Would doctors sue if a loved one were injured by malpractice?

NEJM - There is no clear benefit from giving calcium pills to healthy post-menopausal women:

In the new study, the participants were randomly assigned to take 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 400 international units of vitamin D a day, or to take placebos, and were followed for seven years. Researchers looked for effects on bone density, fractures and colorectal cancer. The lack of an effect on colorectal cancer over ...

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PhRMA on drug samples:

According to Johnson, restricting the free samples given to doctors would be "unfortunate and could negatively affect patients who rely upon the $16 billion worth of medicines distributed each year," which "often serve as a safety net." He added, "We believe that pharmaceutical companies should not offer or provide anything to doctors that would interfere with the independence of their prescribing practices," but, "[c]learly, pharmaceutical marketing ...

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When a hospital puts profits before quality:

It seems that Dr Carmody's practice has not generated as much revenue for the hospital, as the Physician Services had hoped, by this time.

NorthCrest Medical Center has a reputation in surrounding communities, of not having quality physicians.

Perhaps they should look closely at what may be one of the reasons. Maybe they should consider trying to keep quality doctors ...

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Some are calling for a free-market in organ donation:

Two US doctors have suggested the sale of organs such as kidneys should be legalised to meet the rising demand.

They said bids to increase the donor pool were failing, and a black market in organ sales was booming.

Writing in Kidney International the pair said, while it remained a taboo, legalisation should be considered.

A pilot study is testing whether abortions at home are safe:

In a medical abortion, a woman takes a tablet of the drug mifepristone under supervision before returning two days later to take four pills of misoprostol which leads to a termination within a few hours.

The pilot project in southern England represents the first time staff have offered the service outside a hospital setting.

How the Vioxx litigation is pushing around the NEJM:

Earlier Monday, Dr. Gregory Curfman, executive editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, said there had been a connection between the first federal Vioxx trial in Houston and the timing of his journal's publication of an editorial critical of a study used as evidence in that trial, reversing earlier statements . . .

. . . Curfman said the ...

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The first doctor who treated the Cheney gunshot victim wanted to send him home:

According to the afternoon daily, located about 60 miles from the shooting site, the first doctor to treat Whittington immediately after the Saturday shooting contended that his wounds were superficial and not in need of further hospitalization.

"If it were just a normal citizen, he would have sent him home with antibiotics," said Ofelia Hunter, ...

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A useful cancer drug, where cost is prohibitive:

Doctors are excited about the prospect of Avastin, a drug already widely used for colon cancer, as a crucial new treatment for breast and lung cancer, too. But doctors are cringing at the price the maker, Genentech, plans to charge for it: about $100,000 a year.

This plaintiff's hired gun blew up in their faces:

Testifying for the plaintiff was Dr. Chadwick Smith, professor of arthritic surgery at the University of Southern California and a world-renowned practitioner and expert in orthopedic surgery.

"The standard of care was not met," Dr. Smith had said under oath "This patient is much worse after the operation."

Dr. Smith testified in court under questioning from Fitzgibbons that he ...

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A doctor and a lawyer debate malpractice. Surprise, they disagree:

Medical malpractice costs less than 2 percent of overall health care spending in the United States, according to the Congressional Budget Office's 2004 report "Limiting Tort Liability for Medical Malpractice."

"Anything you do in the legal system you can't make much of a difference as for the cost of medicine," Corson said.

When politicians think they know more about medicine than doctors:

Last week, Colleges and Universities Minister Chris Bentley announced plans to train an extra 104 doctors at several universities, including the University of Ottawa, over the next few years at a cost of $20.8 million.

Ironically, the government is now trying to address a doctor shortage that was deliberately created by governments in Ontario and across Canada just over ...

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Following up on the story that kimchi helps halt bird flu, comes the kimchi air conditioner:

The new air conditioner filters the air through a chemical mix that includes an enzyme extracted from kimchi, which is reportedly capable of eliminating the H5N1 virus.

Doctors respond to Mitch Albom's long wait for a lab test:

Forty-five minutes for a blood test! Outrageous, disrespectful, unfair and a waste of time. Mitch Albom should shift his medical care elsewhere -- unless, of course, he has no choice, like the 1.5 million Michiganders who are either underinsured or uninsured. Or maybe he has Medicaid, which reimburses only 39 cents on the dollar charged, or Medicare, which ...

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20 percent of people with chronic pain do not seek help.

Behold the official New York City condom:

The city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced plans on Monday to release an official city condom "with unique packaging" in the coming months, the idea being both to promote safe sex and to allow the department to track more easily who uses the million condoms it gives away each month.

The recently publicized mortality-predictor questionnaire: "Do not try this at home."

Another possible use for it is in future pay-for-performance initiatives:

The researchers think their mortality predictor might be a useful tool in the "pay for performance" trend that is part of the nation's health care system. Medicare and other insurers are increasingly basing reimbursement rates on how patients fare, said Covinsky.

"One health plan can look ...

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Did the AMA bow to Congressional pressure on pay-for-performance? Yes, according to these two memos:

By the end of 2007, physician groups will have developed performance measures to cover a majority of Medicare spending for physician services.
Here is a link to their previous stance.

An ER physician talks defensive medicine.

So it makes me a little crazy when it's claimed that doctors aren't motivated by fear of lawsuits -- we are. Now if you want to claim that the overall fraction of healthcare dollars spent on defensive practice is low -- 1-2% of all spending -- I might agree with that. But bear in mind that the healthcare expenses in the US are ...

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Drug reps in the UK took physicians out to strip clubs.

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