On Breaking One's Neck
. Dr. Arnold Relman
, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, gives a first-hand account of a catastrophic accident, intensive care, and rehabilitation--as a patient. I am a senior physician with over six decades of experience who has observed his share of critical illness--but only from the doctor's perspective. That changed suddenly and disastrously on the morning of June 27, 2013, ten days after my ninetieth birthday, when I fell down the stairs in my home, broke my neck, and very nearly died. Since then, I have made an astonishing recovery, in the course of which I learned how it feels to be a helpless patient close to death. I also learned some things about the US medical care system that I had never fully appreciated, even though this is a subject that I have studied and written about for many years.
posted by russilwvong
on Jan 19, 2014 -
In the Shadows.
The healthcare and human rights challenges of the LGBT populations of Malawi -- where homosexuality is outlawed. Via
posted by zarq
on Oct 28, 2013 -
More than half the population of small, rural Madras, Oregon (population: ~6059) and its surrounding community is served by one clinic: Madras Medical
. At the beginning of 2006, the clinic's doctors and nurses decided to ban pharmaceutical reps from visiting their practice. No more free lunches. No more free drug samples. No more gifts. And yet.... "It's made us better doctors." (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 27, 2013 -
"India's supreme court has ruled against Swiss drug giant Novartis in a landmark case
that activists say will protect access to cheap generic drugs in developing nations." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Apr 1, 2013 -
Two-year-old Emma wanted to play with blocks, but a condition called arthrogryposis meant she couldn't move her arms. So researchers at a Delaware hospital 3D printed a durable custom exoskeleton with the tiny, lightweight parts she needed
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Aug 3, 2012 -
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law.
The product of a strict party line vote following a
of debate, disinformation
, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act
would (among other popular reforms
) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool
for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives
(including presidential contender Mitt Romney
) is the central question facing the justices today
. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step
of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured
, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state
But despite the pessimism of bettors
, some believe
the Court will demur, wary of damaging
its already-fragile reputation
with another partisan 5-4 decision
. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know
. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog
for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 28, 2012 -
It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little.
How Doctors Die
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Dec 5, 2011 -
The public’s experience is that we have amazing clinicians and technologies but little consistent sense that they come together to provide an actual system of care, from start to finish, for people. We train, hire, and pay doctors to be cowboys. But it’s pit crews people need.
- Atul Gawande’s commencement address at Harvard Medical School.
posted by AceRock
on Jun 1, 2011 -
injections have been used to reduce the likelihood of premature births in at-risk pregnant women for years. Up until now, the drug was custom-compounded by wholesale and specialist pharmacies, legally, but without federal approval. These injections cost between $5 and $15 a dose and were regularly reimbursed by insurance companies and Medicaid.
Last month, the FDA announced their approval
of a commercially produced version of the compound, to be marketed under the brand name Makena by a company called KV Pharmaceuticals.
No stranger to controversy and trouble, KV barely survived a rash round of layoffs and wrongful termination lawsuits
. Their former chief executive now faces criminal charges
surrounding the company's failure to notify the FDA that they were producing oversized morphine tablets. (He could also do for a shave, it appears.)
Now, KV has announced that the new drug will be available at a cost of $1,500 per dose
, bringing the total pregnancy term cost of treatment to $25,000-$30,000
, from its former cost of $250-$300, a 100-fold increase
—but it gets worse... [more inside]
posted by disillusioned
on Mar 9, 2011 -
What US Health Care Needs Medical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board.
posted by kliuless
on Jun 21, 2010 -
Atul Gawande offers a way
for health care to be improved through experimentation and pilot programs, much as agriculture was in 20th century
posted by reenum
on Feb 27, 2010 -
How American Health Care Killed My Father After the needless death of his father, the author, a business executive, began a personal exploration of a health-care industry that for years has delivered poor service and irregular quality at astonishingly high cost. It is a system, he argues, that is not worth preserving in anything like its current form. And the health-care reform now being contemplated will not fix it. Here’s a radical solution to an agonizing problem.
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Aug 18, 2009 -
A simple question shows how complex the issue is.
Chris at "Cynical C" asks his fellow citizens where they get thier health care (insurance) from and the incredible diversity of the current options and situations is immediately apparent. Quite spontaneously (but surely not unexpectedly), the question of "How much does it cost you?" becomes an essential part of the answers. Outsiders opine and tell stories and commiserate. [more inside]
posted by sid abotu
on Aug 4, 2009 -
Two years since Massachusetts instituted major statewide healthcare reform
, the statistics
are coming in. 340,000
residents, roughly half the state's previously uninsured, are now insured. The state says that 95%
of its population is now covered, based on Department of Revenue estimates. However, a large portion of them are enrolled through state-subsidized insurance programs, and those program's rate of enrollment have far outpaced estimates
. This has led lawmakers to forsee a budget shortfall
. Premiums and co-pays are going up
, cigarette taxes have increased
, and a cost control
proposal is making its way through the legislature. Assessments have been all over the map
posted by Weebot
on Jul 2, 2008 -
The state of Oregon is holding a health insurance lottery
where 91,000 hopeful enrollees will be competing for a couple thousand spots under the Oregon Health Plan, the state's Medicaid program. OHP was created to cover those who made too much to enroll in traditional Medicaid but too little to afford market healthcare, and this development comes as a result of budget cuts and a subsequent enrollment closure in July of 2004. It's a far cry from the universal health care coverage that the plan was suppose to lead to, and marks a dramatic turn
for the state's once-ambitious health care reforms.(Previously in dystopic health care developments)
posted by Weebot
on Mar 30, 2008 -
Cancer Cure Patented
A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.
posted by TravisJeffery
on Jan 4, 2007 -
about 17,000 American medical students and almost as many foreign trained doctors learn what types of doctors they will be. Yes, it’s Match Day
. Ok, while most people probably could care less about this post, it presents an intriguing look into the forces
(i.e. how the ratio between specialists and generalists arises and to note: more specialists equals more procedures and costlier health care) that shape American health care today.
And, it represents the strange culmination of years of study (at least 8+ years after high school) that many students take just to leave it up to a strange algorithm
that is under a anti-trust lawsuit
as they wake up one day in March and learn where they will be spending the next (at least) three years of their life. Also, if you see a recent graduate of an "ADORE+P" residency
-- Anesthesiology, Dermatology, Orthopedics/Optho, Radiology, ENT/Emergency Room medicine (plus, of course, Plastic surgery) -- (the professions that work great hours and make the most money) -- congratulate her or him on being the best (statistically) of the crop.
posted by narebuc
on Mar 15, 2006 -
Conscience Clauses and Health Care
--"Yes, we need to respect individual freedom of religion. But at what point does it cross the line of not providing essential medical care? At what point is it malpractice?" she asked. "If someone's beliefs interfere with practicing their profession, perhaps they should do something else." The Protection of Conscience Project
feels differently: Protection of Conscience Laws are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures
, while NARAL says: ... Many of these clauses go far beyond respecting individuals' beliefs to the point of harming women by not providing them with full information or access to medical treatment. Medicine, not ideology, should determine medical decisions.
posted by amberglow
on Sep 17, 2004 -
Investigating the Power of Prayer
"According to Targ, the prayed-for patients had fewer and less severe new illnesses, fewer doctor visits, fewer hospitalizations and were generally in better moods than those in the control group."
Mayo Clinic researchers have found no such connection. They reported last month that in their trials of distant prayer on 750 coronary patients, they found no significant effect. Why the difference?"
posted by onegoodmove
on Apr 13, 2002 -