I think George Carlin was on the mark when he said there are no rights. If a country can imprison its own citizens (as in the Japanese internment camps during WWII) with no due process, there are no rights.
So where does that leave health care?
I think the word "dignity" is more apropos than "right" when it comes to health care. The ability to see a doctor, to have a hospital nearby, to have a pharmacy nearby with good medicines and a skilled pharmacist, these are human dignities.
A lot of fire and brimstone coming down from Reuters by way of Dr. Otis Brawley of American Cancer Society today, concerning the off-label use of experimental cancer treatment.
The quote from Dr. Brawley was that "many of these drugs end up not being the tremendous improvement that we hoped they would be," and certainly I share his frustration in the slow pace of innovation in the cancer research arena. We have precious little innovation to show for the billions of dollars devoted yearly to cancer research.
However you feel about the guy, you gotta admit "You Don't Know Jack" was a well-done movie.
Certainly Jack Kevorkian is a controversial guy, and there are strong opinions on either side.
I can imagine they'll be watching this movie in "Medical Ethics" classes in med schools for years.
We saw breathless coverage of the "artificial life" story, with people proclaiming that a new era of biology had started. Even today, Venter is quoted as saying they transformed one cell into another.
So the announcement that researchers have survival improvement with a new drug, cabazitaxel, is pretty exciting for us oncologists.
It's easy to become discouraged, but once in a while we get something to be happy about. Today is one of those moments.
It's funny how the news cycle can turn regular people just doing their jobs into overnight celebrities.
The Chile quake, obviously, is a huge catastrophe, and it will be days before we fully understand the magnitude of the damage. As a resident of a quake-prone part of the world, I commiserate with residents near Santiago.
I have to admit it, I took it a little personally when David Snow, the CEO of Medco, took a swipe at doctors in early 2009. He was quoted in WSJ as saying he has no patience for doctors who think they know better than guidelines. “I have no patience for a doctor who says, ‘I’m above it all, I don’t want to practice cookboo
I didn't think it was too newsworthy that a Harvard prof stepped down from academic medicine to give lectures full time for industry.
I did think it interesting that Daniel Carlat, a psychiatrist and prominent blogger, called up the Harvard prof's foundation and tried to interview his wife (she hung up on him).
If that's not chutzpah, I don't know what is.
Way to go, Dr. Dan. The muckrakers of the 1920s and '30s would be proud of you.