Category Archives: medicine

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 […]

Vermont overturns law allowing philosophical exemptions to vaccination, but keeps the religious ones

48 of America’s 50 states have laws allowing children who attend public school to do so without being vaccinated—if they have religious reasons. In 20 of those states, you can also avoid vaccination if your exemption is based on philosophical reasons. Every other kid, save those with medical exemptions—compromised immune systems and the like—must be vaccinated, […]

A panacea

I could use a dose of this nostrum right now!: I want the one that’s Bengal-flavored. h/t: Dennis

My Slate article on the dangers of faith healing

I’ve been meaning to write this piece for Slate for a while, but couldn’t get to it because of The Albatross. As it turns out, the piece, about the unconscionable exemptions from prosecution given to religious people when they injure their children by using faith “healing” instead of western medicine, deals with themes in the last […]

NPR sort-of disses euthanasia

The National Public Radio (NPR) “Health” site has a sad article about a young mother in California terminally ill with scleroderma, and near the end of her life.  It’s going to be a pretty grim death as her lungs first give out, and then her heart.  But the mother, Stephanie Packer, is religious, and has […]

Do religious people donate their organs less often?

On the morning news, which I watch while getting dressed, there was an item about a teenager with cancer who, as her last act, donated her corneas to her mother, who herself was losing her sight. That was touching, but it got me thinking. Are religious people less likely to donate their organs after death […]

Canadian court comes to its senses, mandates chemotherapy for leukemia-afflicted child

The long story of the Canadian courts allowing First Nations children to die out of respect for their useless “traditional healing practices” has had a happy resolution—at least in one case. When 11-year-old Makayla Sault was dying of leukemia after abandoning chemotherapy for “traditional medicine” (including a bout of “nontraditional” treatment at the quackish Hippocrates Institute in […]

Doctors ask for the quack-ish Dr. Oz to be fired from Columbia

I don’t know much about Dr. Mehmet Oz (b. 1960), except that he’s been the subject of much criticism for his nonscientific “remedies”, and, like “Dr. Phil,” became famous by appearing on Oprah’s show—always a bad thing on the c.v. (for credibility, not for wealth!). A physician I know told me that he considers at […]


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