Category: Health & Medicine

experts shooting themselves in the foot with conflicts of interest

Skepticism of medical authorities is, at least in terms of vaccine refusal, becoming worse and worse. I think this is a bad thing, and have previously commended Ari Schulman’s essay on the politics of medical denialism to help understand why this...

/ February 22, 2018

questioning brain death

This devastating story about Jahi McMath, a young woman who suffered a terrible complication of surgery (and might not have had she received closer attention) is worth reading in and of itself, but the questions it raises about the commonly...

/ February 15, 2018

EMRs are designed for billing, not for retaining information

The dirty secret of all electronic medical records (EMRs) is this: they are not primarily designed to help doctors record, review, or share information about their patients. No, they are primarily designed to capture the data necessary to submit bills to...

/ February 12, 2018

follow the money, asthma prevention edition

The Washington Post explains why prevention gets shafted when it comes to treating chronic diseases like asthma: Both [major teaching hospitals in Baltimore] receive massive tax breaks in return for providing “community benefit,” a poorly defined federal requirement that they...

/ February 9, 2018

what about Christian healthcare sharing ministries?

I get asked fairly frequently for my opinion about Christian healthcare sharing ministries. I’ve not had very many patients who use them, so I don’t have a lot of experience from the provider side. However, my wife and I used...

/ October 17, 2017

letting dying people die is not the same as killing them

Ian Tuttle asks some very good ethical questions in the case of Charlie Gard, the British infant with a rare mitochondrial disease whose parents have been forbidden by the courts from taking their child to the U.S. for experimental treatment:...

/ June 30, 2017

The healthcare problem markets and charity can’t fix

My internet friend Ian Barrs, a conservative dude who originally hails from the UK, has written a moving post about Medicaid and his son Hugh: I’ll be honest: when I read of “per capita limits on MedicAid spending”, I ask...

/ May 12, 2017

5 ways to actually reform American healthcare

Obamacare is the law of the land. For better or worse, we’re stuck with it for now. It still has problems — millions of people are still uninsured and its cost-containment measures, while often useful, are probably not enough to...

/ March 29, 2017

Health care is not a human right, but it is also not just a market commodity

As the GOP prepares to continue its long and painful process of self-immolation by voting (or not voting) on a bill whose greatest priorities appear to be cutting taxes for rich people and allowing young, healthy people to pay less...

/ March 24, 2017

addiction: the devil you can measure and the devil you can’t

Christopher Caldwell has an arresting essay in this month’s First Things: If you take too much heroin, your breathing slows until you die. Unfortunately, the drug sets an addictive trap that is sinister and subtle. It provides a euphoria—a feeling...

/ March 8, 2017