Month: February 2011

Vaccination as “rape”: Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network

The Australian anti-Vaccination Network (AVN) in Australia has not been having a good time of late. First, they were smacked down by the Health Care Complaints Commission. Following a 12 month investigation into the information provided on the AVN’s website, the HCCC issued a public warning stating the AVN “pose(s) a risk to public health and safety”. The AVN was then investigated...

/ February 19, 2011

Critique of “Risk of Brain Tumors from Wireless Phone Use”

Following my recent critique here of the book Disconnect by Devra Davis, about the purported dangers of cell phones to health, David Gorski asked me to comment on a recently published “review article” on the same subject. The article is entitled “Risk of Brain Tumors from Wireless Phone Use” by Dubey et al [1] published in the J. Comput Assist Tomography. At...

/ February 18, 2011

Are you sure you’re allergic to penicillin?

As a pharmacist, when I dispense medication, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the medication is safe and appropriate for the patient. There are numerous checks we go through including verifying the dose, ensuring there are no interactions with other drugs, and verifying the patient has no history of allergy to the product prescribed. Asking about allergies is a mandatory question for...

/ February 17, 2011

Treating The Common Cold

For the last week I have had a cold. I usually get one each winter. I have two kids in school and they bring home a lot of viruses. I also work in a hospital, which tends (for some reason) to have lots of sick people. Although this year I think I caught my cold while traveling.  I’m almost over it now,...

/ February 16, 2011

Childbirth Without Pain: Are Epidurals the Answer?

Is unmedicated natural childbirth a good idea? The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) points out that There is no other circumstance in which it is considered acceptable for a person to experience untreated severe pain, amenable to safe intervention, while under a physician’s care. It is curious when an effective science-based treatment is rejected. Vaccine rejecters have been extensively discussed...

/ February 15, 2011

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet?

Why haven’t we cured cancer yet? If we can put a man on the moon, why can’t we cure cancer? If we can harness the atom, why can’t we cure cancer? How many times have you heard these questions, or variants thereof? How many times have you asked this question yourself? Sometimes, I even ask this question myself. Saturday was the two...

/ February 14, 2011

CAM on campus: Black History Month

I emerge from the haze of board exams and residency interviews to blog about a recent development on campus that disappointed me, involving a university celebration of Black History Month.

/ February 10, 2011
One weird trick to avoid the 'flu.

The Flu Vaccine and Narcolepsy

Preliminary evidence has linked the flu vaccine to narcolepsy in several Scandinavian countries. Is the link real? What could be the mechanism?

/ February 9, 2011

Ear Infections: To Treat or Not to Treat

Ear infections used to be a devastating problem. In 1932, acute otitis media (AOM) and its suppurative complications accounted for 27% of all pediatric admissions to Bellevue Hospital. Since the introduction of antibiotics, it has become a much less serious problem. For decades it was taken for granted that all children with AOM should be given antibiotics, not only to treat the...

/ February 8, 2011
Clint Eastwood, "the good"; in this metaphor, the abandonment of research on the most spurious of pseudoscience.

The NCCAM Strategic Plan 2011-2015: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The NCCAM has a new strategic plan that involves funding good science on meaningful topics, which is good. But it's still talking about nonsense like reiki, which is bad, and mixing it with real, scientifically proven treatments, which is ugly.

/ February 7, 2011