Category Archives: medicine

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 […]

Wellcome Image Awards for 2015

Wellcome Images, a famous and extensive source of medical and biological imagery, held a contest for the best biological/medical photos of 2014, and you can see the twenty winning images in a slideshow at the link just above. I’ll show just four, with one of them having an accompanying video. I prefer the non-medical ones, but by […]

Jimmy Kimmel musters doctors supporting vaccination

As far as I know, every commenter on this site is in favor of vaccinating children, but it’s still worthwhile to watch this video in which late-night host Jimmy Kimmel criticizes anti-vaxers, and, at the end, pulls out a bunch of real doctors who use some salty language to criticize those opposing vaccination. The doctors are […]

My New Republic piece on faith-healing laws

I guess I’ve developed a side hobby of writing about laws that exempt parents from prosecution after they’ve hurt or killed their kids by rejecting scientific medicine in favor of faith healing. But it really angers me, for it’s a tangible case of harm that’s not only caused by religious faith (or faith in woo), but […]

McMaster University’s disgusting apologia in the Makayla Sault case

If you’re a complete n00b here, we’ve been following the story of Makayla Sault, a Canadian First Nations girl who died of leukemia at the age of 11 because her parents decided to abandon the live-saving chemotherapy and try “traditional” cures, including the traditional Aboriginal cure of visiting the Hippocrates Quack Health Institute in Florida […]

More on the Makayla Sault affair: mother tries to exculpate herself by pinning her child’s death on her child’s wishes

I’ve posted several times on the Makayla Sault affair, in which an 11-year-old Canadian First Nations child, stricken with leukemia, was allowed by the government and child protective services to stop her chemotherapy treatment (which in all likelihood would have cured her) in favor of “traditional” medicine—said medicine including a visit to the quackish Hippocrates […]


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