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Ethics

This category contains 36 posts

Headlines blur the difference between statistically significant and clinically meaningful

Interpreting studies is a dicey thing. Often I find what might be statistically significant translated into headlines that might not really get at the nuance of the study or the results. Take these three for example: Pine bark extract improves severe perimenopausal symptoms (Medscape medical news, February 14, 2013) Two weeks of antibiotic therapy relieves … Continue reading

Who is keeping a pregnant woman on life support against her wishes? The hospital or Texas?

Brain death is death. This is one of the definitions of death. Even in Texas. Because brain death is death a do not resuscitate (DNR) order or invalidating a DNR are both meaningless, because you don’t do procedures on dead bodies. This is why taking someone off a ventilator who is brain dead is not … Continue reading

It took 32 days to decide what to do with my son’s body. On grief, ethics, and death.

My eldest son, the first-born of a set of extremely premature triplets, died a few minutes after he was born. Defying the odds I remained pregnant with my other two boys for 24 days. After holding him for some time in the delivery room, the same room where I myself had delivered hundred of babies … Continue reading

ACLU should sue the doctors as well as bishops over denied medically indicated abortion

A pregnant woman in Michigan ruptured her membranes weeks before viability. She is not offered a termination (standard of care in the scenario) and suffers an infectious complication. This case from Michigan has eerie similarities to the Savita tragedy in Ireland. The only difference being Ms. Means did not die and Savita Halappanavar did. This case … Continue reading

Insurance companies should stop paying for robotic hysterectomies

A new study confirms what previous studies tell us. That a robotic hysterectomy is not a safer or a more efficient way to remove a uterus for non-cancerous (benign) surgery than a traditional laparoscopic approach. This study (Rosero et al, Obstet Gynecol 2013) indicates that there is little difference between the two types of surgery … Continue reading

The “crack cocaine” of Canadian universal health care

Michele Bachmann, once again displaying her deep caring for the American people and her intricate understanding of the nuances of health care, voiced her last-minute opposition to Obamacare by stating the President is eager to “Get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on government health care.” However inelegant her phrasing, I suspect she … Continue reading

When judges force doctors to abandon evidence based medicine

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued a press release today regarding legislative interference and health care decisions. Specifically, the release states that: Government should not interfere with the patient-physician relationship without a substantial public health justification. The full Statement of Policy was approved by ACOG’s Executive Board. Some recent examples of government … Continue reading

Expert in Savita inquiry confirms Irish women get lower standard of care with chorioamnionitis

As the inquest into Savita Halappanavar’s death continues we have heard about delays and errors, all of which most likely contributed to her terrible outcome. However, along the way those who have tried to pass off her death as medical negligence and nothing to do with Irish law or Catholic ethos have rested on the … Continue reading

Savita Halappanavar’s inquest: the three questions that must be answered

Savita Halappanavar was admitted at on a Sunday to Galway hospital at 17 weeks into her pregnancy with ruptured membranes, a dilated cervix, and an elevated white blood cell count (a marker of infection). It is clear that her diagnosis was chorioamnionitis, an infection of the fetal membranes. When left untreated the bacteria of chorioamnionitis march … Continue reading

The General Medical Council muzzles British doctors who want to post anonymously

The General Medical Council in Britain released new guidelines on social media for medicine. Essentially, if you are a doctor in the United Kingdom Big Brother the GMC does not believe that you should be able to tweet/blog/post anonymously if you self-identify as a physician. The exact wording is as follows: If you identify yourself … Continue reading

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