He calls out the media coverage:

We are moving into deeply sexist territory. How close are we to saying that prostitutes deserve to be murdered, or that women who get drunk, or wear fashionable clothes deserve to get raped? The boundaries between risk, foolishness and 'just desserts' become blurred.

Graham points out a fundamental flaw:

It's the classic issue with human nature"”we're much more likely to invest in things that provide relief or help for the present, but we're not as good with short-term pain, long-term gain. (Often we have enough trouble just getting patients to take their meds, let alone maintain some sort of "health URL.")

John Mack is on the case:

Once again, like the Lunesta bAdword, these ads appear to violate FDA regulations regarding DTC advertising; namely, that whenever an Rx brand name and its indication are mentioned in the same ad, fair balance or the brief summary of the package insert must also be included. Generally, on the Internet, that means a direct link to the package insert. There is no such ...

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Emily DeVoto:

I'd say elements of both criticisms are true, but both also lack nuance. The federal government actually has a fair amount of experience measuring quality, as evidenced by HHS' Hospital Compare; whether such measurement translates into improvement remains to be seen. Regarding Heritage, we know that when physicians are entirely left to their own devices, non-evidence-based care can result. However, requiring levels of 100% compliance for given ...

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Milk instead of barium?

Milk tastes better and is significantly cheaper. A small study suggests little clinical difference for X-rays.

Sealed settlements

Confidentiality agreements are keeping malpractice settlements from health-care regulators:

A lawsuit involving a Group Health doctor was improperly sealed by a King County judge. Settled for $5.5 million, the case shows up in a database used by lawyers, but only as Confidential v. Confidential. Also termed "confidential": names of county, defense lawyers, medical experts.

Patients in first-ever medical procedures are under the public microscope - whether they like it or not:

For patients involved in historic medical procedures, there's no such thing as keeping a low profile. Medicine may have advanced at just the right time to help them, but seizing the moment often means subjecting their lives, their decisions and their most intimate post-op problems to broad scrutiny. Public interest is understandable: ...

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More from the physician/grinch who performed this study:

Dr Miles Fisher, consultant physician at Glasgow Royal Infirmary said: "The image of Santa is of a round, jolly person and it is meant to be one of hilarity but if you have obesity around your tummy, then it is very bad for you.

"Before, we thought it was just not good to be overweight but now we know that ...

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Whole body CT scans

In addition to a lack of evidence-based benefit, many are downplaying the very real radiation risk. Take this typical exchange with a Florida "scan and tan" center:

Or "Come to Florida, for a scan and a tan," flashes a Web ad for HealthTest Scan Center, where a pelvic, abdomen and chest scan will set you back $895, with a heart scan thrown in.

When Tania answered the ...

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A series on hip fractures

The Boston Globe does a series on hip fractures - one of the biggest causes of mortality in the elderly.

The spider venom led to abdominal skin necrosis.

Sketchy details here, but this is what we have:

The case arose because Jessie Sturdivant suffered an aneurysm and Barrau admitted him to Parkway Regional. After a disagreement with another physician, Barrau stopped acting as coordinator for Sturdivant's care and stopped checking on the patient, the complaint said.

Sturdivant fell into a coma and died.
Not sure what the "disagreement" was. Perhaps it was an argument over ...

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Who gives this brutal verdict on complementary medicines? Orac? No, UK's first professor of complementary medicine.

Peanut allergy controversy

Is it better to hold off on exposing infants to peanuts? A new study aims to find out:

Many experts believe the current advice to parents to keep peanuts away from their babies may be making the problem worse.

In Africa, Asia and China, where peanuts are a staple food and routinely given to young children, rates of peanut allergy are lower than they are in the ...

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Luxury hospitals

If you were to get sick, these hospitals are the places to be.

NY Times' case: What to do when you don't agree with a patient's decision.

This will surely be a framework for a much larger expansion in the coming years. One point to note - this will surely be an excuse to lower fees in the future:

"Doctors and others who like pay-for-performance have to remember that it's a zero-sum game." As a result, he said, most doctors will have to accept lower fees if Medicare is to pay bonuses to the best ...

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A new entry, Cocaine, amps up the caffeine - raising health risk fears:

This year, in a study published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, a team of researchers analyzed the caffeine content of 10 popular energy drinks and found concentrations as high as 141 milligrams per 16-ounce can. While the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate the amount of caffeine in soft drinks, agency guidelines for colas ...

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. . . after their son undergoes a gender-changing procedure:

A couple whose only son underwent a sex change operation has sued a hospital for compensation and to have the surgery reversed because their "family line" was broken, a Chinese newspaper reported.
(via The Health Care Blog)

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