Published Articles

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dear Editor,

The late scholar and medical researcher Plinio Prioreschi (1930–2014) MD., Ph.D., warned physicians and surgeons of the danger of neglecting medical history and delegating the task to social historians or journalists with little or no medical or surgical knowledge. Dr. Prioreschi summarized the point by stating that competent medical history is medicine. Medicine being a very esoteric field cannot easily be mastered by nonphysicians. Prioreschi wrote, “the asymmetry (in esoterism) between science and the humanities…allows the physicist to be a poet but forbids a poet to be a physicist.”[5] The same goes for historians and physicians. Because of the high degree of esoterism involved in medicine, physicians can be historians, but historians cannot be physicians without training in medicine.[5] The mysterious death of Stalin is an excellent and instructive case in point.

On the fiftieth anniversary of Joseph Stalin's death, the British newspaper, the Daily Mail, headlined, “It's official! Stalin died of natural causes: Autopsy published for 1st time says Soviet leader suffocated after suffering a stroke death as from ‘natural causes.’”[4]...



Monday, July 27, 2015

The material compiled in this slim but compact tome, The Neuropsychiatry of Limbis and Subcortical Disorders, was originally published in the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience in 1997. It was expanded and republished in book form made possible by a grant from Hoechst Marion Roussel Pharmaceuticals. The book was the work of 26 contributors, recognized leading investigators and authorities in their respective areas of contribution.

The book is divided in two parts. Part 1 deals with anatomy and neurochemistry and is subdivided into five chapters: “The Limbic System: An Anatomic, Phylogenetic, and Clinical Perspective”; (2) Ventromedial Temporal Lobe Anatomy, With Comments on Alzheimer’s Disease and Temporal Injury; (3) The Thalamus and Neuropsychiatric Illness; (4) The Accumbens: Beyond the Core-Shell Dichotomy; and (5) Neurobiology of Fear Responses: The Role of the Amygdala. In each of these chapters the contributors have researched and summarized the state of knowledge in their respective areas, and the chapters are followed by comprehensive annotation of sources, veritable bibliographic fountains, which should be of immense value to researchers....



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Ecologic studies are notorious for inherent errors of methodology, confounding variables, and magnifying other sample biases intrinsic to fault-prone, population-based epidemiological studies. But in the paper, “Firearm Ownership and Violent Crime in the U.S.—An Ecologic Study,” recently published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine,[1] we find additional problems resulting from the well known proclivity of many public health researchers of using preordained, result-oriented research to push for their personal views favoring gun control and militating for disarming law-abiding citizens, purportedly to reduce gun crime perpetrated by the not-so-law-abiding felons and career criminals who, as a matter of course, ignore and flaunt the law.[2-4]

From the outset the article reveals the authors’ biases. The study begins by listing the frightening statistics of gun homicides in the U.S. with the usual obligatory comparison with other “industrialized nations (mostly Europe),” neglecting world demographics, migrations, socioeconomics, history and geography, which brings to mind our next door neighbor Mexico, as well as Brazil and most of the Western hemisphere, not to...



Sunday, July 12, 2015

In medicine and surgery, traditional medical ethics have been based on the Oath of Hippocrates that has endured through the centuries because its precepts are patient-oriented — namely, that the first consideration of the physician is the needs of the individual patient. Doctors are sworn to do no harm and to advise and do what is in the best interest of their patients; third-party payers, insurers, society and the State are (or should be) secondary considerations.

For several decades progressive academicians have been pushing for a new term — i.e., bioethics.[3] And even more recently, a newer term, tailor-made for the neurosciences and neurosurgical specialties, has come into vogue — i.e., neuroethics.[2]

Bioethics (and potentially neuroethics) is based on utilitarianism and collectivist, population-based ethics that are susceptible to manipulation by social engineers, and the influence of government monetary and funding considerations.[1-4] Bioethics and the veterinary ethic are applicable to humane animal research and when treating sick and injured animals — in which the veterinarian does not act necessarily in the best interest of the injured animal, but...



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Dear Miguel,

I just read your magnificent papers recently appearing in Surgical Neurology International (SNI). Your rebuttal to the comment on your original article on ethics and morality was a masterpiece of scholarship and reasoned logic.(1) It was a delightful tour of moral history. You made a well-reasoned argument against the leftist mentality of excluding ideas that are contrary to the accepted leftist paradigm. This is a holdover from the Marxist idea that since Marxism/Leninism is "scientifically" determined, no further discussions are needed or should be allowed — in their view such additions to the argument only create confusion and discord. As I wrote in my article on contrary views as a "mental illness," not only are these contrary views considered by the left as a social irritant, but also they are dangerous to the social body and therefore should be treated as such.(2)

I also particularly enjoyed your handling and discussions of the blatant double standards exercised by such critics — that is, how the leftist-leaning medical journals are at liberty to expound endlessly, most often with extremely poor scholarship, on their views of the perfect...



Saturday, June 27, 2015

A small but explosive book was recently published by a Macon, Georgia, author that deserves close perusal not only in Middle Georgia but all of America. The book is Land Grab — How Our Country Can Grab Your Land Without Paying a Fair Price (2014) by Alan H. Preston, who like his brother, uncle, and father, has a degree in Forestry (from the University of Georgia).  His parents, Druid and Carol Preston, have been our good friends and neighbors in Macon for nearly 30 years.

In the first part of his book, Alan recounts the poignant story of how his grandfather, Abb Preston, after working and improving his land in west Georgia for many years, lost sizeable tracts of property to the federal government during the expansion of Fort Benning in 1941. Abb was a patriotic citizen and did not question the need for expansion of the military base just before the onset of World War II. What shocked him and his young sons, Druid and Richard, was the way they were treated and the forceful taking of Abb’s property without fair and just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I prefer to let the readers find out for themselves the disturbing...



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Abstract — In discussing bioethics and the formulation of neuroethics, the question has arisen as to whether secular humanism should be the sole philosophical guiding light, to the exclusion of any discussion (or even mention) of religious morality, in professional medical ethics. In addition, the question has arisen as to whether freedom or censorship should be part of medical (and neuroscience) journalism. Should independent medical journals abstain from discussing certain issues, or should only the major medical journals — i.e., the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) or Lancet — be heard, speaking with one “consensual,” authoritative voice? This issue is particularly important in controversial topics impacting medical politics — e.g., public health policy, socio-economics, bioethics, and the so-called redistributive justice in health care. Should all sides be heard when those controversial topics are discussed or only a consensual (monolithic) side? This historical review article discusses those issues and opts for freedom in medical and surgical practice as well as freedom in medical journalism, particularly in...



Monday, June 15, 2015

This is the third volume of the monumental A History of Medicine series by the medical historian and classical scholar Plinio Prioreschi M.D., PhD.[1] A limited number of these books were published, and the reader would be fortunate to find copies of the tomes for less than $350 U.S. dollars. We have already reviewed Volume I: Primitive and Ancient Medicine (2nd edition, 1995) and Volume II: Greek Medicine (2nd edition, 1996).[2,3] We found both of these tomes to be excellent journeys to the history of medicine (and indirectly medical ethics). This third volume continues the well‑researched scholarly tradition as well as hypnotic eloquence of Dr. Plinio Prioreschi’s narrative.

Once again, it is worth repeating that Dr. Prioreschi does not hesitate to deviate from orthodox or dogmatic views when new facts have come to light, when previous information has been neglected or misinterpreted, or when logical reasoning calls for a new interpretation of the facts. He does the same in this, the heftiest of the first three volumes — if one includes his Foreword, Introduction, and Index — at over 800 pages.

By 268 B.C., Rome was the eternal city, the caput mundi and mistress...



Wednesday, June 10, 2015

It is not often one comes across a book that contains so much useful and enlightening information and wisdom. In Vandals at the Gates of Medicine, Dr. Miguel Faria has captured the essence of our nation’s problem — collectivism. As he so forcefully points out, we have, as a people, abandoned the principles that made this a great nation, a nation of free and virtuous people.

His writing style is lucid and makes a complex and often difficult topic enjoyable to read and easy to understand. I have learned a great deal reading this wonderful book. Unlike many pure historians, Dr. Faria brings together a multitude of disciplines — ethics, philosophy, mythology, religion, political science and law — into a synthesis that is vital to understanding the pernicious nature of collectivism. Within these disciplines he weaves his vast practical experience as a neurosurgeon.

I compare Dr. Faria’s writing style to one of my favorite authors, Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, as one of a handful of people who is able to do what Dr. Faria has done, that is, present history as it should be presented as a total and all encompassing study of mankind, or as Ludwig von Mises puts it — Human...



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In our review of the first volume in this series we introduced the medical scholar Dr. Plinio Prioreschi, the author of this marvelous narrative of the history of medicine, and listed the composition of this series of tomes for the benefit of the readers.[1] We do so again here for the same reason:

A History of Medicine — Volume I: Primitive and Ancient Medicine (2nd edition, 1995); 596 pages

A History of Medicine — Volume II: Greek Medicine (2nd edition, 1996); 771 pages

A History of Medicine — Volume III: Roman Medicine (1st edition, 1998); 822 pages

A History of Medicine — Volume IV: Byzantine and Islamic Medicine (2001); 498 pages

A History of Medicine — Volume V: Medieval Medicine (2003); 804 pages

A History of Medicine — Volume VI: Renaissance Medicine (2007); 801 pages

In this review, we will restrict ourselves to reviewing the second tome in the series — Greek Medicine as it relates to medical history and ethics.[3] From the outset, let us state this volume is also magnificent and continues in the same tradition of Prioreschi’s excellent scholarship, orderly organization, and superb narration. As we will see, Prioreschi...





Published on July 11, 2016, the lyrics to The Doves song "Pulse" remind us: “…the steady drumbeat of your “Pulse” — thump, thump, thump — is all that stands between you and eternity.”