Jim McVeagh

Heart Hit - MacDoctor

Oct 04, 2009

I read with some horror that a Herald on Sunday investigation has found an energy drink with 3333mg caffeine per litre in it. The Demon Energy Shot, which contains this horrendous amount of caffeine, gets around the Food Standard Authority regulations (which restricts caffeine to a level of 320mg per litre) by calling itself a [...]

Nano Pills - MacDoctor

Oct 03, 2009

Occasionally, you come across a piece of research that has ramifications far beyond the ones envisaged by the researchers. The Journal for Nanotechnology, appropriately named Small has this experiment reported in this month’s copy. In a fascinating understatement they say: The concept of releasing a drug inside a cell and following its action is applicable to [...]

Spam Journalism #60 - MacDoctor

Oct 02, 2009

Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add spice to an otherwise pointless article. Sometimes, I confess I wonder whether spam medical headlines just represent ignorance, rather than the deliberate sensationalisation of a medical article. But in this case, I think it is clear that the journalist understood the meaning but deliberately twisted it [...]

Locked Away - MacDoctor

Oct 01, 2009

An article in yesterday’s Dominion Post posted on Stuff caught my eye. It featured a call to end the practice of “seclusion” – the isolation of a mental health patient in a bare room. What attracted my attention was the utter lack of any sort of attempt at balance or analysis. The article mainly featured [...]

Over My Dead Body - MacDoctor

Sep 30, 2009

The powerful Senate Finance committee has just voted down two proposed amendments to Obama’s healthcare reform bill; amendments that would have created a public insurance scheme as a key part of insuring some of America’s 47 million uninsured. Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s amendment would have added a public insurance option that would reimburse doctors and hospitals [...]

A Question of Dying - MacDoctor

Sep 26, 2009

Ron Paterson reckons that up to 85% of terminally ill New Zealanders do not get support when they need it to have a “good death”. He was speaking at a seminar on the Liverpool Care Pathway for Dying Patients at the time. This “statistic” has the hallmarks of guesswork rather than reality, as Paterson is [...]

No Magic Bullet - MacDoctor

Sep 25, 2009

Stuff reports on a new vaccine that has been shown to provide some protection against AIDS. The vaccine was shown to reduce the incidence of contracting the disease by 31%. All other vaccines against AIDS have been abject failures.  While this is indeed great news, the MacDoctor cautions against breaking out the champaign. 31% is by [...]

Care For The Dying - MacDoctor

Sep 24, 2009

Apparently Canterbury DHB are starting a two year pilot of the Liverpool Care Pathway for the terminally ill. This scheme has been running in Britain for some time amidst a great deal of controversy. The actual pathway, developed by the Marie Curie Palliative Care Institute in Liverpool, itself is more of a framework for developing [...]