What do we do about politicians and physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation? (David Gorski) Refusal to vaccinate, a public health issue with potentially dire consequences, is being misrepresented as an issue of “freedom” by politicians like Rand Paul And Chris Christie and by antivaccine doctors like Dr. Jay Gordon, Dr. Bob Sears, and “paleo-cardiologist” Dr. Jack Wolfson. Those doctors are providing misinformed consent rather than informed consent, and it can be argued that they should lose their license.
Facing Decline and Death (Harriet Hall) Doctors, and society as a whole, have not been good at facing end-or-life issues. We warehouse our elders in nursing homes, and doctors attempt to “do everything possible” to extend the life of terminal patients, even when it causes unnecessary suffering and paradoxically shortens life. Atul Gawande’s excellent new book Being Mortal confronts the problems head-on; pointing out that many patients would rather live better than live longer. He argues for hospice, quality of life, and respect for individual wishes.
Significant Ruling Against Conversion Therapy (Steven Novella) Conversion therapy or reparative therapy claims that a normal condition (homosexuality) is a disease, and there is no credible evidence that their treatments are successful in changing a person’s sexual orientation. A New Jersey judge recently ruled that they are in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act.
Searching for the supplement in your supplement (Scott Gavura) The New York State attorney general has accused four large retailers of selling supplements that failed to contain labeled ingredients. DNA barcoding revealed that most of the products contained little or no active ingredient, and found ingredients that were not listed on the label, such as rice, garlic, and wheat. We need better regulation and product quality standards.
Alternative Medical Alert Systems in the News (Clay Jones) A parody about what would happen if alternative medicine tried to provide medical alert systems and emergency care. Acupuncture Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) can make the difference between life and irreversible chakra degradation.