In the July issue of Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences:
A comparison of 19th century public health measures and the contemporary approach to the AIDS pandemic
The conflict between the medical profession and religion in their attempts to portray habitual drunkenness
The understanding of dementia paralytica in the Netherlands at a time when psychiatry was attempting to establish itself as a medical profession
Adelle Davis’ role in creating the ideology of nutritionism.
There’s also a commentary on the Adelle Davis article, an ‘In Memoriam’ for Sherwin B. Nuland, and reviews of ten books (of which I’ve featured here only two).
Thanks to h-madness (a great blog) for bringing my attention to this new issue. Somatosphere (a most excellent blog — highly recommended) often covers this journal, but I haven’t yet seen the July issue there, so I’ll go ahead and post these abstracts. Note that all articles (other than their abstracts/extracts) are behind a paywall. (emphasis added in what follows) Read more
The Australian government is about to introduce a number of public health measures dealing with smoking, alcohol, and obesity. The measures are designed to reduce chronic diseases and make Australia the world’s healthiest nation by 2020.
Australia’s National Preventative Health Taskforce has published a report that includes 174 recommendations for preventing disease. Among the measures that could be implemented:
A 50% increase in the price of cigarettes
Cigarette packaging that allows only a bland box with the brand name and a health warning
A minimum unit price for alcohol and increased taxes
The elimination of alcohol advertising during TV sports events
The elimination of alcohol advertising before 9 PM, when more children and adolescents are viewing
Tougher restrictions on where and when alcohol can be sold
The elimination of TV advertising for “energy-dense”, nutrient poor (i.e., high empty-calorie) foods before 9 PM
Reduced taxes on health foods to make them more affordable
Tax breaks for gym memberships and for parents who enroll their children in sports activities
Health care reform
(Obama’s AMA speech; Underlying issues; David Brooks on Obama; Robert Samuelson’s take; WSJ fiction)
(Benefits of alcohol?; Ritalin and unexplained deaths)
(Litigating over free speech; Is the FDA demoralized)
Health care reform
The American Medical Association (AMA) came out last week against any government sponsored insurance plan, but a few days later they back pedaled a bit, saying they’d been misinterpreted and that they were simply opposed to “any public plan that forces physicians to participate, expands the fiscally challenged Medicare program or pays Medicare rates.”
So there was a great deal of anticipation surrounding President Obama’s address to the AMA’s annual meeting in Chicago yesterday. Here is a video of the address, compliments of C-SPAN and Kaiser Health News (the clip is about 8 minutes), or if you prefer, you can read the speech as text at the Wall Street Journal.
[T]he president’s speech on Monday was the latest example of an oft-used ploy to press his case: appearing before skeptical audiences, confident of his powers of persuasion but willing as well to say what his listeners do not want to hear. …
“The public option is not your enemy,” Mr. Obama said. “It is your friend, I believe.” Saying it would “keep the insurance companies honest,” the president dismissed as “illegitimate” the claims of critics that a public insurance option amounts to “a Trojan horse for a single-payer system” run by the government. …
Mr. Obama assured skeptics in the audience: “You did not enter this profession to be bean counters and paper pushers. You entered this profession to be healers. And that’s what our health care system should let you be.”