Sunday 31 July 2016

Evil and Mental Illness, Don't confuse them!

   The definition of evil is profound immorality, wickedness and depravity.  It exists, so why do we pretend that it doesn't?   Psychiatry has inadvertently stigmatized the mentally ill by allowing lawyers and the legal system, as well as many others involved  in  health care at various levels to label the evil and evil acts as mental illness, even when the perpetrator is sane.  The majority of the population is so preoccupied with political correctness that they like to pretend that evil doesn't exist and  will go to great extremes to deny that it does, until it hits them personally They do a great disservice to the genuinely mentally ill.  Indeed, in more than half a century of medical practice that involved a great deal of psychiatry, I have encountered very few acts of violence perpetrated by mentally ill patients.  My experience  includes nineteen years of service to a maximum security Corrections Canada institution.  Criminals with no evidence of mental illness, frequently had their punishment ameliorated by pleading mental illness, when the only evidence of the illness was their criminal behaviour.  The plea of mental illness has been so successful that it is difficult to find a case of vile and violent behaviour where it is not invoked.  Immorality, wickedness and depravity are so judgemental that most liberal folks don't even want to admit that it exists.  "No sane person would  do  such things!" they say.  "Who would deliberately harm another human, even a child.  Cut people's throats, slash their face, chop off their head.  They must be mentally ill!"  Most are not.
   Unfortunately, psychiatry has played no small role  in  this and has facilitated the guilty.  How  frequently one reads of the recent psychiatric decision that sets loose a dangerous killer.  " Goodness, he was such a  nice fellow.   Wouldn't hurt a fly.  Evil?  Goodness, gracious me!   There is no such thing!  it is just an outdated concept from the days of  religion and morality, good and bad.  No such  things!"  The allegation that we just don't understand how badly some folks have been treated and how they have suffered because of cultural differences, and that all cultures are equal is political correctness and is disingenuous.  Lawyers learned quickly.
The next few years are going to teach many of us that there are such  things as good  and evil and that we have to teach our children to discriminate between them or  they are going to live in  a world we can't even imagine.

If you have no comments on this, I  can't help you!
If you want to follow by email put your address in the box.

Tuesday 26 July 2016

Blogging and freedom of speech.

  Both my kids, hardened Health Care Professionals, assure me that I have at least two dedicated followers of my blog. I respond that having a brother and sister and an occasional read by a niece or  nephew brings that up to at least half a dozen. 
  The famous author E.M.Forster answered the question as to why he wrote, with this question: "How do I know what I think, until I see what I say?"   I made that same observation many years ago.  I often had to write and read my presentations over carefully to know what I really thought about something.  There they are, your views in black and white, not just for you to see, but for the whole world to scrutinize and not just for today, but potentially forever.  Should you ever become famous or infamous while alive or posthumously, there's no denying what you thought at the time. You can't claim to have misspoken,or been misinterpreted or to be taken out of context.
  On another note, there are so many areas in which one would have loved to know the views of departed family and friends, that one could have attached to the genealogy trees, in order to have brought a little life to those dead records. In fact, I would like to go on record now and direct any and all real or manque family genealogists to attach a link to my blog/blogs whenever or wherever I appear.. 
   There are other great advantages of writing a blog that apply particularly to the retired and semi-retired.  One is the great sense of fulfillment one gets from enlightening the public with the benefits of your knowledge, wisdom and experience gathered over a lifetime, particularly that which contradicts the politically correct view of the week.   Indeed, if you take it seriously enough and publish on a regular time schedule, you can actually generate an anxiety level that allows you to function like an almost normal human being.  Furthermore, if you are sufficiently motivated to buy a book with a title like "How to make $100,000 a year blogging!' you can really delude yourself into believing you are starting a whole new (profitable) career.
   Selecting material suitable for blogging is excellent brain exercise and stimulates one to comb medical journals, newspapers and magazines for topics worth dissecting.  It is also cheaper than subscribing to one of the brain exercising programs.  (If you want to read about my experiences with that you will find it in an earlier blog).
   Another great advantage, is that one can deal with topics that even the mention of which would marginalize a modern academic today, notwithstanding the fact that philosophers only a century ago would dedicate their whole careers to studying the topic. And not least, one can actually ignore the dictates of modern academic ignorance. 
   Finally, if you have a problem sleeping, lying there in  bed trying to think up a good blog topic for tomorrow's blog will usually put you to sleep just as you are on the brink of coming up with something brilliant!

Sunday 17 July 2016

Canadian Health Care Dictatorship and its Orwellian Administrators.

   Sometimes even I am surprised at the level to which the administridiots and their masters will sink to in dealing with the doctors and nurses who make the remaining standards which we maintain in health care, possible.  Here is a headline in the National Post, a newspaper I normally respect:
   "Covert monitoring reveals medical care's dirty secret - Only half wash hands thoroughly enough, study finds."  
   The study then goes on to announce how they recruited medical students to secretly spy on the physicians and nurses they work with.  Based on the information which the informers, given the dignified title of 'auditors' provided to the study authors, they went on to conclude just half of the nurses and doctors at a major Toronto Hospital wash their hands adequately.   I don't know how the auditors were selected.   I presume the students were given some guidelines as to what comprised adequate hand washing, but I would question the accuracy of students secretly monitoring those they are supposed to  be working with,under their very eyes.  
   The 'facilities' are considering installing electronic devices,continued the report.  At least this is more honest and more honourable than convincing  medical students to sneak on colleagues.  I honestly believe that it would have been impossible to convince a medical student in my day to do that.  But that was in the days before 1984!  Even Orwell wouldn't be able to believe 2016! 
If you have any views on these topics, share them!

Canadian Health Care dictatorship. Pt 2. The two tiered system.

        I am proud of the fact that during fifty – five years of practice I always extended what I considered professional courtesy and went that extra mile for patients who were professionals in health care, whether Doctor or Nurse and for family and friends. This may or may not include fee waivers.  Certainly if the fees were being paid by  an insurance company or paying agency, it did not. Like many physicians, I feel I gave all my patients excellent care, that I was generous of my time and efforts. If I wanted to go just a little further for a friend or colleague I did just that. I certainly didn’t allow any Orwellian administridiot to dictate my action.  This is still an almost free country although there are those who will infringe upon our rights if Canadians do not stand on guard. Interestingly,over the years and particularly when I worked in a university hospital setting, I found the same administridiots and their political masters actually expected and occasionally demanded special treatment.  Those same people, who have a two tiered system for themselves (listen to the senators whining) will do everything in their power to prevent the general population from buying what those taxpayers are coerced to buy for them.  Of course we do have a two tiered system in Canada, we just pretend that we don't.  When Senators Duffy and Wallin were suspended for cheating on their generous expense allowances their loudest whine was that they might loose their health care allowance and be subject to the same vicissitudes as the Canadians they are supposed to serve.  
   Enough of this hypocrisy, it's time to let Canadians do what they want with their money, even if they want to spend it on health care!  This would invest private money into the health care system and increase resources to everyone's benefit.  Of course, this would at least partially remove the monopoly in health care from the politicians and their satraps.  Loss of monopoly means some loss of power and no one wants that.
   I frequently raise these issues with folks who have no professional relationship with the health care system and most Canadians don't realize that our health care system is rapidly deteriorating and don't have much interest unless they themselves or a member of their family need it.  Then they often have quite a lot to say!
Post a comment unless you think the health care system is perfect.
You can get an email when I post by filling in the box in the right upper corner .

Saturday 9 July 2016

Canadian health care dictatorship.

"Administrators maintain waiting lists on purpose, the way airlines overbook. As for urgent patients on the list who are in pain, the public system will decide when their pain requires care. These are societal decisions. The individual is not able to decide rationally." — Dr. Charles Wright, current member of the Health Council of Canada and a former vice-president at Vancouver General Hospital, quoted in a Reader's Digest article.

   I came across this  statement by my quondam colleague and Professor of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan where my patients and I were fortunate to  avail of his surgical knowledge and skills and his compassionate approach.  The above quotation hit the spot so precisely that I could not avoid sharing it.  It encapsulates  the changes that the 'health care industry' has adopted and the damage it has done to medical humanism.   Politicians encourage the administridiots to cut back on expenses in the manner that is most advantageous to the political masters and not to the patients whose needs are greatest.  The length and urgency of waiting lists is of little significance if more political mileage can be garnered by say financing an in vivo fertility clinic, a trans gender sexual clinic or a medical marijuana clinic.  Patient suffering is secondary to political expediency and those who squeal loudest often get the limited resources regardless of the validity of their demands.    Unfortunately the administridiots really don't care as long as they or their families are not the ones on the year-long waiting list, which I can assure they rarely are.  The public still don't realize that when they voted for control of medical care to be transferred from those who understood and cared about it to those who regarded it as the staircase to political popularity and success, that they were contributing to undermining a system that was the envy of the developed world, and depreciating it to one that is being increasingly recognized as a third rate, not even a second rate (which it  is now) system.  Further, their idealogue philosophy and dedication to political correctness, has justified, in their minds, the prevention of those who would willingly pay for their care the freedom of spending their own money, in the way they chose.  In effect, our government is dictating what we can do as in a typical dictatorship.Thus, Canada, now has a health care system, as described in the paragraph below. 

"With regards to international comparison, the 2014 Commonwealth Fund report on the health system performance of 11 countries ranked Canada 10th overall, indicated particularly low scores in quality, safety, access, timeliness, efficiency and equity.17 "
Commonwealth Fund, Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How the Performance of the US Health Care System Compares
Internationally, 2014 Update.  Note the broad range of care in which we are at the bottom of the heap.
   Makes you proud,eh?   It doesn't make much difference to me, I'm eighty, but those of you who have children and grandchildren better start thinking who you want to look after your health care, a group of vote seeking politicians and their janissaries or medical professionals. I have spent most of my life trying to improve the standards of health care in this country and it greatly perturbs me to see the system being undermined by a group of bureaucrats who understand only the 'health care industry' and really care little about actual health care.

Feel free to comment and remember, if you  say or do  nothing you will deserve what you get.  If you want an email  when  I blog put your email address in  the subscription box.


Thursday 7 July 2016

Meds and Meals.

   To finish up this rather dull topic I want to caution you about some commonplace foods that can throw your therapeutic level of drugs way out of the acceptable range. It's easy to ingest these everyday foodstuffs without giving them a second thought, so you should be informed about them.  Let's start with an item most of us are aware of,
   The use of cholesterol lowering statins is very common in the population.  Not all cholesterol lowering drugs react with grapefruit, so unless you have been specifically informed that the medication you are on is okay, you have to avoid it.  Unfortunately, the list is quite extensive and includes cardiac drugs such as anti-arrythmics, some blood pressure lowering pills, anti-migraine pills, psychiatric medications,erectile dysfunction pills and even tylenol.  The list goes on and on, so a good rule of thumb would be to assume whatever you are taking shouldn't be mixed with grapefruit, unless it has been specifically cleared. The reason for the effect is that grapefruit juice interacts with some cytochrome enzymes that play a part in metabolizing the drugs.Other citrus fruits are okay as long as they are not cross bred with grapefruit, like tangelos or seville oranges.
Certain Vegetables and Warfarin.
   Vitamin K is a natural antagonist of the anticoagulant warfarin, in fact it is used to neutralize its effects. So, when some folks have difficulty in keeping their blood coagulability stable, a careful look at their diet is  warranted..  Carrots and green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin K.  Almost all antibiotics can increase the effects of warfarin.  Antibiotics can also be associated with failure of birth control pills.
   Remember that if your stomach is full  the rate of absorption is slower and  there is a greater likelihood of contents interacting and precipitating out, so that taking your medication an hour before or two  hours after a meal will  result in faster absorption.  Sometimes, if slower absorption and more dilution is required taking the medication immediately after a meal may be advised.
   An exhaustive list of food-drug interactions can be found here:


Saturday 2 July 2016

Keep your eye on the road. -your life depends on it. .



 Tesla reported recently on a Model S ( you know, the one that boasts Autopilot ) fatal crash while the autopilot was engaged. This is the first such known fatality and it is to be investigated by the NHTSA (National Traffic Highway Safety Administration).  Apparently the vehicle was on a divided highway with the autopilot engaged, when a tractor trailer drove across the highway. The account goes on to state that neither the autopilot or the human driver noticed the white side of the tractor trailer against the bright white sky and so the brakes were not applied.  The Model S passed under the high trailer with the bottom of the trailer hitting the windscreen, sheering off the roof completely. 
    Apparently, when the driver activates the autopilot an acknowledgement box explains that it is, "an assist feature that requires you to keep your hand on the wheel at all times."  It also points out that "you are responsible for the vehicle at all times while operating it.  "Be prepared to take over at any time."   Tesla seems to think that this exonerates them from further responsibility and goes on to claim,"autopilot results in a statistically significant improvement in safety when compared to purely manual driving."  (Might it just have something to do with who is driving?)
   The investigation will no doubt be complicated by the fact that the driver had a history of speeding (he had eight speeding tickets in a six year span, according to the Associated Press) and that the truck driver at the time of the crash said the Tesla was going so fast that he didn't see it.  In addition, a digital video disc player was found in the Tesla according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Apparently a witness came forward and stated there was a Harry Potter movie playing on it, when he got to the scene.  A Federal investigation is ongoing and the black box will surely throw some light on exactly what happened.  
   At the very least Tesla must be found liable for hiring someone who was obviously unfit for the job, based on his driving record alone.  There are many jurisdictions where someone with this man's driving record would probably not qualify for a license at all.. It is hard to understand how Tesla could employ him and how an insurer would take on such a  client, and even harder to understand how cavalierly a State will put its citizens at risk.  Could it be because the 'politically correct' Elite would put anyone (except themselves) at risk to advance their 'junk science' beliefs?   
   This is truly a cautionary tale, because any moving vehicle that does not have a fully attentive human being in charge is more dangerous than a loaded gun!