Category Archives: medicine

My New Republic piece on the Pope, Catholic hospitals, and medical care

A revised version of my earlier piece today on the plight of Jessica Mann, who was refused potentially lifesaving care at a U.S. Catholic hospital because her treatment involved tubal ligation, has been published in the New Republic: “Religious freedom has no place in hospitals—especially Catholic ones.” I didn’t choose the title, but of course what […]

Woman with brain tumors refused life-saving tubal ligation at Catholic hospitals

At the time of Pope Francis’s visit to the U.S., during which he’ll undoubtedly be acclaimed for his liberality and care for the poor, let us remember that his church still officially refuses to give women their reproductive rights, including contraception. Here’s a particularly noxious case from Genesys Regional Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in […]

Is the autism pandemic real?: a new book

What’s clear in the U.S. is that diagnoses of autism have increased tenfold over the last three decades; what’s unclear is why. Possible answers are many, including (of course) vaccination, which has been exculpated; a better ability of doctors and psychologists to diagnose autism, a change in the criteria for diagnosis (the DSM, for instance, expanded […]

Well sprayed!

Yes, the act was illegal, but don’t you think it’s appropriate? Imagine: a pro-science vandal! p.s. This is post # 11,111 on this site. h/t: Bruce T.

Tenor sings opera during craniotomy

Reader Gijs sent me this today, with the note “I’ve never sent you anything to post about and I wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t post this. But I couldn’t think of a better audience to view this video than your audience. If this doesn’t bring a tear to one’s eye I don’t know what will.” I […]

Prestigious doctor attributes antibiotic resistance to “development” rather than “evolution”

On the Public Broadcasting System news last night, reporter Gwen Ifill did a six-minute interview with Dr. Michael Bell, a deputy director at Atlanta’s renowned Center for Disease Control and an infectious disease specialist. The topic was antibiotic-resistant microbes. Bell clearly discussed the problem and origin of these resistant “superbugs”, but one aspect of his interview bothered me and my undergraduate […]

More Catholic insanity: organ donation = euthanasia

Reader Pliny the in Between sent me a link to this article, which I thought worth mentioning because of its unusual stance—a stance that, I realized, comes directly from Catholic Church’s uniform opposition to assisted dying. The upshot of the article, which comes from the “Pro-Life Healthcare Alliance“, is that we should not donate organs after […]

How do you want to die?

I’m surprised nobody has thought of this before: collecting doctors’ wishes about how they would like to die. That collection was done by Tom Chivers, announced on Twi**er, as below, and published on BuzzFeed. Click on the screenshot below to go to the article, which is a lot better than usual pieces on that aggregator site: […]

Vaccination-exemption law makes its way through the California legislature

There’s more good news today (actually, from yesterday): according to multiple sources, including the Los Angeles Times, the California Assembly has approved a tough pro-vaccination law, one that eliminates all religious and philosophical exemptions from immunization for kids who want to attend public school. The state senate has passed its own version, but they’re similar and the differences are […]

What do we do about “neurodiversity”?

Reader Su pointed me to a Wikipedia article on “neurodiversity” that begins as follows: The article includes this under the “autism rights movement”: The autism rights movement (ARM) is a social movement within the neurodiversity movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation […]


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