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Thinkpad for Education: Lenovo and IBM today announced the Manteo ThinkPad Learning Project, a 1-to-1 computing pilot program that will provide each middle-school and high-school student in Manteo, North Carolina, with a ThinkPad notebook pre-loaded with VitalSource educational software and the ability to access the town-wide wireless network, further strengthening the economic development of this historic island community. We applaud the Manteo learning project. We would like to offer the Medical World Search engine to the students for accessing and learning health and medical information which are vitally important for everyone. Just contact MWSearch to establish a userid and password for each Manteo student.   5-12-05  

Terri Schiavo Case: We voiced about this case long time ago (Ending Life), concluding: "We will say: treat the issue as a family matter, resolve it with continuous communication and counseling with physician, clergyman and non-litigating lawyer invited until an agreement and course of action for all party concerned are reached. Leave the legal battle and Governor out of  it." Now the case is dragging into the supreme court. Arguments and distortions are made by many  interest groups and media hyperboles.  Why does a  tragedy  have to become a political debate and drama?! The NEJM has published a few articles on this subject by early release. We urge the family to read them and listen to the audio interview with Dr. Timothy Quill. We will say: this is a true PVS (persistent vegetative state) case by medical evidence. The to-end -or-not-to-end decision should be made only by her family based on what Terri would have wanted without other parties' influence. If the family could not reach an agreement by themselves, perhaps they should agree to appointing an arbitrator who will select on their behalf a panel of 3, consisting of a physician, a clergyman and a lawyer, who have not been connected to the case thus far,  to arrive at a final decision for the family within a 24 hours discussion period. The arbitrator and the panel should be compensated no more than a day's pay like a juror's. Their decision should not be substantiated with reasons or arguments other than saying we believe this decision is in the best interest of Terri Schiavo. The names of the panelists and the arbitrator should not be revealed to the public by the family. The decision should have no financial or legal or moral or religious or scientific or whatever  implication at all. It should be just a decision for Terri since she and her family could not make it.     3-24-2005       

Side Effects of Medicine: Drugs all have side effects. It is just matter of degree of harmfulness. The Vioxx pulled out of market by Merck and other NSAIDs drugs like Pfizer's Celebrex all have risks. The question is whether its benefits outweigh its risks for a patient. Often the knowledge about a new drug (sometimes even an old drug) is not enough on how it works and hence its safety. Perhaps we will never know everything about a drug but the issue is that everything known by the drug manufacturer,  the FDA and the physicians participated in any clinical trial should be always made available to the public especially to practicing medical professionals. Let the physician help the patient to assess the risk factor. The prescribing physician should be held responsible for patient's consequences for taking a prescription drug. The drug manufacturer should be held responsible for not informing the prescribing physician all the known facts about the drug. Warning Label can only serve as a warning. Knowledge is the ultimate decision tool.  

Medical Help Needed After Tsunami: The article written by Dr. William H Frist, The Majority Leader of US Senate, Recovery from Tsunami, describes clearly the medial and health concern is the number one issue in the devastated countries in Southeast Asia after Tsunami. We urge anyone in the medical world to extend whatever help possible. 

Congratulations! On December 10, Linda Buck and Richard Axel were awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize "for their discoveries of odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system." In the Nobel lecture, Medicine winners Linda Buck, of Seattle, and Richard Axel, of New York, talked about how they mapped the sense of smell in humans and animals. Further study into how smells affect humans and their memories, Axel said, could soon make "a significant contribution to understanding what was once called the mind."

Human Love: President of Hadassah, a women's Jewish faith organization, Katie Edelstein of Bellingham, Washington, has donated a kidney to Belle Simon, a resident in Portchester, N. Y., in response to her call announced at a national meeting. Simon suffered from glomerulonephritis which required her to be on dialysis three days a week. (MWSearch: Glomerulonephritis; Bright Disease; Heymann Nephritis; Disease, Bright's; Glomerulonephritis, IGA; Glomerulonephritis, Membranoproliferative; Goodpasture's Syndrome; Lupus Nephritis; Glomerulonephritis, Membranous; Glomerulosclerosis, Focal...) The transplant operationns were successfully performed at the mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. At a time, hatreds are being promoted and terrorism and killings are rampant, this is an inspiring news about human love. 

Chicago lab key in helping create babies to aid siblings: Dr. Anver Kuliev of Reproductive Genetics Institute at Chicago, has appeared in a recent news headline,  Chicago lab key in helping create babies to aid siblings. This news has raised some unsettled issues concerning the appropriateness of "genetics action" and  "genetics intervention" on human lives especially from unborn to new born babies. These issues are complex. The controversy debated by the general public seems to be focused on the motives and action results of these genetics activities. Often the debates are made emotionally, not based on scientific facts and rational thoughts. People sometimes do not have a clear understanding of what and how these genetics activities are done. Do you have adequate knowledge to form your opinion? An issue paper on this subject can be accessed when you log in as a member.  In the article, we present some relevant information concerning the "genetics actions" and "genetics interventions" without taking a position on the debated issues. The information presented  are the results of literature research with the purpose of gathering the relevant information in one place for members to gain a quick grasp of the concepts and facts about these genetics activities. Through the discussion and references provided,  readers can pursue more in-depth study of these topics and arrive at rational conclusions on the controversy issues on their own. 

Terrorists are willing to sacrifice their lives to hurt innocent people: What kind of religion or doctrine would treat people's lives (including their own disciples) as insignificant and expendable? Sacrificing innocent lives to make a political statement is a cowardly act. Attacking Spain and killing more than 200 lives before her general election to influence the outcome of a general election may put fear temporarily in people but any rational mind will realize sooner or late acts of terror can not be tolerated in a civilized society. Spain's Socialist leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the civil Spanish people will understand that offering the other cheek to terrorists will not bring peace to their lives. 

Should government intervene on Drug Prices: Under a 2003 government order, the Health Ministry has the power to strip patent protection from drug manufacturers ``in cases of national emergency or national interest'' and force the companies to license independent manufacturers in production of the desired drugs. Five pharmaceutical companies have agreed to offer average discounts of 37 percent on the sale of AIDS-combating drugs to the Brazilian government. The drugs are Nelfinavir, Lopinavir, Efavirenz, Tenofovir and Alazanavir, manufactured, respectively, by Roche Diagnostics, Abbott Laboratories Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme, Gilead Sciences and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The drugs are used to treat patients requiring the so-called ``AIDS cocktail.'' Because of this outcome, the Brazilian government has decided not to order compulsory licensing for any of the drugs in question. Obviously, the AIDS patients are benefited, but what will this do to new drug availability in the long run in a country where government can strip patent protection? Without patent protection, new drugs will not be manufactured in and/or distributed to the country violating international patent agreement. Most likely drug information will be kept away from such countries? We believe that the drug companies have done the right thing to voluntarily to discount their drug prices to avoid to let patent infringement to be legalized. What is your opinion on this subject? 

Mad Cow Disease: When Mad Cow Disease was discovered elsewhere: US has taken precautionary steps to protect the public. Now that we have discovered the Mad Cow disease in Washington State, are we acting rationally and fairly to protect the public? Are we influenced by the farm industry lobbying forces or even the Wall Street's voices over the stock market reactions? We suggest that don't read everything in print at its face value. Do some comparison and then take action if needed such as write to your congressman or the FDA. We list a few publications below, some controversial, for you to build up your knowledge on Mad Cow Disease.

Mad Cow Disease Found in the US ( London Financial Times)  Could this First Case Signal an Epidemic? (NY Times)  USDA Misleading American Public about Beef Safety (Dr. Michael Greger) Former Cattle Lobbyist Veneman 'extremely disingenuous'  Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) (US FDA)  Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: Main Index, CDC (Center for Disease Control) http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2000/madcow/  (CNN)  http://www.cbc.ca/news/indepth/background/madcow.html (CBS) http://www.organicconsumers.org/madcow.htm (Organic Consumer Association http://www.mad-cow.org/  (Early References)

HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: The gates Foundation has donated $875,000 to support research on HIV/AIDS prevention. We commend the Gates Foundation for providing the generous support. 

Ending Life: The news article about the woman in Florida in vegetative state over a decade certainly raises serious controversy. The parents want to keep her nourished, the husband wants to remove the artificial feeding, the attorneys argued from legal point of view and Governor Jeff Bush under newly granted Florida state law ordered the feeding tube replaced after the parents pleaded to him. Physicians are interviewed and offered opinion on restoring feeding will not cause her any pain even after one week of no feeding. Reports are also cited that dying of no food and water is a highly desired death, person slowly slip into a coma and die. What would you do if you were any one of the above mentioned role? The woman herself could have a say if she had a will stating her position about such hypothetical situations. Absent of that, her religious faith could have a say based on her belief. Her physician could have a say based on medical and scientific reasoning. Her husband and her parents could reach an understanding to ease their pains rather than causing more pains to themselves by focusing on their pains and issues under Florida's marriage, family and death laws.  There is always hope for medical breakthrough to restore brain activity but it is not predictable when and what consequences it may bring. In this case, the Law is brought in when people can not reach agreement despite of no voice from the patient. We will say: treat the issue as a family matter, resolve it with continuous communication and counseling with physician, clergyman and non-litigating lawyer invited until an agreement and course of action for all party concerned are reached. Leave the legal battle and Governor out of  it. The latest updates in news: Schiavo case may be moving to a close  Schindler Family 'Begging and Pleading' to Save Daughter's Life Mike Thomas says Terri Schiavo deserves better

New Law on Abortion: House passed 2:1 to ban the 'partial birth abortion'. Clinton twice vetoed it and Bush has promised to sign it if passed by the congress. Senate is to vote on the bill soon. Groups of abortion rights will challenge the law in court if enacted. Abortion opponents recognizes the difficulty to win in Supreme Court that has ruled similar state laws unconstitutional. Do you have any opinion in this? We say leave it to the physician and patient to decide but safeguarding it by requiring a thorough medical report on the needs and circumstances such an abortion has to take place. 

"The Will To Live" on Lauren Manning, a 9-11 burn victim, by Gail Cameron Wescott, pp102-107, and "Dr. Miracle", Dr. George Griffin, Pathologist, Harvard Professor, beats his hopeless stomach cancer by Dr. Jerome Groopman, pp.109-111, March 2004 Reader's Digest. Quote: "Hope is as vital to our lives as the very oxygen that we breathe. George Griffin knew this long before I did "

US Government asks the Supreme Court to reexamine the Medical Marijuana Law to grant permission to strip prescription licenses from doctors who recommend marijuana to sick patients. What is your opinion?

 

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