Category Archives: Medical

H1N1 hysteria

It’s been a long week of dealing with antivaxxers – especially on Facebook, the modern day harbinger of death via easily-spread panic/hysteria/paranoia against the very technology designed to save us from illness.

I was going to comment on this celebrity Q&A, but then I thought “Why? Who the fuck cares?”

I realize there are people that care, but I’m not going to put in the effort to correcting some of the nonsense in here (and to be fair, it’s only a few people) when my energy could be better spent elsewhere. I mean, when someone is so daft that they don’t see the danger in shaking hands with 100 people a night unvaccinated, what is the point of carefully explaining how selfish that is? It’s not all about Jan and her risk – it’s about accidentally spreading disease to 100 people/night because she didn’t wash her hands between each one. But what’s the point? She’s some celebrity, not a medical expert or a scientist. So who cares what she says?

What a celebrity says should be worth next to nothing in deciding to get vaccinated. What should matter is the evidence. Vaccines have saved millions of lives with minimal discomfort and only very rare side-effects. It’s super that David Suzuki is getting his vaccine, but who cares?

Naturopathy on Skeptic North

There is a new post on Skeptic North about homeopathy naturopathy in the Maritimes (Edit: I wrote this incorrectly the first time, had homeopathy on the brain). I have this to add: More…

And heeeeeeere it comes…

So as if on cue, the ill-informed (somewhat a misnomer, if you get the pun) have come out of the woodwork to blame Patrick Swayze’s death on his chemo. The same chemo that kept him alive for 20 months instead of the usual 6. Yeah, that chemo.

The latest is medical expert Suzanne Somers. Oh wait, she’s an actress. That does not mean she is not a smart person but she is completely unqualified to comment on someone else’s health care choices and the effectiveness of life-prolonging medical treatments.

I’d like to say if we ignore them they’ll just go away, but that’s not true if the media keeps giving these people attention. So all we can do is respond and take their statements to task for the nonsense that they are and hope that people don’t follow their dangerous assumptions.

“They took a beautiful man” and “put poison in his body. Why couldn’t they have built him up nutritionally and gotten rid of the toxins? . . . I hate to be this controversial . . . but I have to speak out.”

I think my head asplode. It’s not “controversial” Suzanne, it’s wrong. Wrong and dangerous.

SickKids update

A few days ago I wrote an email to the SickKids grants director. She wrote back (and spelled my name wrong) and I replied. More…

This was possibly the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write

Unfortunately there is some concern about SickKids and to whom it has decided to award its hard-earned money. This otherwise fine organization has decided to give Autism One, an autism group that has been vocal about the “questionable safety” of vaccines, a $5000 grant for an upcoming conference at the University of Toronto. That may seem like small potatoes, but the prestige and legitimacy that their association with SickKids will bring is worth much more than that.

I have written a letter to express my concerns. Respectful Insolence and Science-Based Pharmacy are also following this, among others, where you can find more details. If you have the time, and are concerned about the way SickKids is spending their grant money, please write them (I contacted them under “National Grants Program) a letter politely outlining your concerns. More…

Breast Exams

So I had my first breast exam this morning. The take a picture kind, not the regular feel you up kind. [Just to be clear – it was a screening, nothing to worry about…unless I happen get a weird result. But until then, no worries.] I just wanted to share my experiences in case there were other women out there like me who had no idea what to expect. More…

Beware the Sanitized Spinal Trap

I agree with Orac on this one. Thus, I am reprinting the relevant parts of the non-sanitized version of Simon Singh’s infamous chiropractic article (the entirety can be seen via the link to Orac’s site or here — the cached original version). However, I live in Canada so this might get sketchy, but I’ll give it a try for now anyway. I’ll also make clear, even though Orac mentions it, that the sanitized sentences are on the BCA’s own website, so it’s not like people can’t go somewhere to see them anyway. More…