Grand Rounds takes on a surgical flavor this week
Come get your weekly best of the medical blogosphere.

A health care company fires employees for smoking - even if the smoking occurs at home or after hours - to shield the firm from high health care costs

The Bioethics Discussion Blog agrees with the Supreme Court in the Schiavo case
"The behavior of the family, after all the legal and ethical decisions were made to allow patient autonomy through the substituted judgment of a legal surrogate, the husband, appears to be solely in the family's own self-interest. And this behavior is wrong."

"The arthritis drug Reminyl is being investigated by regulators in the wake of a recent trial that showed that patients taking the drug suffered three times the death rate."

Too bad that Reminyl is a drug for Alzheimer's disease, not arthritis.

More evidence that Merck was in denial about Vioxx's cardiac risks
"Merck forced one of its researchers to remove her name from a study linking Vioxx to heart attacks, then criticized the findings before ultimately pulling the arthritis drug from the market last fall, two of the scientistÂ’s colleagues said."

Corporate naming rights are starting to spread to hospitals
Many stadiums in the country have already lost their identity to corporations - think Gillette Stadium, the FleetCenter, Heinz Field, Lincoln Financial Field etc. Now hospitals are getting into the act:

Already several hospitals have sold corporate naming rights. There is Hasbro Children's Hospital at Rhode Island Hospital, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital at Robert ...


How to keep medical liability in the news
"Doctors want to keep the issue alive in hopes that lawmakers ultimately will pass the reforms physicians believe will help stabilize the professional liability market. That means that in a day and age when the public and the media devour one topic and quickly move on to the next, doctors must have a strategy for keeping their several-year-old issue from becoming a ...


The malpractice premium shock is a little less in Texas and Mississippi
No surprise that both states have caps on noneconomic damages.

"There is a proliferation of media and plaintiffs' lawyers pounding the pavement and saying there is no crisis. We need to stop that discussion, acknowledge there is a problem and work for a realistic solution."
That was said by a lawyer. It's encouraging to see that some attorneys are seeing the light.

The NY Times writes about the rise and fall of body-scanning clinics
This has pleasantly caught me by surprise as well. I'm happy that patients are doing the right thing and not getting these useless scans, despite the ceaseless amount of DTC advertising (via Faughnan's Notes).

Winter wonderland

Just thought I'd share some pictures of this historic storm hitting New England. The National Weather Service is calling this "a potentially life threatening situation for those who venture out during the height of the storm this morning".

I've been watching a lot of football lately (go Patriots!), and of course, I've been seeing a lot of those Levitra ads. I have always found that the warning near the end of the commercial strangely comical. I'm sure you've all heard it:

In the rare case an erection lasts for more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention.
I've seen some articles refer to this as "the warning ...


Drug ads are amongst the fastest growing segments of online advertising

Does knuckle-cracking lead to arthritis?

This doctor throws the evidence behind screening tests out the window
Dr Thomas Stuttaford defies the evidence and offers the following tests for routine screening:

Annual haematology, biochemistry, blood pressure "every time a patient visits a doctor, even when you're in for flu," annual resting and exercise electrocardiograms, electron beam cardiac scanning, annual mammography, prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing, computerised body mole mapping, and ophthalmoscopy"”all are on his long list.
He ...


Medical Economics takes a detailed look at physician pay-for-performance, calling it a "double-edged sword"

It's too bad Naproxen is being lumped in with the COX-2s. Its data is so preliminary, it may not even be statistically significant. I guess physicians aren't taking any chances.

A mistrial has been declared in a medical malpractice trial after the doctor being sued rushed to the aid of a juror who collapsed

I'll take another shot at DTC marketing
"The two popular painkillers Vioxx and Celebrex, heavily marketed as 'super-aspirin', were prescribed for millions of patients who did not need them or should not have taken them, researchers said on Friday.

'We found a rapid, nationwide shift away from older, inexpensive drugs with better established safety and efficacy to newer, costly drugs with no real history,' said study author G. Caleb ...


Anabolic steroids were listed as books on eBay

"'Until you brought this to our attention, it wasnÂ’t getting as close a look as it should have,' said Rob Chestnut, an eBay vice president, former federal prosecutor and the companyÂ’s point man on rules enforcement. 'They were titling it as a book and we were missing it. ThatÂ’s our bad.'"

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