Medical Ethics

Overtreatment of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ

Nine out of ten women don’t realize that some breast cancers would never have caused any problems or even become known in one’s lifetime. This is an issue ductal carcinoma in situ has brought to the forefront. The whole point of cancer screening is to “detect life-threatening disease at an earlier, more curable stage. Effective …

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Do Mammograms Have to Be Painful?

Excessive breast compression during mammography may not improve image quality and can cause unnecessary pain.  False-positive results have been described as “the most frequent harm” associated with mammogram screening, but it actually may be the pain. “There is a wide variation both in the reported frequency of pain and in degree of pain felt by …

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We Use Too Many Medications: Be Very Afraid of Interactions

By HANS DUVEFELT I happened to read about the pharmacodynamics of parenteral versus oral furosemide when I came across a unique interaction between this commonest of diuretics and risperidone: Elderly dementia patients on risperidone have twice their expected mortality if also given furosemide. I knew that all atypical antipsychotics can double mortality in elderly dementia patients, but …

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Most Women May Experience at Least One False-Positive Mammogram

Odds are most women will get at least one false-positive mammogram, but, thankfully, most women who are called back for further testing of a suspicious mammogram finding do not end up having cancer after all.  In response to the Swiss Medical Board’s recommendation against women of any age getting routine mammograms, critics suggested that instead …

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How Is It Possible That Mammograms Don’t Actually Save Lives?

For every life saved by mammography, as many as two to ten women are overdiagnosed and unnecessarily turned into breast cancer patients with all of the attendant harms of chemo, radiation, or surgery, without the benefits. What was the impact of the 2009 shift in recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to …

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Why Doctors Should Not Encourage Breast Self-Exams

Various health organizations offer clashing mammogram recommendations that range from annual mammograms starting at age 40 to eliminating routine mammograms altogether. Who can you trust? Clashing mammogram recommendations ranging from annual mammograms starting at age 40 to eliminating routine mammograms altogether are offered by various health organizations. It’s hard to know who to trust given …

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Why Are Mammogram Guidelines Conflicting? 

When women are fully informed about the risks and benefits of mammograms, 70 percent may choose not to get screened. You may be in that 30 percent who opts to get a mammogram and absolutely have the right to decide for yourself.  “For nearly a century, public health organizations, professional associations, patient advocacy groups, academics, and clinicians largely viewed cancer screening as a simple, …

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90% of Women Appear Misinformed About Mammograms 

Most women are just being told what to do, rather than being given the facts needed to make a fully informed decision.   “Selling cancer screening can be easy,” begins an editorial in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. “Induce fear by exaggerating risk. Offer hope by exaggerating the benefit of screening. And don’t mention harms [caused by the screening]. It is especially easy …

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Should You Get an Annual Physical Exam?

What are the risks and benefits of getting a comprehensive annual physical exam and routine blood testing? The model of getting an annual physical exam dates back nearly a century in American medicine, but recently, many health authorities “have all agreed that routine annual checkups for healthy adults should be abandoned”—yet, the majority of the …

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Should You Get an Annual Health Check-Up?

What are the risks and benefits of getting an annual check-up from your doctor? Physicians and patients have come to expect the annual check-up as a routine part of care. “However, considerable research has not demonstrated a substantial benefit,” so a “revolt is brewing against the tradition of periodic” check-ups. “Even the Society for General …

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Health Professionals Are Tomorrow’s Health Journalists. Here is a Code of Ethics to Guide Us and Trump’s White House Doctor.

By MIKE MAGEE The patient/health-professional relationship is fundamentally grounded in science and trust, and involves the exchange of compassion, understanding and partnership. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged this relationship by acutely increasing the nation’s burden of disease, creating new barriers to face-to-face contact, and injecting high levels of fear and misinformation. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s …

Health Professionals Are Tomorrow’s Health Journalists. Here is a Code of Ethics to Guide Us and Trump’s White House Doctor. Read More »

Health Professionals Are Tomorrow’s Health Journalists. Here is a Code of Ethics to Guide Us and Trump’s White House Doctor.

By MIKE MAGEE The patient/health-professional relationship is fundamentally grounded in science and trust, and involves the exchange of compassion, understanding and partnership. The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged this relationship by acutely increasing the nation’s burden of disease, creating new barriers to face-to-face contact, and injecting high levels of fear and misinformation. Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s …

Health Professionals Are Tomorrow’s Health Journalists. Here is a Code of Ethics to Guide Us and Trump’s White House Doctor. Read More »