Robert Kennedy, Jr. is an activist, author, and attorney specializing in environmental law.  He is the son of Robert "Bobby" Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general, and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.  Kennedy is president of the board of Waterkeeper Alliance, a non-profit focused on protecting and enhancing waterways worldwide.  He has written a book about the damaging effects of vaccinations due to thimerosal, and to round ...

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This post is based on a "friend of a friend" situation. Important details have been changed to protect anonymity, but not the basic realities I want to discuss. A 49-year old man was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer about a year and a half ago. This sad situation is compounded by the fact that he was in a stable marriage with a wife and two children, ages 10 ...

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My daughter's biggest fear before starting kindergarten was would she have enough time to finish her lunch in the time allotted. Luckily, she is not a busy medical oncologist in clinic. A medical clinic is not set up for those who take their time. Modern medicine is predicated that within a fifteen-minute visit, you are expected to see the patient, address their issues, place orders, and come up with a ...

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As a presidency draws to a close, it is natural to consider the legacy it etches upon the pages of history.  For the most part, a first lady's legacy is a sidenote.  There are a few exceptions, of course.  Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Nancy Reagan come to mind.  I believe that Michelle Obama's legacy will be one of the more notable of the modern era. For better or worse, race ...

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How can a doctor resist an essay entitled, "The Sickness Unto Death?" Kierkegaard, the darkest of the bleak existentialists, begins by asking, “Is despair an excellence or a defect?” Can despair be an excellence? It is December in Oregon, the rain comes down in sheets, with only a few hours daily of half-light. Kierkegaard’s winters in 1840 Denmark must have felt a lot like this, so I press on. “In despairing over ...

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It was 1989. While alternating between NCAA basketball tournament games on broadcast television, reruns of an older version of the game show Wipeout on cable, and the 8-bit Nintendo game Top Gun, a child sat in a hospital bed in the middle of rural America wondering why he was there. All he knew was that he had a sharp pain in the left side of his chest and that couldn't ...

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At 5:07 p.m. on July 27 of last year, my pager's beep pierced the bustle of the hospital hallway: "CARDIAC ARREST. 6GS room 356 bed 2. Need cards STAT." It was only seven minutes into my first overnight call as a cardiology ("cards") fellow, and I felt like I'd received a code-dose shot of epinephrine. In a most un-doctorly manner, I sprinted up the four flights of stairs to the ward. Panting, ...

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Are physicians unruly children? That’s the attitude I see at hospital C-suite meetings. (As in, “Our doctors are protesting our new unproven proton beam therapy center. How cute! They think they know how hospitals work: Even cuter, they think their opinion matters.") Chuckles all around. That smiling dismissiveness doesn’t surprise me. Call me cynical, but when people have power over other people, they become contemptuous. And in today’s world hospital executives have that power ...

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I learned recently that the Massachusetts legislature passed the latest installment of the naturopathic licensing bill S.2335 in the final minutes of the 2016 legislative session. The bill is currently sitting on Governor Charlie Baker’s desk. He has a few days to sign the bill, which would make Massachusetts the 19th state to license naturopaths. If he does nothing, S.2335 will die from a pocket veto. Senate Bill 2335 is asking a ...

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asco-logo “So, what's your story?” I knew right away what the medical oncologist was really asking. She and I were meeting for the first time while caring for a mutual patient. While getting to know each other, she asked me if I had children; when I answered in the affirmative, she asked me, “So, what's your story?” The question meant many things ...

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