Medical Sentinel

Edward R. Annis, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 7
Winter 2002

We are at war --- an unconventional war. I am not referring to our nation's war against the terrorists --- no. I am referring to war as described by Webster as being in a state of forceful opposition. It has been carried on for a number of years, slowly, craftily and by surreptitious incrementalism with such success that most doctors fail to realize its true origins or the sources of its present strength. In the 1920s, England had a group of primarily wealthy heirs, writers and self-styled intellectuals who founded the Fabian Society, its aim to transform Britain into a socialist society. They were the authors of permeation which purpose was to infiltrate major political parties so that socialistic programs could be implemented no matter which party was in power. Shortly thereafter the...


Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 7
Winter 2002

Since the fall of the Western Roman Empire, there have been three major bubonic plague epidemics, which afflicted large segments of the population in the continuous Eurasian landmass and North Africa. Death quickly followed the trade routes of the times. The death toll is almost incomprehensible. The Plague of Justinian (6th Century A.D.), the Black Death (14th Century A.D.), and the Bubonic Plague (1665-1666, which coincided with the Great Fire of London) caused an estimated 137 million dead in a world much more sparsely populated than it is today. To make matters even worse, one must also remember that these pestilences assailed and ravaged mankind at a time when the average life span was short --- less than two decades during the Middle Ages. Survival to age five was a miracle not only...


Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 7
Winter 2002

The word hygiene comes from Hygeia, the Greek goddess of health (photo, below), who was the daughter of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution (c.1750-1850) and the discovery of the germ theory of disease in the second half of the nineteenth century, hygiene and sanitation have been at the forefront of the struggle against illness and disease.(1) Together with the great strides made in improvements in the standards of living provided by free market capitalism, economic freedom, and the advances in scientific medicine --- hygiene and sanitation have resulted in unprecedented longevity, concomitant with markedly improved quality of life in the last century and a half of medical history. Thanks to these advances, senior citizens, particularly...


Kyle McCammon, DO, FAAFP, FACEP
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 7
Fall 2002

Introduction Many incremental mandates during the past decade have brought about changes in the way medical care is delivered. Many of the changes have resulted in physician dissatisfaction and frustration with the practice of medicine. Physicians have become increasingly concerned with the increases in their overhead expenses, the reductions in reimbursement for the medical services they provide, the intrusion of third-party regulatory networks into the clinical decision-making process, and the threat of medical malpractice litigation.(1) For some physicians, the rewards of practicing medicine have finally become outweighed by its many outside negative influences. For example, a recent survey of West Virginia physicians revealed that more than 40 percent were considering moving out of...


Mark D. Hiatt, MD, MSc, MBA
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 7
Fall 2002

Capping non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice cases is often proposed as a means to limit the burden of litigation and stem rising health care costs.(1,2) Such caps figure prominently in the current discussion of the so-called Patients' Bill of Rights.(3) Statutory limits on damage awards, however, present a few problems. Their potentially undesirable impact on the incidence of malpractice has been described.(4) In addition, legislative attempts to cap damages must overcome certain legal challenges: limits may restrict the right of access to the courts for redress of injuries and trial by jury under the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution and violate the guarantees of due process and equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment. Indeed, although...


Kyle McCammon, DO, FAAFP, FACEP
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 7
Fall 2002

Introduction For many reasons, our current medical liability system functions in an unjust an inefficient manner. Because there is little correlation between the filing of lawsuits and negligent care, the legal standard of medical negligence performs poorly in malpractice litigation. Since the legal system does not punish attorneys for inadequately investigating claims before they are filed, many medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous. Overall, only about 20 percent of medical malpractice lawsuits are definitively related to adverse events due to negligence. Despite this, about half of all claims still result in plaintiff verdicts. Conversely, only about one in fifty negligent medical errors ever result in a malpractice claim. Therefore, the current system does not work well for...


Jerome C. Arnett, Jr., MD, FCCP
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 7
Summer 2002

An entire culture is unraveling because its underlying philosophy is defective. As a part of this philosophy, a new ethics has replaced our traditional medical ethics, and the core values of Western Civilization --- the worth of the individual and the sanctity of human life --- have been rejected, along with the tradition of Hippocrates, religious values, and the very idea of objective right and wrong. There is nothing special in being human, killing is beneficent, suicide is rational, and caring for the elderly is a burden that wastes our financial resources.(1) This is what Wesley J. Smith documents in his shocking book, Culture of Death --- the Assault on Medical Ethics in America. Smith, an attorney for the International Anti-Euthanasia Task Force and author of the 1997 book, Forced...

Tags: bioethics

Merrill A. Cohen, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 7
Summer 2002

The four principles that guide current bioethical decision-making are beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and distributive justice. Of these, the first three have been thoroughly discussed in the medical and ethical literature over the past two decades. The many issues that relate to these first three principles, such as consent, abortion, termination of treatment and end-of-life decisions, euthanasia, in-vitro fertilization and cloning, etc., likewise have been well scrutinized. The principle of distributive justice is currently the subject of discussion in the medical literature, and it increasingly is being incorporated into physician thinking. Is distributive justice a principle physicians should adopt? This essay explores the meaning and use of the bioethical principle of...

Tags: bioethics

Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 7
Spring 2002

Our country is rotting. It is sick with a disease so shockingthat we turn our faces from it in dread. Increasingly, it is home to a class of citizens for whomthe most basic rules of social organization have come unraveled. Jared Taylor Paved With Good Intentions By pushing drugs into this group, crime and general erosion of Western moral values would be stimulated because the drugs destroyed the judgment and led people into crime, homosexuality, and other immoral activities. Joseph D. Douglass, Jr., PhD Red Cocaine: The Drugging of America   During the Korean War, large amounts of drugs were smuggled into the American camps for the main purpose of weakening the American war effort. The success of this Chinese communist ploy did not go unnoticed by Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev....


George R. Barnes, PhD, Patricia B. Cerrito, PhD, Inessa Levi, PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 7
Spring 2002

Introduction In 1998, the National Institutes of Health held a consensus panel to examine the issue of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The consensus panel concluded that "at the present time, there is a paucity of data providing information on long-term treatment beyond 14 months. Although trials combining drugs and behavioral modalities are under way, conclusive recommendations concerning treatment for the long term cannot be made easily."(1) Children diagnosed with ADHD are typically medicated for years. The medications used, including Ritalin®, have been studied for over 40 years. Why, then, is there no long-term, definitive study? Is it sufficient to study treatment outcomes for about a year or less? In the absence of definitive evidence that medical treatment is...

Tags: ADHD

Agustín Blázquez
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 6
Winter 2001

There are many academic studies, articles and books in public records exposing Castro's long term involvement with bacteriological and chemical weapons. The information has been presented in public forums. The U.S. media has been invited but they systematically choose to be absent. Perhaps so that by being absent they can claim, "but I didn't know." This information will also clash with the heavily orchestrated campaign to present Castro as non-threatening in order to normalize relations with Cuba. This collaboration of the U.S. media with the Castro regime is reprehensible. I first learned pertinent details about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and his bacteriological warfare after attending a discussion on Capitol Hill on October 28, 1997. As usual, the U.S. media did not show up. I also...


Ernesto F. Betancourt
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 6
Winter 2001

When the West Nile virus first emerged in the U.S as the cause of the encephalitis outbreak in New York, it was considered an epidemiological mystery. The discovery made by an alert veterinarian in the Bronx Zoo, Tracey McNamara, baffled the CDC because that virus had never been present in the Western Hemisphere. There was an initial search for explanations and one writer, Robert Preston, published a story in the October 18-25, 2000 issue of The New Yorker, that this was being investigated under the hypothesis that it could be the work of Saddam Hussein. In that story, Saddam is quoted as referring to "his final weapon, developed in laboratories outside Iraq...Free of UN inspection, the laboratories will develop strain SV1417 of the West Nile virus." Needless to say that in the...


Lester C. Caudle, III, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 6
Winter 2001

Despite the end of the Cold War, the United States still faces a range of serious national security issues. One at the forefront is the issue of the proliferation of biological weapons, and the accelerated development of the capabilities to design and produce biological weapons on the part of many Third World nations.(1) The Committee on Armed Services of the U.S. House of Representatives, in their Special Inquiry Into the Chemical and Biological Threat, concluded that despite the demise of the Soviet Union, with its sizable chemical and biological arsenal, the threat has increased in terms of widespread proliferation, technological diversity, and the probability of use.(2) Of the nations currently believed to have an offensive biological warfare program, only a few are candidates for a...


Arthur M. Friedlander, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 6
Winter 2001

Inhalational Anthrax Inhalational anthrax begins after an incubation period of 1 to 6 days with nonspecific symptoms of malaise, fatigue, myalgia, and fever. There maybe an associated nonproductive cough and mild chest discomfort. These symptoms usually persist for 2 or 3 days, and in some cases there may be a short period of improvement. This is followed by the sudden onset of increasing respiratory distress with dyspnea, stridor, cyanosis, increased chest pain, and diaphoresis. There may be associated edema of the chest and neck. Chest X-ray examination usually shows the characteristic widening of the mediastinum and, often, pleural effusions). Pneumonia has not been a consistent finding but can occur in some patients.(1) While cases of inhalational anthrax have been rare in this...

Tags: anthrax

David J. McClain, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 6
Winter 2001

The concept of using variola virus in warfare is an old one. British colonial commanders considered distributing blankets from smallpox victims among Native Americans as a biological weapon.(1-3) During the American Civil War, allegations were made about the use of smallpox as a biological weapon, although there subsequently proved to be no definite evidence for such.(4,5) In the years leading up to and during World War II, the Japanese military explored weaponization of smallpox during the operations of Unit 731 in Mongolia and China.(6,7) Nevertheless, the actual potential of variola virus as a biological weapon remains controversial. Given the ease of administration and the availability of the vaccinia virus as a vaccine against smallpox,(8) some have argued that smallpox would have...

Tags: smallpox


It is now legend the AAPS legally lanced the secret task force and pulled its secrets...into the sunshine. It destoyed the Health Security Act.


The Oath of Hippocrates
and the Transformation of Medical Ethics Through Time


Patients within a managed care system have the illusion there exists a doctor-patient relationship...But in reality, it is the managers who decide how medical care will be given.


Judicial activism...the capricious rule of man rather than the just rule of law.


The largest single problem facing American medicine today is the actions of government...


The lessons of history sagaciously reveal wherever governments have sought to control medical care and medical practice...the results have been as perverse as they have been disastrous.


Children are the centerpiece of the family, the treasure (and renewal) of countless civilizations, but they should not be used flagrantly to advance political agendas...


Prejudice against gun ownership by ordinary citizens is pervasive in the public health community, even when they profess objectivity and integrity in their scientific research.


The infusion of tax free money into the MSA of the working poor give this population tax equity with wealthier persons...


It was when Congress started dabbling in constitutionally forbidden activities that deficit spending produced a national debt!


Does the AMA have a secret pact with HCFA?


The lure of socialism is that it tells the people there is nothing they cannot have and that all social evils will be redressed by the state.


Canada's fatal error — Health Care as a Right!


The Cancer Risk from Low Level Radiation: A Review of Recent Evidence...


...Moreover, the gun control researchers failed to consider and underestimated the protective benefits of firearms.


Vandals at the Gates of Medicine — Have They Been Repulsed or Are They Over the Top?