A terminal patient loses a right-to-food case in the UK
"The General Medical Council has won its appeal against a ruling which gave a seriously-ill patient the right to stop doctors withdrawing food and drink.

Leslie Burke, 45, who has a degenerative brain condition, fears artificial nutrition could be stopped against his wishes when he cannot talk.

Mr Burke, from Lancaster, had won a landmark ruling, supporting ...


A study about perioperative beta-blockers came out in the NEJM. Here are some articles showing divergent headlines:

Study: Beta Blockers Don't Help All

Beta blockers don't help people with low heart risk after surgery

Beta blockers and surgery not a good mix?

Cardio Drugs May Prevent Surgery-Linked Heart Attack

Here is the real conclusion:

Perioperative beta-blocker therapy is associated with a reduced ...


Women may be undergoing unnecessary diagnostic imaging and breast biopsies because radiologists are worried about medical malpractice suits
"The recommendation rates for additional testing after a screening mammogram are much higher in the United States than in other countries. However, Dr. Elmore said previous studies have shown that a higher recall rate does not necessarily result in higher cancer detection rates."

No surprise given the risk of reading ...


A hospital has apologised after it sent out an appointment to a man who died 12 years ago

A product designed to screen for acute coronary syndrome and PE
"BreathQuant Medical Systems, Inc. is pleased to announce the worldwide launch of its revolutionary PREtest Consult product. The product utilizes a large database of patients with known outcomes to determine the likelihood that a patient presenting to an emergency department or clinic has a life threatening disease.

The risk score generated by this test aids physicians in ...


Medgadget reports the news before the company is ready to release its press release
That's impressively current.

Forbes gives their yearly take on the best medical blogs
Congrats to all that were included. My new blog, Straightfromthedoc, was also mentioned. (via A Chance to Cut . . .)

Presidential ambitions: The Governor of Massachusetts vetos the morning-after pill
"Mr. Romney's decision will probably have little effect on the measure itself, which passed by veto-proof margins in both houses of the legislature. But it could affect how he is viewed by voters outside Massachusetts should he run for president in 2008, a course he is considering.

Indeed, national conservative groups, which play a critical role in races ...


The Health Care Blog summarizes the recent controversies with chronic pain management
"And finally, why has the AMA not gotten involved? This is a national medical disgrace (so much so that my venerable surgeon father has sent money to William Hurwitz MD's appeal fund)." (via DB's Medical Rants)

Pharyngula hosts this week's Grand Rounds
Come get the weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

Complex patient, simple solution
The latest interesting case from the NY Times.

Immigrants in the United States receive less than half the health-care services than do native-born Americans
"Our study lays to rest the myth that expensive care for immigrants is responsible for our nation's high health costs . . . The truth is that immigrants get far less care than other Americans. Further restricting their eligibility for care would save little money and place many immigrants-particularly children-at grave risk. Already, many ...


A rural hospital is fighting with a doctor . . . and losing
"The only hospital in Nashville is teetering on bankruptcy largely because, some say, it picked a fight with the wrong man: a popular local doctor, who now is referring his patients to hospitals in St. Louis and elsewhere.

Like many small-town hospitals, Washington County Hospital scrapes for every dime, and the grudge match with Dr. Thomas ...


Man faints, dies after seeing an epidural: The wife is suing the hospital
"A California woman is suing a hospital for wrongful death because her husband fainted and suffered a fatal injury after helping delivery room staff give her a pain-killing injection.

Jeanette Passalaqua, 32, filed the suit against Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Southern California Permanente Medical Group Inc. in San Bernardino County state court last week.

In ...


The fatal flaw of Medicare's fee-for-service reimbursement system
"In Medicare's upside-down reimbursement system, hospitals and doctors who order unnecessary tests, provide poor care or even injure patients often receive higher payments than those who provide efficient, high-quality medicine.

'It's the exact opposite of what you would expect,' said Mary Brainerd, chief executive officer of HealthPartners, a nonprofit health plan based in Bloomington, Minn. Her Medicare HMO ranked among the ...


Toyota is building a new plant in Canada, partly because its national health care system saves money
"Canada's other big selling point is its national health insurance system, which saves auto manufacturers large sums in benefit payments compared with their costs in the United States." (via CuriousJD)

Male physicians are more likely to prescribe antidepressant medication
"Research by the Mental Health Foundation (UK) today revealed that male GPs are far more likely to prescribe antidepressants as a first treatment response to patients with mild or moderate depression than female GPs (61 per cent, compared to 37 per cent), and are twice as likely to think them effective (43 per cent, compared to 17 per cent)."

How Hollywood depicts mental illness
"Hollywood is into crazy. Mental illness, madness, obsessive behavior, multiple personalities, schizophrenia "” you name it, it's been depicted by nearly every big star, including Robert DeNiro, Sally Field, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anthony Hopkins and Barbra Streisand."

Patients lose again: The impact of losing caps in Wisconsin
"A big spike in insurance premiums could prompt some physicians in high-risk specialties such as obstetrics, neurosurgery or trauma care to stop accepting some patients or move to a state with lower malpractice premiums, health industry officials said.

Early physician retirements are another concern, as is 'defensive medicine,' which is the ordering of unnecessary medical tests to guard against ...


Using maggots to treat diabetic foot ulcers
"For the procedure, the maggots -- about 2 millimeters each in size -- are placed on the wound, then surrounded by an adhesive foam, clear tape, and a gauze bandage.

By July 8, the maggots had swelled to twice their normal size and eaten away part of the infection. When Dowling removed the bandages two days later, Enser's foot was looking better. ...


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