’s condition, doctors recommended removing him from life support. His parents took the matter to court, and Isaiah remains on a ventilator and feeding tube, pending a legal decision.

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Melamine, cadmium, and Heidi Montag

Melamine in milk 2010

Source: Reuters

Melamine in milk is in the news again. Is this totally inexcusable or what?
Products from three Chinese companies were removed from shelves in southern China after they tested positive for melamine. Products included not just milk, but candy that used milk as an ingredient. Two of the companies had been cited in the last melamine scandal of 2008. That event was responsible for the deaths of six children and illness for 300,000 others.
It appears that milk contaminated with melamine in 2008 was not destroyed and was subsequently repackaged and sold. According to Reuters, “[H]ealth officials have continued to crack down on distributors who sell melamine-tainted milk to stores, but some distributors, wrongly assuming that the government has scaled back its crackdown, continue to sell it.”

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FDA video on health fraud: So boring it makes you wonder

FDA health fraud awareness

Source: Dipity

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a new video on health fraud awareness. A worthy topic. It touches on weight loss products, HIV scams, cures for cancer and diabetes. What’s noteworthy about the video is that it’s SO boring. The inflections of the voiceover are totally inauthentic. It has the pacing of a 1970s newscast. There’s almost no music. It’s not sufficiently interesting to grab and hold anyone’s attention.
News – and not just TV news — has become infotainment. I would be the first to complain that this is a tragedy with major implications. But it’s also a reality. To compete for attention, you need some creativity. The chances that this video had any input from a decent ad agency are slim.

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