Jim McVeagh

Euthanasia (Part 1) - MacDoctor

Dec 23, 2009

Euthanasia is a topic not unlike abortion, in that it generates a great deal of heat in a conversation and very little light. Like abortion, it is being practiced in New Zealand. Unlike abortion, there is no set of rules to guide it’s use and overt euthanasia often meets the business end of Law Enforcement [...] Related posts:

  1. Euthanasia (Part 4) Quality of Life Issues (involuntary euthanasia) Now we move into...
  2. Euthanasia (Part 3) Quality of Life Issues (voluntary euthanasia) In end-of-life euthanasia, there...
  3. Euthanasia (Part 2) End of Life Issues I have blogged about these issues...
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On the Turning Away - MacDoctor

Dec 15, 2009

The news that Timaru Emergency Department is “turning away” patients (actually, sending them to their GPs) is exciting Labour’s health spokesperson, the barely noticeable Ruth Dyson. Labour MP and health spokesperson Ruth Dyson believes essential frontline health services are being cut. “You can’t get much more frontline than the emergency department. The Government promised there would be [...] Related posts:

  1. Nobody Home The HoS reports that Waitakere Hospital’s emergency department closes its...
  2. Cold Periphery One of the signs of shock in a patient is...
  3. Never Enough It is a truism that Health is a giant black...
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The Pen is Mightier Than the Jab - MacDoctor

Dec 14, 2009

Pharmac is almost universally hated by GPs. The incomprehensible funding decisions. The endless “special authorities” designed only to stop you prescribing a drug. The sudden unexpected loss of control of a patient’s disease because of a change to a cheaper brand. The dwindling choice of drugs which becomes horribly apparent when you try to prescribe [...] Related posts:

  1. Real Doctors One of the biggest shocks to my system when emigrating...
  2. Drug Dealing In the Herald today: Dr Penelope Briscoe, dean of the...
  3. Uppers and Downers There’s a sad story in the Herald today of a...
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First Aid - MacDoctor

Dec 13, 2009

A recent high quality study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the use of intravenous drugs in out-of-hospital resuscitation does not lead to better survival rates – just more admissions to hospital. This is a significant finding for two reasons. First, it emphasises that good quality CPR and early access to [...] Related posts:

  1. Academic Sensationalism A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine reveals that...
  2. Faster Than a Speeding Antibiotic… I see once again the “superbug” is in the news,...
  3. The Ethics of Resuscitation There is a fairly long discussion on Do Not Resuscitate...
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Demand Driven - MacDoctor

Dec 12, 2009

The Abortion Supervisory Committee are pushing for more use of the abortifacient, RU486. They say that it is being used in only 6% of abortions while the “standard” overseas is 20 – 30%. Now I don’t have a problem with RU486 being used instead of a surgical termination of pregnancy (leaving aside the whole abortion issue [...] Related posts:

  1. Quick and Easy? Abortion Family Planning Council are seeking to introduce non-surgical abortions...
  2. Pro-choice In a twist on the pro-life/pro-choice abortion debate, many nurses...
  3. There’s got to be a Morning After. There are times when I actually agree with the much-maligned Family...
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Correct Diagnosis - MacDoctor

Dec 12, 2009

It is always a tragedy when a young life is lost, but it is especially heart-wrenching when a young man dies from something you would not normally expect such a person to die from. Such is the case of Dean Carroll, the 22 year old who presented to an emergency department and left with a [...] Related posts:

  1. The Art of Diagnosis Although medicine has a strong scientific base, diagnosis remains much more...
  2. Care For The Dying Apparently Canterbury DHB are starting a two year pilot of...
  3. Politically Correct Funding I take a fairly open mind to alternative therapies. Although...
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Spam Journalism #65 - MacDoctor

Dec 11, 2009

Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add spice to an otherwise pointless article. There is always plenty of spam to go around in health reporting. Journalists just love to sensationalise anything to do with medicine, preferably putting it in the worst light possible: Seeing red over high health costs Cataract surgery for Christchurch woman Glennis [...] Related posts:

  1. Spam Journalism #55 Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add...
  2. Spam Journalism #34 Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add...
  3. Spam Journalism #64 Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add...
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Death on Ice - MacDoctor

Dec 10, 2009

Remember the oft repeated picture of the two polar bears forlornly stuck on an ice floe in the middle of nowhere? Turns out that the photographer who took the picture was more interested in the interesting shape of the ice floe and the picture was taken within a couple of hundred meters of the arctic [...] Related posts:

  1. Hothouse I like Global Warming. Without the Global Warming industry, newspapers would be...
  2. Death of a Brain Cell I have never really understood the compulsion of people to...
  3. Global Warping Now that our illustrious government has finally managed to pass,...
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The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - MacDoctor

Dec 08, 2009

There is good and bad in the news that Pharmac is to morph into a single purchasing point for all medicine and health technology. The Good Technology purchases will be co-ordinated across the country, meaning that a doctor can move from one hospital to another without having to learn how all the gadgets that have become so [...] Related posts:

  1. National Health (Board) I see Labour is bellyaching about the proposed new National...
  2. OECD Health “Healthcare NZ’s ‘biggest threat’ – OECD” blares the headline, which...
  3. Hidden Benefits I have been following the DML/Labtests saga with interest. The...
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Laid to Rest - MacDoctor

Dec 07, 2009

It is time to lay the myth that cellphone use causes cancer to rest. In a Scandinavian study not yet published (but available online), the authors have gathered all the cancer registry data from four countries with similar registry requirements (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) and have determined the trends in brain tumour incidence over [...] Related posts:

  1. Spam Journalism #61 Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add...
  2. Medicating the Masses Katherine Rich gives her considered opinion in the Herald today...
  3. Selling the Cell Phone Ban I see Steven Joyce has put the proposed ban on...
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