Saturday, June 06, 2009

It's WTF Saturday!

Irony? Or just stupidity?

Major U.S., Canadian and British life and health insurance companies have billions of dollars invested in tobacco companies, says a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Wesley Boyd, the study's lead author, found that at least $4.4 billion US in insurance company funds are invested in companies whose affiliates produce cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco.

"Despite calls upon the insurance industry to get out of the tobacco business by physicians and others, insurers continue to put their profits above people's health," said Boyd, a faculty member of Harvard Medical School.

"It's clear their top priority is making money, not safeguarding people's well-being," he wrote.

Fish? What fish?
An extraordinary documentary released next week, The End of the Line, forces us to stop, and see. Its story is stark. In my parents' lifetime, we have killed 90 per cent of the world's fish. In my lifetime, we will finish off the rest – unless we change our ways, fast. We are on course to be the people who wiped fish from the earth.
Money? What money?
Bernie Madoff, the $60bn fraudster, ordered his London office to sell its $165m portfolio of UK gilts only a month before he confessed to the FBI that his business was a "big lie".

The London directors followed his instructions, transferring the sale proceeds to Madoff's New York office. However, it is still not clear where this money went to.
Trust insurance companies? Paul Krugman warns Congress:
Health reform will fail unless we get serious cost control — and we won’t get that kind of control unless we fundamentally change the way the insurance industry, in particular, behaves. So let me offer Congress two pieces of advice:

1) Don’t trust the insurance industry.

2) Don’t trust the insurance industry.
Hypnotize your patients! What could possibly go wrong?
Doctors should be taught to hypnotise patients not to feel pain instead of using general anaesthetics during some operations, the Royal Society of Medicine will be told today.
So what's a few lies between friends?
Army officials, alerted by Dr. Andersen, began an investigation. They uncovered an apparent case of falsified research by a doctor who had befriended Dr. Andersen when they both worked at Walter Reed, treating American soldiers severely injured in Iraq.

The full report of that Army investigation, recently obtained by The New York Times, provides an unusually detailed anatomy of a suspected case of medical research fraud — one all the more disturbing because it occurred at the nation’s premier military research hospital.


The Walter Reed episode also shows how medical journals may fail to conduct adequate due diligence on the studies they publish — information that other doctors rely on for guidance. As happened in the Kuklo case, for example, they often deal only with a study’s principal author, rather than all the credited contributors. In his study, Dr. Kuklo, who has not responded to repeated interview requests, reported that a bone-growth product sold by Medtronic, called Infuse, performed “strikingly” better than the traditional bone-grafting technique used to heal soldiers’ shattered shin bones. Other Walter Reed doctors told an Army investigator that claim was overblown.


Mahakal / महाकाल said...

You are feeling very sleepy. You cannot read anything but the letters of my words. Watch the words, watch them go back and forth, back and forth on the page. Your eyes are getting heavy, heavy, and when you finish this sentence, you will feel refreshed and forget everything that just happened.

ellroon said...

Why is my wallet empty and my teeth still crooked?