R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Here’s an intriguing letter from one John Doherty, published in the BMJ yesterday: Medical titles may well reinforce a clinical hierarchy and inculcate deference in Florida, as Kennedy writes, but such constructs are culture bound. When I worked in outback Australia the patients called me “Mate,” which is what I called them. They still wanted me to be in […]

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Homeopathy, Blacklisting, and the Misuse of Choice

It seems that homeopathy might at last be facing some serious opposition from within the NHS, with the prospect of its being blacklisted being considered. There’s any number of people who’ll be entirely on board with that. Homeopathy doesn’t work.  Of course, a lot of medicines turn out not to work, or not to work […]

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On the other hand…

… the phenomenon of apologising for the wrong thing comes alongside people taking umbrage at the wrong thing.  Last week, the BMJ ran a head-to-head feature on the “question” of whether doctors should recommend homeopathy.  This was the latest in a series of articles in which a question is posed, apparently strictly on the understanding that it’ll accommodate […]

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From the File Marked “This Can’t End Well”

… and cross-referenced with the file marked “You Wouldn’t Let It Lie”. Francesca Minerva has a paper in Bioethics in which she refers – none-too-obliquely – to the furore surrounding The Paper Of Which We Do Not Speak.  Her central claim is that there is a threat to academic freedom posed by modern communications, inasmuch […]

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Is the NIMH Turning its Back on DSM-V?

Thanks to Brian Earp for bringing this release from the US’ National Institute of Mental Health to my attention; it concerns the Institute’s decision to move away from DSM as its diagnostic tool.  DSM has been enormously successful – in terms of having established itself at the centre of psychiatry – but it has been […]

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Cochlear Implants and Minority Cultures

A bit more on the cochlear implant thing that I’ve been mentioning off and on for the past couple of months.  William Mager posted a link to something a little while ago on why some members of the deaf community are against CIs.  This attitude had always puzzled me.  Anyway, this, by Christina Hartmann, is the […]

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Passive Euthanasia: A Cri de Cœur

Don’t worry: this isn’t another instance of me yammering on about the right to die or the right to induce death. I’ve recently received a parcel; it contained a copy of this book by Leanne Bell, which happened to fall open at p 204.  On that page, you’ll find this passage: Active euthanasia involves a deliberate act […]

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