Health Newsbrief
July 26, 2000
Vol. 1, No. 14
ISSN 1530-3616
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Bruce Maxwell, Editor <bmax@silverhammerpub.com>
Silver Hammer Publishing <http://silverhammerpub.com>

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The News
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DISCLOSURE AND PREVENTION OF MEDICAL ERRORS
Does a physician have a moral and ethical obligation to disclose
a medical error to a patient? Does the obligation change if
another caregiver committed the error? This fascinating essay
examines these and related questions.
Source: Archives of Internal Medicine - July 24, 2000
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/v160n14/full/isa90009.html


MOST ADULTS MISUSE MEDICATIONS
Patients frequently fail to follow their doctors' instructions
regarding prescription drugs, according to a study published in
the Annals of Internal Medicine. Among just over 300 people
studied, 76 percent failed to take their drugs properly. The most
common errors were not taking a prescribed drug, taking a
prescribed drug at an incorrect dosage, or not telling a doctor
about a drug prescribed by another physician.
Source: Reuters - July 24, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000724/hl/medicine_3.html
Archives of Internal Medicine study:
http://archinte.ama-assn.org/issues/v160n14/full/ioi90676.html


BROADER, AND MORE EXPENSIVE, TEST NEEDED TO SPOT
COLON CANCERS
Isn't it always this way? Researchers report in the New England
Journal of Medicine that the relatively simple test for colon
cancer, the sigmoidoscopy, is insufficient because it only
examines part of the colon. They recommend the colonoscopy, which
requires a lot longer tube, a lot more nasty preparation, and a
lot more money. But with 56,000 Americans dying from colon cancer
each year, it's hard to ignore the recommendation.
Source: New York Times - July 20, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
072000hth-colonoscopy.html



GROUPS LINK MEDIA TO CHILD VIOLENCE
In a joint statement, four national health organizations said
violence in television, music, video games, and movies is causing
increased violence among children. The four groups are the
American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics,
the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy
of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.
Source: Associated Press - July 25, 2000
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20000725/us/
children_media_violence_1.html



IS U.S. HEALTH REALLY THE BEST IN THE WORLD?
It's commonly said that the United States has the best health
care system in the world. Yet according to an article in the
Journal of the American Medical Association, Americans rank very
poorly compared to people in other industrialized countries on a
wide range of health indicators. The reasons are many, the
article said, and go well beyond lifestyle factors.
Source: Journal of the American Medical Association - July 26,
2000
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284n4/full/jco00061.html


IN A FAT-FILLED WORLD, SOME SOUND ADVICE
Confused about fats in the diet? Join the crowd. This article by
Jane Brody of The New York Times sorts through the best current
evidence about various fats and the roles they play in the diet
and disease.
Source: New York Times - July 25, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/
health/072500hth-brody.html



BACK PAIN BACKLASH
Back pain is notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. But it
turns out that for the vast majority of sufferers, major
interventions such as surgery are not the way to go - and may
actually make things worse.
Source: Los Angeles Times - July 24, 2000
http://www.latimes.com/news/health/20000724/t000069298.html


HOW COMPANIES STALL GENERICS AND KEEP
THEMSELVES HEALTHY
In 1984, Congress passed the Drug Price Competition and Patent
Term Restoration Act. The intent was to speed up the introduction
of new generic drugs, thus lowering drug prices for Americans. It
has done that, but some drug companies also have twisted it to
keep some generic drugs off the market. This long, superb article
from The New York Times looks at one case where drug companies
worked together to stifle competition.
Source: New York Times - July 23, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/health/
072300hth-generic-drugs.html



U.S. RECOMMENDING STRICT NEW RULES AT
NURSING HOMES
Most nursing homes do not have enough nurses and health aides,
according to federal health officials, and the staffing shortages
may endanger patients. Following an eight-year study, the Clinton
administration is sending a 200,000-word report to Congress this
month that recommends strict staffing minimums for nursing homes.
If the recommendations become law, nursing homes across the
country will have to beef up their staffs.
Source: New York Times - July 22, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/072300nursing-homes.html


LAWSUITS OVER STIMULANT EPHEDRA RISE NATIONWIDE
Based on court records from around the United States, the
Washington Post found that dozens of lawsuits have been filed
against the manufacturers of ephedra, a controversial diet
supplement. The suits, many of which have been settled, allege
that the supplement can cause serious injury or death. The U.S.
Food and Drug Administration will hold a public meeting in early
August to discuss nearly 150 new reports about problems caused by
ephedra, which is marketed as an energy booster or a weight-loss
aid.
Source: Washington Post - July 23, 2000
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A25415-2000Jul21.html


BOOM IN GENE TESTING RAISES QUESTIONS ON
SHARING RESULTS
An increasing number of genetic tests can tell you whether your
genes place you at higher risk for various diseases. But the
tests are raising a host of ethical and legal questions as people
share - or choose not to share - the results with family members
who share their genes.
Source: New York Times - July 21, 2000
http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/science/
072100sci-gene-family.html



SHOULD YOU GET A PREVENTATIVE CT SCAN?
Hundreds of thousands of Americans - most of them baby boomers -
are undergoing CT scans each year even though they have no
symptoms of illness. Why? Because they want to know whether they
have any developing disease. Most doctors say the scans have
little value.
Source: CBS News - July 23, 2000
http://cbsnews.cbs.com/now/story/0,1597,217927-412,00.shtml
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Silver Hammer Publishing
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Falls Church, VA 22042
703-532-6327
bmax@silverhammerpub.com

 

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