Category Archives: Bioethics

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 5

Here’s Part 5, the last of a series from an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here.

21. Does the product you’re considering require advance payment? Look out! You may never receive what you bought or get your money back. Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 4

Here’s Part 4 from an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You find the book here.

16. Is a therapy encouraged simply because it’s been used for centuries by people in some remote place? This might simply mean that those people had nothing else to use. If the best texts on the subject are decades or centuries old, you’ll probably find that many of the old ideas were discredited long ago. Medicine evolves—just think about all we have discovered about nutrition in the last few decades. Continued use adds to our knowledge, uncovers side effects, fine-tunes dosage, and brings change. Continue reading

Warning Signs of Quackery and Fraud – Part 3

Here’s Part 3 of an excerpt from my and Donal O’Mathuna’s book, Alternative Medicine: The options, claims, evidence, how to choose wisely. You’ll find out more about the book here. Next week, I’ll post another five warning signs.

11. Does the proponent of the therapy claim to be criticized unfairly? Some proponents of CAM portray themselves as martyrs, persecuted by the government, the medical establishment, or some other organization with a stake in keeping you unaware of their breakthrough.

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Occasional marijuana use may not damage lungs

The Washington Post “The Checkup” blog reports, “Smoking marijuana doesn’t appear to do the kind of damage to people’s lungs as smoking tobacco does,” according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “But that may have to do more with the way marijuana is typically smoked than with anything inherent in the substance itself.” Continue reading

Patients’ own stem cells used to reverse heart damage

A story on research involving the use of stem cells to repair damaged hearts received a significant amount of coverage, particular on all of the network news broadcasts, where it received more coverage, with regard to time, than any other story on the broadcasts the entire week.. Continue reading

A Christmas Story – Part 3

Two days ago, I began a Christmas story that came from my book Bryson City Seasons. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 here. This is the last of three parts. I hope it’s been a Christmas blessing for you and yours: Continue reading

If you don’t vaccinate your kids, should your kids be kept away from school, team sports, and youth groups? I vote “yes”!

I’ve told you in the past that when parents choose to not vaccinate their children, not only are their children at risk, but so are other children in the community. Here’s more proof of that. Continue reading

CDC recommends boys be vaccinated against HPV

Coverage of the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to expand its recommendation for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine (Gardasil) to boys and young men aged 11-21 was widespread, appearing on the three network newscasts, and in national newspapers. Continue reading

Will new tests promote abortion of an ‘undesired sex’ baby?

Art Caplan, MD, is a physician and bioethicist, who is prochoice, but shares the significant reservations I have about a new blood test that helps a couple know early in a pregnancy whether they have a male or female baby. I’ve predicted this will result in more abortions and that physicians should rarely offer this test. Now, my colleague, who is prochoice, agrees. Continue reading

A Christian view of caring for a dying parent

I have a dear friend, Tim, who is a healthcare profession and now involved in providing loving care and caring for his mother as she approaches death. He recently faced some difficult decisions about pursuing care versus withholding care. I’m deeply appreciative that both Tim and his wise pastor, Sam, have agreed to allow me to share their exchange. Continue reading

Early blood test for baby’s gender accurate and extremely controversial

On its front page, the New York Times (Subscription Publication) reported that according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “a simple blood test that can determine a baby’s sex as early as seven weeks into pregnancy is highly accurate if used correctly.” For some couples, this is good news. For unborn children, I predict it means more death. Continue reading

FDA Report: Abortion drug kills 14 Women, injures 2,200

The Food and Drug Administration has quietly released a new report about the deaths of and injuries to women from the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug and the Obama administration has done nothing to make the information available to women. Continue reading

Florida measles cases increasing as parents have children exempted from vaccinations

The St. Petersburg (FL) Times reports that so far this year in Florida that this year more cases of measles “have been reported” than in the last 14 years. Why? Parents choosing to not vaccinate their kids … harming both their kids and the kids of others. Continue reading