Life as an Extreme Sport

[The Daily] – Expecting the layman to be a doctor

Expecting the layman to be a doctor 2006-05-24 You’re in the doctor’s office, and she’s just handed you a form to read. While you’re scanning over the form, she starts to explain it to you. It’s your consent-for-surgery form and it’s telling you what the surgical procedure is, what the goal of surgery is, and what the risks are — from common side effects to rare complications. This sounds simple and is common sense. It is, in fact, a required step all hospitals must go through in order to maintain accreditation. So what’s the problem with informed consent? Often, the problem is in what your doctor does. For example, do you understand the following? “A neurolytic sympathetic blockade of the right stellate ganglion nerve bundle with bupivacaine and a corticosteroid. “Potential complications include injection into the vertebral artery, phrenic and superior laryngeal nerve block and rarely, intrathecal injection.” Chances are

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[The Daily] – New DNA collection frightening

New DNA collection frightening 2006-05-15 Computer cracker Adrian Lamo is in trouble again. Not for cracking any new computer systems, but because he won’t give the federal government a blood sample so it can isolate his DNA and add it to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). Lamo apparently isn’t opposed to giving the government his DNA; he did provide the FBI with nail clippings and hair samples. He simply states that giving the blood is against his non-specified religious beliefs. Those in charge, however, will only accept blood or saliva for the sample (no explanation has been given as to why Lamo has been told he can give only a blood sample). While it is certainly easiest to isolate DNA from blood, the technology exists to utilize DNA from other parts of the body, including the hair and nail samples Lamo provided. Now, while Lamo isn’t concerned about

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The Daily [05-08-06] – Dependency vs. Addiction

If this looks familiar to some of the longer-time readers, well… it was a busy week. And besides, the original was pretty good in and of itself. Dependency vs. Addiction Publish Date: 2006-05-08 I meant this column to be about the idea of informed consent. It’s a subject both House and Grey’s Anatomy have covered in their last couple episodes; something I would call a coincidence if they hadn’t been doing this back and forth of show themes for two seasons now. But one evening I managed to find myself on the Television Without Pity Web site, in theory rereading the details of those pertinent episodes of Grey’s and House, when I decided I wanted to read recaps from earlier episodes. That decision led me back to a first-season episode of House titled “Detox.” The theoretical point of this episode was a teenager with bleeding of unknown origin, but the

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The Daily – Toward Insuring Immigrants

Toward insuring immigrants 2006-05-01 The older Asian woman tugs insistently at the young blonde doctor’s coat, pulling her out into the pouring rain, talking in a foreign tongue. The doctor, a new intern, is confused but following. What she finds shocks her: a young woman by the dumpster, face lacerated and in need of stitches. The intern tries to convince the young woman to come inside, but in broken English she refuses. She’s afraid. She’s an illegal, as is her mother. There was an accident in the factory, could she please be stitched up? Time slows and the intern faces her options. Just as fast, time snaps back into place and the intern slowly moves around the hospital, gathering the supplies she’ll need to stitch the laceration in the parking lot. She gets the young woman, now her patient, to promise she’ll come back to have the stitches removed. The

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The Daily – Pharmacists’ moral acumen

Pharmacists’ moral acumen 2006-04-24 One of the more interesting and underrepresented facts about many women’s health providers — places that are routinely targeted because they provide low- or no-cost birth control for women, as well as access to abortions — is that they often offer other health services, such as flu shots and general health exams. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed. Most of these clinics don’t have on-site pharmacies, so it is up to the patient to go elsewhere to have the prescription filled. Or, as was the case with a patient from the Cedar Rivers Clinic, which has facilities in Renton, Tacoma and Yakima, Wash., the prescription is called into a pharmacy for pickup. Unfortunately, in May 2005, a pharmacist at the Swedish Medical Center outpatient pharmacy took it upon him or herself to decide it was morally unacceptable to receive antibiotics from a clinic that provides access to birth

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