Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Apr 24, 2012 Debt Collector Is Faulted for Tough Tactics in Hospitals
QUOTE: Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside. This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation’s largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.
New York Times Mar 20, 2012 Generic Drugs Proving Resistant to Damage Suits
QUOTE: Across the country, dozens of lawsuits against generic pharmaceutical companies are being dismissed because of a Supreme Court decision last year that said the companies did not have control over what their labels said and therefore could not be sued for failing to alert patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Now, what once seemed like a trivial detail — whether to take a generic or brand-name drug — has become the deciding factor in whether a patient can seek legal recourse from a drug company.
New York Times Feb 28, 2012 Virginia Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill as Other States Take Notice
QUOTE: Changing course after an unwelcome national uproar, the Virginia Senate adopted a revised bill on Tuesday that still requires doctors to perform an ultrasound on women before they have an abortion, but also says that women cannot be forced to have an invasive vaginal ultrasound....The Senate vote came after a bitter debate in which Democrats pleaded with the body not to adopt a bill that they said remained — even with the changes — demeaning to women and insulting to doctors.
New York Times Feb 11, 2012 Dishonest doctors: Why physicians lie
QUOTE: although two-thirds of doctors agree they should share serious medical errors with their patients, one-third did not completely agree. Nearly two-fifths of the respondents said they did not disclose their financial relationships with drug and device companies. And more than 55% of physicians said they often or sometimes described a patient's prognosis in a more positive manner than the facts might support.
CNN (Cable News Network) Nov 30, 2011 Patient sues dentist over gag order, gets Medical Justice to backtrack
QUOTE: A patient has filed a class-action lawsuit against his New York dentist over her attempts to use copyright law to gag the patient's online reviews of her services. Robert Lee, who recently moved to Maryland, has asked a New York federal court to declare that his comments are protected under copyright's fair use doctrine, that the dentist's attempts to gag him breach dental ethics, and that the "privacy agreement" the patient was forced to sign is invalid and illegal under New York law.
Ars Technica Jun 30, 2011 Would your doctor pay for wasted time? (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: In years gone by, doctors would likely have scoffed at the suggestion they reimburse patients for time spent waiting. But Farstad's doctor sent her a check for $100, the full amount she requested, and some tardy doctors tell CNN they give patients money (or a gift) before the patient even asks.
CNN (Cable News Network) May 21, 2011 Our Irrational Fear of Forgetting
QUOTE: The mere whiff of perceived memory loss can have terrible consequences in an insecure economy in which midlife workers are regularly (and illegally) laid off on account of their age. This epidemic of anxiety around memory loss is so strong that many older adults seek help for the kind of day-to-day forgetfulness that once was considered normal.
New York Times May 27, 2010 In Ultrasound, Abortion Fight Has New Front
QUOTE: With backing from anti-abortion groups, which argue that sonograms can help persuade women to preserve pregnancies, 20 states have enacted laws that encourage or require the use of ultrasound....“You don’t just walk into one of these places like you’re getting your nails done,” she said. “I think we’re armed with enough information to make adult decisions without being emotionally tortured.”
New York Times May 27, 2010 Pediatricians now reject all female genital cutting
QUOTE: The American Academy of Pediatrics has rescinded a controversial policy statement raising the idea that doctors in some communities should be able to substitute demands for female genital cutting with a harmless clitoral "pricking" procedure.
CNN (Cable News Network) Oct 10, 2009 The Gift of Life, and Its Price (21st Century Babies)
QUOTE: While IVF creates thousands of new families a year, an increasing number of the newborns are twins, and they carry special risks often overlooked in the desire to produce babies.
New York Times Oct 05, 2009 Power to the Patients: The mantra has always been: Doctor Knows Best. But consumers need to seize control of their own health care. And they can, thanks to advances in science and technology.
QUOTE: Doctors and patients alike are accustomed to the firmly entrenched Doctor Knows Best status quo. But it is only by empowering patients... that health care can be made significantly more efficient and effective.
Atlantic Online, The (Atlantic Monthly) Sep 15, 2009 Where Cancer Progress Is Rare, One Man Says No (Forty Years' War)
QUOTE: cancer has proven difficult to crack, leading to frustration among executives and advocates who wonder why the Food and Drug Administration is not approving more drugs.
New York Times Sep 12, 2009 In Africa, Courts Shape Views on AIDS: Rulings Hold Power To Ease or Deepen Stigma of Disease
QUOTE: As African countries still struggle to control the deadly AIDS epidemic, they are also grappling with debates over what rights and duties to give those living with the disease...
Washington Post Sep 03, 2009 When Patient Handoffs Go Terribly Wrong (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Physicians who are signing out may inadvertently omit information, such as the rationale for a certain antibiotic or a key piece of the patient’s surgical history. And doctors who are receiving the information may not assume the same level of responsibility for the care of that patient.
New York Times Aug 31, 2009 PSA Test: More Harm Than Good? Study: 1 Million Men Suffered Needless Treatment After Prostate Cancer Test
QUOTE: The PSA prostate cancer screening test does more harm than good, a new study suggests.
WebMD Aug 26, 2009 Study Finds Radiation Risk for Patients
QUOTE: At least four million Americans under age 65 are exposed to high doses of radiation each year from medical imaging tests, according to a new study...
New York Times Aug 25, 2009 In a flu pandemic, what can the government do to you? A report by the Centers for Disease Control, released Tuesday, raises concern about Washington’s potential response to the H1N1 virus.
QUOTE: Since 9/11, pandemic planning has taken a more authoritarian tone that harks back to the pre-vaccine days of forced quarantines during outbreaks, according to an American Civil Liberties Union report...
Christian Science Monitor Aug 24, 2009 Research Trove: Patients’ Online Data
QUOTE: Several private companies are now collecting patient data and genetic information online to use in recruiting patients for clinical trials, conducting research internally or to sell to drug and biotechnology companies.
New York Times Aug 24, 2009 Bioethicist Becomes a Lightning Rod for Criticism
QUOTE: The debate over [White House health care advisor] Dr. [Ezekiel J. Emanuel] shows how subtle philosophical arguments that have long bedeviled bioethicists are being condensed, oversimplified and distorted in the griddle-hot health care debate.
New York Times Aug 24, 2009 Dialysis treatment in USA: High costs, high death rates
QUOTE: Although the USA spends more per dialysis patient than other countries, that does not result in higher survival rates or even, many argue, a better quality of life.
USA TODAY Aug 17, 2009 Diabetes Case Shows Pitfalls of Treatment Rules
QUOTE: setting [healthcare] guidelines that are good for every patient, it turns out, can get messy, with some experts warning that a big national plan of this sort poses risks.
New York Times Aug 06, 2009 Who’s to Blame for a Missed Diagnosis? (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Diagnostic failures, or diagnoses that are delayed or in error, are an increasingly popular topic of research in patient safety.
New York Times Aug 02, 2009 Lack of Study Volunteers Hobbles Cancer Fight ("Forty Years' War" part 4)
QUOTE: There are more than 6,500 cancer clinical trials seeking adult patients, according to clinicaltrials.gov... But many will be abandoned along the way. More than one trial in five sponsored by the National Cancer Institute failed to enroll a single subject, and only half reached the minimum needed for a meaningful result Dr. [Scott] Ramsey and his colleague John Scoggins reported...
New York Times Jul 31, 2009 Doctors Reap Benefits By Doing Own Tests
QUOTE: A host of studies and reports by academics and the federal government shows that physicians who own scanners order many more scans than those who do not. As a result, Americans pay billions of dollars in extra taxes and insurance premiums.
Washington Post Jul 30, 2009 Does your child need ADHD drugs? (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: Does my child really need drugs for ADHD, and if so, is there a point when he or she should stop taking them?...Because drug companies tend to give samples for only the most expensive drugs, once the samples run out, you'll end up paying more than if your child had been prescribed a generic drug.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 28, 2009 Perils of the professional lab rat
QUOTE: Now some health researchers and bioethicists are expressing concern at the way socially and financially vulnerable people are being drawn to careers... as guinea pigs in phase I clinical trials.
New Scientist Jul 16, 2009 Bridging the Culture Gap (Doctor and Patient)
QUOTE: Clinicians who are unaware of cultural influences may not only miss important medical implications for a patient but can also inadvertently exacerbate an often already tenuous therapeutic relationship.
New York Times Jul 16, 2009 When doctors can't say 'no' (Empowered Patient)
QUOTE: Experts on doctor behavior said physicians often have a tough time saying no to requests from a patient -- even when the patient isn't a celebrity.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 14, 2009 Veterans' facilities fall short in women's treatment standards
QUOTE: Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities do not consistently offer the level of services and infrastructure necessary to properly treat the growing number of female veterans, a government investigation concludes.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 09, 2009 The Next Hacking Frontier: Your Brain?
QUOTE: as neural devices become more complicated — and go wireless — some scientists say the risks of “brain hacking” should be taken seriously.
Wired Jun 27, 2009 No news can be bad news with medical test results
QUOTE: In a study, one of 14 patients with troubling lab results on routine blood and screening tests were not notified.
Los Angeles Times Jun 25, 2009 Big Health Firms Underpay Claims
QUOTE: Congressional investigators have discovered that large health insurers in every region of the country are relying on faulty databases to underpay millions of valid insurance claims.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Jun 20, 2009 At V.A. Hospital, a Rogue Cancer Unit
QUOTE: For patients with prostate cancer, it is a common surgical procedure: a doctor implants dozens of radioactive seeds to attack the disease. But when Dr. Gary D. Kao treated one patient at the veterans’ hospital in Philadelphia, his aim was more than a little off. Most of the seeds... landed in the patient’s healthy bladder... It was a serious mistake, and under federal rules, regulators investigated. But Dr. Kao, with their consent, made his mistake all but disappear.
New York Times Jun 01, 2009 With deep brain stimulation, experts want to tread carefully
QUOTE: With the flurry of tests being done on deep brain stimulation for a variety of conditions, some warn that the field is moving too fast.
Los Angeles Times May 25, 2009 Referral System Turns Patients Into Commodities
QUOTE: Physician-to-physician referrals are the currency of day-to-day transactions in medicine, but as with any currency, they can be manipulated.
New York Times May 21, 2009 'Miracle drug' called junk science: Powerful castration drug pushed for autistic children, but medical experts denounce unproven claims
QUOTE: Desperate to help their autistic children, hundreds of parents nationwide are turning to an unproven and potentially damaging treatment: multiple high doses of a drug sometimes used to chemically castrate sex offenders.
Chicago Tribune May 08, 2009 For Gay Couples, Obstacles to Health Insurance (Patient Money)
QUOTE: “For the vast majority of gay couples,” she [Mary Jo Hudson, director of the Ohio Department of Insurance] said, “getting health insurance for a domestic partner is still a challenge.”
New York Times May 06, 2009 Government Reports Criticize Health Care System
QUOTE: Two annual government reports released Wednesday show that progress in improving the quality of health care and narrowing health disparities among ethnic groups remains agonizingly slow, and that patient safety may actually be declining.
New York Times Mar 06, 2009 Sniffle While You Work: Why doctors go to work sick
QUOTE: there's another reason [why people become infected in a hospital], which no one who works in a hospital likes to talk about: Doctors tend to show up to work sick.
Slate Oct 21, 2008 Being Difficult: For Some Patients, It's a Coping Mechanism
QUOTE: "I tried being the 'good patient,' " said Mayer, who until illness forced her to retire was an assistant research professor in the school of public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Becoming difficult -- some, she said, might call it "empowered" -- was her "natural reaction" to doctors who were "incompetent, rude or domineering."
Washington Post May 11, 2008 System of Neglect (Careless Detention): As Tighter Immigration Policies Strain Federal Agencies, The Detainees in Their Care Often Pay a Heavy Cost
QUOTE: Federal officials who oversee immigration detention said last week that they are "committed to ensuring the safety and well-being" of everyone in their custody. Some 83 detainees have died in, or soon after, custody during the past five years. The deaths are the loudest alarms about a system teetering on collapse.
Washington Post Mar 31, 2008 Addicted doctors still treat patients
QUOTE: A study by the Federation of State Physician Health Programs found about one percent of all physicians practicing in the United States are in confidential treatment....Five audits since 1982 found a string of failures. In some cases physicians appointed people who work for them as their monitors. In other cases doctors could easily know in advance when a "random" drug test was going to take place.
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 03, 2008 Despite City Law, Few Assisted Living Centers Licensed
QUOTE: Most assisted living centers in the District have not been licensed or inspected eight years after the D.C. Council mandated government oversight of the facilities ...As a result, consumer advocates say, some of the District's most vulnerable residents have been left at greater potential risk for abuse and neglect...
Washington Post Dec 16, 2007 Doctor Ratings Revised (Health Costs)
QUOTE: Several health-insurance companies have recently agreed to improve their existing or planned ratings of physicians....Ratings by some insurers have come under fire for giving top scores to doctors who cost the least -- but who are not necessarily the best in quality or the ones handling the most complex cases. In some plans, there are financial incentives for members to pick high-scoring doctors for their care.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Nov 27, 2007 Lawyers step up to help veterans gratis
QUOTE: The approach marks the first time since the Civil War that attorneys have been recruited in large numbers to represent veterans. The lawyers hope their legal expertise will speed consideration of claims and result in better benefits for veterans, Stichman says.
USA TODAY Nov 14, 2007 The New Face of HIV: Women make up a growing percentage of new cases, so why are so many doctors still treating it like it's only a male disease?
QUOTE: Yet, even as rates climb among women, health advocates say that many doctors still talk about HIV as if it's a male disease. Some fear that infected women, particularly those in monogomous relationships, may not be tested promptly, delaying diagnosis, because health practitioners view them as atypical patients
Newsweek Nov 13, 2007 A Soldier Home From War, and a Mother Fighting Hard
QUOTE: Don’t even get her started on the doctors, she said. She has tried on her own to get information from them, only to “get the runaround.” “They acknowledge he has the shrapnel in his body, but he has to prove that it came from Iraq,” she said. “That’s where I blow a gasket. Prove? How’s he going to prove that?”
New York Times Sep 10, 2007 Va. Studies Directives Giving the Mentally Ill A Say in Their Care
QUOTE: a legal document known as a psychiatric advance directive, which is designed to instruct health-care professionals, family members and friends about how mentally ill patients are to be cared for when they are incapacitated....In some states the instructions can be revoked by someone going through a psychotic crisis, and in some cases doctors can override a patient's wishes. In addition, some say the documents promote inequality and discrimination by highlighting a mental illness apart from broader health issues...
Washington Post Jul 06, 2007 FDA Delay In Cancer Therapy Is Attacked
QUOTE: The debate over Provenge illustrates the highly charged atmosphere that often surrounds new treatments as the desperation of deathly ill patients increasingly converges with the high-stakes intensity of biotech investing in the anything-goes forum of the Internet.
Washington Post Jul 01, 2007 Why can't you buy a kidney to save your life? A growing legal movement to recognize a new fundamental right -- 'medical self-defense' -- could bring jarring social changes
QUOTE: There is a growing push in medical, legislative, and legal circles -- both liberal and conservative -- to recognize an expansive new right that some are describing as "medical self-defense." .... A potential landmark case ... could make access to unapproved drugs a full-blown constitutional right.
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