Bioethics

Category archives for Bioethics

Judge Orders Surgery For Teen Wrestler: MyFoxPHILLY.com I have to be honest here. I don’t know for sure what I think of the latest developments in the Mazeratti Mitchell case. As you may recall from a couple of days ago, Mazeratti Mitchell is a 16 year old wrestler in Philadelphia who suffered a spinal cord…

Luc Montagnier: The Nobel disease strikes again

They call it the Nobel disease. Linus Pauling is the prototypical example. A brilliant chemist who won two Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry and the Nobel Peace Prize, in his later years Pauling became convinced that high dose vitamin C was a highly effective treatment for cancer and the common cold and, expanding upon that,…

One of the great things about having declared Vaccine Awareness Week is that it gives me a convenient excuse to revisit topics and blog posts that I had meant to address but that somehow didn’t make the cut the first time around. This is the sort of thing that happens fairly frequently in blogging, where…

If there’s one thing that burns me about so-called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) clinical trials, it’s how unethical many of them are. This is particularly true for trials that test modalities that, on the basic science grounds alone, can be dismissed as so highly implausible and with such a low prior probability of success…

A critical aspect of both evidence-based medicine (EBM) and science-based medicine (SBM) is the randomized clinical trial. Ideally, particularly for conditions with a large subjective component in symptomatology, the trial should be randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. As Kimball Atwood pointed out just last week (me too), in EBM, scientific prior probability tends to be discounted…

About four months ago, the skeptical blogosphere was abuzz about a tragic story. The story was that of a Belgian man named Rom Houben, who had been unfortunate enough to have been in a motor vehicle collision and suffered serious brain injury. That brain injury left him in a comatose state, which had been diagnosed…

Last month, in response to some truly despicable activities by animal rights zealots, I wrote a series of posts about how animal rights activists target even researchers’ children and appear to fetishize violence. This simply continued a string of posts that I’ve done over the years, the longest (and, in my not-so-humble-opinion, the best) deconstructs…

I hadn’t really planned on writing anymore about animal rights extremists. The topic seemed as though it had played out over the few days. But those who’ve followed this blog know that I’m nothing if not tenacious when I grab onto a topic, and sometimes certain topics demand several posts. More importantly, over the last…

I spent a lot of time writing about animal rights extremists who have threatened to harass the children of an investigator whom they view as a “vivisector” and how they fetishize the very violence they decry. Unfortunately, I was disappointed to see that a fellow ScienceBlogger, namely Eric Michael Johnson of The Primate Diaries, appears…

Animal rights: Fetishizing violence?

As much as I hate to bring more attention than I did a couple of days ago to the truly evil animal rights extremist website run by a truly despicable animal rights terrorist wannabe Camille Marino, a website whose very title, Negotiation Is Over (NIO) tells you everything you need to know about the attitude…

I have to admit, this one made me chuckle. In an earlier post today, in which I expressed my outrage at animal rights terrorists targeting an investigator’s children for harassment at their school, I asked the following question: That reminds me: Where were these animal rights loons when “Andrew Wakefield was torturing baby Macacque monkeys…

Remember Dario Ringach? He’s the scientist who has endured a prolonged campaign of harassment because of his animal research. I first heard of him in 2006, when, after a campaign of threatening phone calls, people frightening his children, and demonstrations in front of his home, gave up doing primate research. Terrorism and intimidation worked, but…

I must admit that I never saw it coming. At least, I never saw it coming this fast and this dramatically. After all, this is a saga that has been going on for twelve solid years now, and it’s an investigation that has been going on at least since 2004. I’m referring, of course, to…

The news is finally filtering out to the rest of the world. As I pointed out a few days ago Dr. Steven Laureys admitted that Rom Houben, the unfortunate victim of a car crash that left him in what had been diagnosed as a persistent vegetative state, was in fact not able to communicate through…

A couple of months ago, I wrote about a case that demonstrated conclusively just how easily even respected researchers can be taken in by psuedoscience. Of course, I was not alone. A number of others, including Steve Novella, James Randi, bioethicist Art Caplan, Hank Schlinger, and myself, recognized the reports that a Belgian man named…

I hadn’t planned on writing about this topic again. Really, I hadn’t. The reason is mainly that politics is usually not my bag. I’ve said it time and time again: political bloggers are a dime a dozen, and I have no reason to suspect that my pontifications and bloviations on politics would be any more…

When burning stupid just isn’t enough…

…leave it to the Investor’s Business Daily to kick it up a notch to thermonuclear as an anonymous editorialist tries to criticize President Obama’s health plan by invoking the dreaded British NHS: People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of…

There is no doubt that the infiltration of quackademic medicine into medical schools in this country represents a profound threat to science-based medicine. By mixing mysticism, non-science, and pseudoscience along with science-based medicine, medical schools are in essence endorsing quackery and elevating it to the same level as science-based and science-tested modalities. Worse, they’re running…

Last year, a seeming victory for the protection of human subjects from being subjected to pseudoscience. It began when Kimball C. Atwood IV, MD; Elizabeth Woeckner, AB, MA; Robert S. Baratz, MD, DDS, PhD; and Wallace I. Sampson, MD published a lengthy criticism of the NIH Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT) in Medscape, pointing…

Vaccines have saved more lives and prevented more suffering than any medical invention ever conceived by humans. However, to be most effective, a large enough fraction of the population to produce herd immunity needs to be immunized. When the herd immunity threshold is reached, then the chances of anyone carrying a microorganism to cause disease…

Today is a very good day indeed. I say that because Daniel Hauser, the 13-year-old boy with Hodgkin’s lymphoma who ran away with his mother to avoid having to undergo chemotherapy ordered by a judge, who had found that his parents were engaging in medical neglect in not getting him effective treatment, and returned on…

About a year ago in Wisconsin, an 11-year-old girl named Madeleine Neumann died of diabetic ketoacidosis thanks of the irrational religious beliefs of her parents, who prayed for her but did not take her to a physician even as Madeleine became weaker and more ill, her deterioration leading to a most unpleasant death. Highly unusual…

Remember about a week ago, when I lamented how scientific publisher Elsevier had created a fake journal for Merck that reprinted content from other Elsevier journals favorable to Merck products in a format that looked every bit like a peer-reviewed journal but without any disclaimers to let the unwary know that it wasn’t a peer-reviewed…

It’s times like these when I’m happy that I haven’t published in too many Elsevier Journals during the course of my career. I say that because on Thursday, it was revealed that pharmaceutical company Merck, Sharp & Dohme paid Elsevier to produce a fake medical journal that, to any superficial examination, looked like a real…

Enough. I don’t know about you, but as a surgeon and a biomedical researcher, I’m fed up with animal rights terrorists who threaten biomedical research with their misinformation about animal research, their terroristic attacks on scientists who engage in such research, and listening to the despicable self-righteous idiot who is a disgrace to surgeons everywhere,…