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Today: Sat, October 1 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
05 May 2016
Lung cancer and me
by John Stossel
 sub-topic» General

Last week’s column on my lung surgery struck a nerve. Many of you wished me well. Others said I deserve to die.

“He likes free markets?” sneered one Internet commenter. “In a truly free market, society wouldn’t subsidize the cost of his smoking. In a truly free market, he’d be dead.”

No, I wouldn’t be dead. In a real free market, I would pay for my own care and that Also, I’ve never smoked cigarettes. Some people who don’t smoke get lung cancer too.

22 March 2016
This shaken baby syndrome case is a dark day for science – and for justice
by Clive Stafford Smith
 sub-topic» General

On Friday, I witnessed something akin to a reenactment of the trial of Galileo, precisely four centuries after the original. Dr Waney Squier faces being struck off by the General Medical Council (GMC) for having the temerity to challenge the mainstream theory on shaken baby syndrome (SBS).

19 February 2015
Why is the Vaccination Debate So Toxic?
by Dan Phillips
 sub-topic» General

Pro-vaccine forces need to demonstrate more respect and less derision when dealing with anti-vaccine forces and realize that it is not enough, and is likely counter-productive, for them to just stamp their feet and insist the science is settled and dissenters should be made to comply. If an anti-vaccine person has an objection, that objection should be addressed politely and thoroughly and not simply dismissed with a hand wave and condescension.

10 November 2014
Yes, the public health people are lying to us again
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

This does not mean therefore that there should be no information campaigns, no attempts to inform people that their health should be better if they stagger up off the couch for a walk for 30 minutes a day. That’s all just fine. But what it does mean is that none of these campaigns or actions can be justified by reference to the costs to the welfare state or the public purse. It just ain’t true that fatty, puffing boozers impose costs upon said welfare state: thus reducing the number of fatty, puffing boozers isn’t going to save that welfare state any money.

02 November 2014
Are Placebos Ethical?
by John C. Goodman
 sub-topic» General

The power of placebos to heal has long been recognized. Thomas Jefferson wrote about it. So did Benjamin Franklin. Debate over the ethics of placebos also has a long history—roughly 170 years. But there has been no resolution. Doctors are still in disagreement about whether it is ethical to proscribe a placebo without the patient’s consent. Of course if the patient knows the therapy is a placebo, much of its effectiveness is lost. But there is also disagreement about the meaning of the word “consent.”

16 November 2013
Consequences of the Failure of Obamacare
by David Friedman
 sub-topic» General

In reading critics of Obamacare, I occasionally come across an interesting, if mildly paranoid, theory—that it was designed to fail in order to bring in the single payer system that its supporters really wanted. I would not be surprised if there were supporters who saw it that way, but I doubt that they represented a significant fraction of those that initially supported the program. It is, however, worth thinking about whether that strategy, deliberate or not, will work. If Obamacare turns out, as now seems likely, to be a clear and massive failure, what will come out of its collapse?