Jewish World Review June 4, 2004 / 14 Sivan 5764

Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

The Medicine Men
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


It's A Medical Life — I Remember Yesterday


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | While making the coffee-pastry rounds in Orange County, Calif., the one nagging complaint I hear is, "What do we do with all the new pills the drug companies throw at us hourly on TV - while simultaneously trying to deal with the medical profession's constantly juggling and lowering of the normal lab values?"


Actually we ponder the same questions. Here is our lament.


"Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away. I remember yesterday. Suddenly I'm not half the man I used to be.There's a shadow hanging over me. Oh, yesterday came suddenly." Yesterday I was healthy. Then they went and changed all the laboratory values for normal. Now overnight I am really sick.


My blood pressure is now abnormally high (just above the now normal 120/80). So is my cholesterol (just above 200). And this week my prostatic antigen (PSA) is suddenly considered elevated by a lead original scientific article.


The New England Journal of Medicine, the self proclaimed Medical New York Times and journal of record, writes that yesterday's normal PSA of 4ng./ml. may be too high. You see the PSA ain't all that accurate as they once told us. There are some prostate cancers in the previous normal PSA range.


To make it just a little more confusing, annoying and uncomfortable - the worst kind of cancers don't produce high levels of PSA! Perhaps all men with a PSA of 2.5 or over should have their prostates biopsied! Yikes. Just the thought of all us older men with a value over 2.5 getting nine needle core biopsies will get us depressed.


With depression comes medication and sexual dysfunction. Now we can cure the latter with Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. The latter is so effective that a current TV ad with a glamorous model wife reminds all of us - somewhat gleefully - that sometimes erections will last four hours and require emergency room intervention and treatment. The ad doesn't tell us if that is for him or her!


To look younger and feel better about myself I can take Propecia and maybe get a thick full head of hair. The problem again is that of severe sexual side-effects. So now I look good but can't give a "quality' performance.


Or I can dye my hair but that can lead to bladder cancer or multiple myeloma. I can shampoo the color out in a few months but just last week learned that ingredients in shampoo like formaldehyde can cause cancer in animals.

Donate to JWR


Shampoo may contain sodium laurel sulphates and propylene glycol which are harmful to health. Sodium Laurel sulphate foams readily, making the shampoo or gel thicker and therefore seem richer. Sodium laureth sulphate is a less harmful form, but both damage hair follicles and cause hair loss. I guess clean really isn't all that religious after all.


I can increase my memory a little with the proper chemical but I forgot to take the tiny little pill last week and now can't remember its generic name to re-order it.


Now the one drug many would like for their senior severe arthritic years - pain medications - we can't get because the government has decided to put physicians in jail for legally prescribing them.


So now I am medically sick by computer algorithm. They want us all to live and die in perfect electrolyte, laboratory and chemical balance. It doesn't matter that half my friends and their wives walk around like zombies half-asleep. Calculate the permutations and calculations of side-effects for a dozen medications and you'll figure out why.


Of course all this runs counter-current to rising medical costs, the number of uninsured at 42-46 million, and a rising and older sicker population.


The politicians will go crazy - but we don't need to talk about that now.


The medical profession, drug companies and advertisers need to get ahold of themselves. Some perspective - please! In medicine these days, as in politics, their false utopia beats my reality any day.


In response to all this I may need to start anti-depressive therapy which will increase my chances of happiness but with the side effects of somnolence or suicide. Why can't we in medicine just "Let it be, let it be. Shine on 'til tomorrow. Let it be, let it be."


All this stuff will be rewritten in seven years anyway. So find a well-trained family physician or internist you trust and talk it over and reach some type of reality based approach. Or we could solve the problem with a "Life with Dignity" Act.


Til then. Good night moon. I remember yesterday - but not so well.

Editor's Note: Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D. wrote this week's column.




Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments on medical-legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is a Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists. Comment by clicking here.

Up

05/28/04: Back to the Future: Patient Pays Directly for Medical Care
05/21/04: Sue Your Boss Month
05/14/04: Death from painful medical myths
05/07/04: Fear in the Medical Garden of Eden
04/30/04: DDT vs. Death by Malaria
04/23/04: In pain do we part!
04/16/04: Free — or not free — to treat pain
04/09/04: Wrong Military Diagnoses & Treatments
04/02/04: Radiation monster slain
03/19/04: What Do — and Don't — Bush and Kerry Plan to do to Your Health Choices
03/15/04: Dear Rush: We Feel Your Pain, So Now Feel the Pain of Others
03/05/04: Fraudulent use of fraud laws — by government
02/27/04: Population growth, birth control and increased terrorism?
02/20/04: Doctors fighting against doctors, at the behest of the government and lawyers
02/13/04: Legal Cancer in the White House?
02/06/04: Feds Harass Doctors. Who's Next?
01/30/04: Women, the Military and Medical Misconceptions
01/23/04: Welfare for the Wealthy
01/19/04: New diagnoses and strategies create both short and long term problems for medicine and the military
01/09/04: A new plastic phobia?
01/02/04: Baseball Good Medicine?: International Forkball and Split Finger Rotating Our Way Soon
12/26/03: Medicare Bankrupt: A Possible Palliative 12/19/03: Crossing Fruit Street: Some Movies Like "Stuck on You" Cross the Medical Line
12/12/03: Silver Lining in the Medicare Clouds?
12/05/03: Medicare mop up
12/01/03: The Dirty Radioactive Bomb: Rational Response or Fear Itself?
11/24/03: The Caduceus Conspiracy: How the People Lost Medicine and How We Can Take It Back
11/14/03: Mosquitoes kill us; DDT doesn't
11/07/03: Avoiding the Schiavo Scenario: Readers Speak Out With Life-and-Death Comments
10/31/03: The Terri Schindler-Schiavo Case: Speaking out for those who can't
10/24/03: Want health service — go on a diet?
10/15/03: The War on Legal Painkillers: Sen. Kerry owes an apology to the more than 48 million Americans who suffer chronic pain
10/13/03: Medicare defrauds itself
09/19/03: Politics prevents women from learning about abortion/breast cancer risks
09/12/03: Medical mischief
09/05/03: Unholy medicine
08/29/03: The California Tea Party and West Coast Determinism; Voter anger coming your way soon
08/18/03: The outlaw prosecutors: A Justice and Civil Liberties Issue
08/08/03: "Toxic Teeth?"
07/25/03: Resuscitating the Constitution; CPR American Style
07/25/03: Drug reimportation: Bill translates to goodnight, patients
07/11/03: Costly Medicare Changes, Without Real Reform
07/04/03: The Painful DEA II: War on legal drugs ensnares too many doctors and not enough dealers
06/20/03: The Medicare Mess: Will President Bush call Congress' Bluff?
06/13/03: Diagnosis: School Insanity: A suit for sanity and school discipline
06/05/03: Soaring Medical Costs: Rational ignorance or rational enlightenment?
05/30/03: A Tale of Two Admirable Women: Jessica and Annika
05/23/03: Latest medical innovation: Cash
05/09/03: We feel your pain; Physicians have it too no thanks to the DEA
05/02/03: Medical Quarterbacking
04/25/03: CNN the "Conscience-Not Network"
04/21/03: Medical Miranda?
04/11/03: Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
04/09/03: The PETA Principle -- The lambshank Redemption
03/28/03: American conscience?
03/21/03: West Wimps or Wings: Treatment for Hollywood Hypocrisy
03/13/03: Worldwide schmaltz shortage looms --- all because of a featherless chicken
03/06/03: Legal metastases are killing us
02/28/03: Outside the Jury Box: Seeking Justice rather than a Lottery in Medical Liability
02/21/03: Workforce temperature rising; employer TLC in demand
02/14/03: Malpractice Insurance: They Reap What They Sue
02/12/03: Hawk, Dove or Groundhog: Diagnosis Critical List; Prognosis Uncertain
02/07/03: How about tax cuts for the "rich" and "poor"?
01/31/03: AIDS Bug Chasers
01/24/03: Libertarian moment or movement?
01/17/03: It's not just 'sue the docs' anymore
01/03/03: A pox on the critics; diagnosis sour grapes
01/03/03: If protesting is good for your health; then at least let's root for the home team
12/20/02: Obesidemic (obesity epidemic) or not?
12/20/02: Time for voluntary informed smallpox vaccinations
12/13/02: The real reason the state opposes homeschooling?
12/06/02: Conscience of a former conservative: Portrait of a political metamorphosis
11/27/02: Thanksgiving dinner hazard?
11/22/02: Time to think outside the box and inside the nucleus
11/15/02: The military should be protected from abusive environmental laws in times of war
11/11/02: Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?
10/31/02: Deep thoughts on Baseball, the World Series and Life: How about them Anaheim Angels?
10/23/02: "Pediatric rule" guinea pigs
10/23/02: Once the World Series ends, we need to create a Donnie Moore Day of Remembrance: Sports and mental health
10/18/02: Congress to senior patients: Do as we say not as we do for ourselves
10/11/02: Using pollution "scare labeling" to political advantage
10/04/02: The Great Asbestos Heist: Did Litigation and Junk Medical Science Helped Bring Down the World Trade Center?
09/27/02: The imminent rise of civic feminism: A far healthier national alternative in war and peace
09/20/02: A Ray A Day" to replace the daily apple?
09/13/02: Beware of celebrities hawking drugs
09/06/02: Avoid 9/11 overdose: Give blood to begin "September of Service," SOS
08/28/02: From Doubleday to strikeday: Baseball's collective anxiety attack
08/23/02: Should she or shouldn't she?: An alternative view on treating menopause with HRT
08/16/02: Cooking up defenses against germ warfare
08/02/02: Medicine, crime and canines
07/26/02: Lies, pathologic lies and the Palestinians
07/19/02: Medicare Drug Follies as in "now you see it, now you don't"
07/12/02: Anti-Profiling: A New Medically False Belief System
07/08/02: Don't procrastinate, vaccinate!
06/28/02: The scientific advances on the safe and effective deployment of DDT are being ignored, or denied. Why?
06/21/02: Sex and the system: In seeking healthcare men are different from women
06/14/02: The FDA, drug companies and life-saving drugs: Who's the fox and who's the hen now?
06/07/02: Medical Privacy Lost: A hippo on the healthcare back!
05/24/02: To clean up America's game: A (soggy) ground rule
05/10/02: Free speech is good medicine
05/03/02: Medicine's Vietnam
04/26/02: Attack on alternative medicine could lead to alternative lawsuits
04/12/02: Insure the 'crazies'?
04/09/02: No Time for Litmus Tests: In War We Need a Surgeon General and NIH, CDC, and FDA Directors
04/02/02: The scoop on soot: A dirty rotten shame?
03/22/02: Too many beautiful minds to waste: The first annual Caduceus Movie
03/15/02: Terror and transformation: Defense essential for health & state of mind
03/08/02: Diagnosis: Delusional
03/06/02: The great matzah famine
03/01/02: Is new Hippocratic Oath hypocritical?
02/15/02: Why the recent moaning about cloning?
02/08/02: Searching for Dr. Strangelove
01/15/02: Score one for the value of human life
01/04/02: Medical-legal-financial wake-up call
12/28/01: Who's afraid of a 'dirty bomb'?
12/21/01: End of medicine?
12/14/01: More heroes: Docs deserve a little credit after 9/11
11/16/01: Do we need 'Super Smallpox Saturdays'?
11/09/01: Why the post-9-11 health care debate will never be the same
11/01/01: Common sense good for our mental health
10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy

© 2002