Jim McVeagh

Too Little, Too Late - MacDoctor

Feb 03, 2010

The Lancet has finally withdrawn the paper on MMR and autism that it published 12 years ago. The study: “Ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia, non-specific colitis, and pervasive developmental disorder in children” consisted of a series of 12 children all of whom had been referred in to a paediatric gastroenterology unit with a triad of autism-like symptoms, abdominal [...] Related posts:

  1. Cough or Cry
  2. Stupid Question of the Week
  3. Attack of the Vaccine Nazis

De Beers and Doctors - MacDoctor

Feb 01, 2010

De Beers, the diamond merchants, and specialists in certain disciplines are wealthy for exactly the same reasons. They both have something that is rare. It De Beer’s case, it is diamonds. In the doctor’s case it is his skills as a physician. I earn a salary way above the average for no reason other than [...] Related posts:

  1. Doctors in Bondage
  2. The Union Division
  3. Mo’ Doctors

Spam Journalism #68 - MacDoctor

Jan 31, 2010

Spam Journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add spice to an otherwise pointless article. Thanks to Crusader Rabbit for pointing me to this lovely bit of medical spam at News.com.au: Energy drinks’ ’serious’ heart risk JUST one energy drink can cause “serious heart conditions”, a world-first study has found. The report, according to Adelaide Now, has [...] Related posts:

  1. Heart Hit
  2. Spam Journalism #58
  3. Spam Journalism #60

Two Tiers - MacDoctor

Jan 28, 2010

Dr Tim Parke, the clinical director of the adult emergency department at Auckland City Hospital, puts his concerns into an article in the Herald today. He writes that, in his opinion, the proposed use of public facilities for extra private procedures will produce a two tier system where, eventually, richer patients will have better medical [...] Related posts:

  1. Show Me the Technology
  2. Correct Diagnosis
  3. User-pays Health

The iPad Revealed (Updated) - MacDoctor

Jan 28, 2010

Today is the big day when Apple reveals its least surprising, most-leaked product ever, the Newton Message Pad – whoops, sorry – I meant the iPad. It looks very pretty (note: the keyboard dock is an artists impression, I think): Seems like (non-surprise again) more than a large iPhone and less than a laptop. It’s just [...] Related posts:

  1. iPad Revisited
  2. Cellular Stupidity (Updated)
  3. In Praise of Macs

Strange Mercy - MacDoctor

Jan 26, 2010

The Herald carries a fairly level-headed article (from the Independent) on the differing verdicts in the case of two separate “mercy killings” in the UK. I say level-headed because it actually does explore the reasoning behind the difference in verdict and vaguely explore the problems associated with strong mandatory sentences. One woman killed her 31 [...] Related posts:

  1. Euthanasia (Part 1)
  2. Death With Dignity
  3. Another Strange Verdict

User-pays Health - MacDoctor

Jan 23, 2010

Dr Chris Jackson is a brave man. He has suggested a scheme which would allow oncology patients access to privately funded services at public hospitals. It is, of course, an excellent idea. It is also an idea that will attract vilification from his colleagues (especially the doctors unions) and the Left (who hate the idea of [...] Related posts:

  1. Dirty Little Secret
  2. Another Promise Kept
  3. Health Denied

Mental Suggestion - MacDoctor

Jan 21, 2010

If ever there was a good example of why health journalists should seek to gain a proper understanding of the material they are writing about it is this: Study finds vitamins boost mental health People with mental illness made “remarkable” improvements by taking a daily dose of nutritional supplements rather than conventional medicines, a trial has found. The [...] Related posts:

  1. Attractive Option
  2. Mental Problems
  3. Accidental Rape?

Inconsistent Codeine - MacDoctor

Jan 20, 2010

Moves are afoot in National’s “War on Drugs” to restrict the sale of codeine in all its forms, including the combinations with paracetamol (Panadeine, Codalgin et al.). The Herald reports: Public access to a widely-used class of painkillers containing codeine is likely to be restricted within months because of what is said to be an increase [...] Related posts:

  1. Cheap Drugs
  2. Banning “P”
  3. No Relief

Dying to Get In - MacDoctor

Jan 19, 2010

I have recently gone back into general practice full-time. One thing that seems very clear to me is that it has become increasingly difficult to refer people into the hospital system unless they are critically ill. My last stint as a GP was in mid-2007, but, at that time, it seemed reasonably easy to refer [...] Related posts:

  1. A Question of Dying
  2. Care For The Dying
  3. Can’t Be Bothered