Posts tagged ‘medicine’
Written by Lewis D. Eigen
With all the histrionics over Health Care Reform, throughout the entire process, it was easy to miss some of the very important issues of the debate. One, in particular, got entirely lost for a very interesting set of reasons. It was the Bigness issue. But there was hardly a Republican who did not complain about Bigness. It was mentioned hundreds of times each day throughout the more than a year of debate. How could it be lost?
It was “lost in plain site”. There are few citizens who do not know that one of the criticisms of the Health Care Reform Bill was that there would be a large, centralized, system running American Health Care instead of the smaller decentralized status quo. But very few people indeed can recall any discussion of WHY bigness would be bad–for our health delivery system and for the nation. That is what was missed. And that is where the Republican political tacticians could have done a much better job.. In their choice of tactics to defeat Health Care Reform, they failed to communicate and explain the, admittedly complex, issue of Bigness in American history and public policy. Had they done so, Health Reform probably still would still have passed, but it might look quite different from the present law. This article is the first of a series that discusses what the debate missed: Why bigness in our nation’s health system might not be very good. (more…)
The opponents of embryonic stem cell research have received a major setback in their arguments. New research has just shown that the alternatives that they advocated are not only not equivalent, but are decidedly inferior for the major purpose of the research–creating specialized human and animal replacement cells.
One argument against the use of Embryonic stem cells for research, in addition to the quasi moral one of using potential life forms, is that it is unnecessary because there is a scientific method of taking normal cells and treating them in the laboratory in such as way as to make them “pluripotent.” This is the property that allows the embryonic stem cell to transform into any other kind of cell. This of course is just what makes the embryonic stem cell so desirable as a research tool. And the new research shows that the alternatives are inferior–they die rapidly! (more…)
A dialogue of two Tunisian senior government officials, both Western educated, regarding the problem of modernizing the rural, desert South of the country where religious Islamic fundamentalism and the desert cultural tradition are major obstacles. The modernity, and relatively successful development of the country, with no oil or other natural resources, compared to other Arab countries is historically, culturally and politically explained in this insightful dialogue.
Public Health Versus Private Health: The Coming Battle: 1. The Difference Has Little to do With Government and the Private Sector.
There are two groups of professionals in our nation’s health system. They are the medical providers who treat us advise us about our health. Then there are the public health professionals who develop the tools to prevent disease and create the protocols and recomendations for the treating professionals to use. On most issues, the two groups are in synch and each appreciates the other. But more and more, there are conflicts that result from each group looking at the same data and research, but doing so with a different perspective This article explains the differences between the two types of critical health professionals, and explains why they sometimes disagree and why they are BOTH RIGHT. The recent battle of the breast cancer screening recomendations is used to explain this critically imporant conflcit. Additional articles in this series will suggest ways we as health consumers can make sense of these conflicts, and how our political structure can cope with what often appear to be irreconcilable differences but are not really diametrically opposite.
America produces the most scientific contributions to the world, but the science is not usually done by Americans.
The United States generates more scientific studies than any country of the world and more than the rest of the world put together. We also produce more of the critical breakthrough research than the rest of the world. However, over half of all the scientists working in America are foreign born. Many become Americans, but they did not start out that way. The main reason is the FAIRNESS of much of the American system of allocating research money–a fiarness as this article will explain that does not take place to the same degree anywhere else in the world.