Medical Sentinel

Mark D. Hiatt, MD, MBA
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 5
Volume Number: 5
September/October 2000

Phileas Fogg had won his wager, and had made his journey around the world in eighty days. To do this he had employed every means of conveyance - steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading-vessels, sledges, elephants. The eccentric gentleman had throughout displayed all his marvelous qualities of coolness and exactitude. But what then? What had he really gained by all this trouble? What had he brought back from this long and weary journey? Jules Verne Around the World in 80 Days The Flexner Report(1) is one of the most cited evaluations of medical education in the twentieth century. Published in 1910 by the Carnegie Foundation, the Report arose from research conducted by Abraham Flexner, who claimed to have visited and objectively evaluated 155 graduate and twelve postgraduate medical...


James A. Albright, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 5
Volume Number: 5
September/October 2000

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary,in the same hands whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective,may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. James Madison, 1787 Federalist Papers #47   Executive Agencies with the Power of Legislation   Many of the current problems in this country can be traced to the growth of the regulatory agencies, some of which have become independent fiefdoms with legislative as well as executive and judicial powers. This has indirectly led to disaffection of the population, which in general believes that the government no longer represents their interests. It is a justifiable conclusion, because a high percent of our "laws" are now written by the regulatory agencies in the...

Tags: FDA

Bernard L. Cohen, PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 5
July/August 2000

Introduction This article deals with an aspect of the biological science underlying health risk analysis. Many vitamins and minerals have been known to promote health in small doses and cause disease in high doses for some time. Accumulating evidence indicates that ionizing radiation and other agents also interact with biological systems in similar fashion. The phenomenon is called "hormesis." Hormesis is now being considered as a general biological phenomenon (e.g., cf. Linda M. Gerber, George C. Williams and Sandra J. Gray, "The Nutrient-Toxin Dosage Continuum in Human Evolution and Modern Health," Sept. 1999, The Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 74, No. 3, pp. 273-289.) Prof. Cohen reviews some of the accumulating evidence about biological responses to ionizing radiation. The...

Tags: cancer

Robert P. Nirschl, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 5
July/August 2000

Reasons Against Current Medicare Guidelines As noted in Part I of this article,(1) the focused intent of the guidelines is primarily governmental cost control and secondarily a re-allocation of perceived injustices of Medicare payments to some physician groups. The following discussion will review the basic concepts and point out clear reasons why the government core and ancillary goals will not be achieved, why the concept of quantitative E&M codes should be replaced with the original 1991 CPT codes and meaningful reform of a failing Medicare system be implemented. Lack of Control of the Cost of Medical Services and/or Medicare Payments The May 1997 guidelines clearly state a key purpose is "accurate and timely claims review and payment."(2) A quantification system will indeed...

Tags: Medicare

Lawrence R. Huntoon, MD, PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 4
Volume Number: 5
July/August 2000

One of the biggest myths being propogated today is the absurd notion that "people can't see a doctor without having insurance." The truth is office visits are relatively cheap, well within the means of most people. The problem is most people don't budget anything for their annual medical care. And, then when a problem arises, any expense greater than zero "isn't in the budget." The other problem is that insurance really isn't insurance anymore. It is pre-paid health care. True insurance is intended to prevent financial disaster in the face of an unlikely event. Most people, however, have come to expect first dollar coverage for everything including very common and likely events like routine doctor office visits. "Covered'' employees don't realize it's their money going to pay for this "...


Kyle S. McCammon, DO
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 5
May/June 2000

The Health Care Problem Many changes in the health care system have occurred during the past decade. As a consequence of these changes, the patient-physician relationship has been disrupted and both patient and physician frustration and dissatisfaction have increased.(1-6) Surveys have documented an extensive dissatisfaction with the practice of medicine. The reasons behind this dissatisfaction are multifactorial and include concern with spiraling increases in overhead expenses coupled with eroding incomes, the threat of malpractice claims, and the extensive regulatory network and intrusion of third parties into the clinical decision-making process that has been labeled "the hassle factor."(6) So, what has been created by the changes in the health care system: a system where today...


Garth L. Nicolson, PhD, Meryl Nass, MD, Nancy L. Nicolson, PhD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 5
May/June 2000

ABSTRACT Although all U.S. Armed Forces personnel have been ordered to receive the anthrax vaccine, questions remain concerning its efficacy and safety and its intended use to counter a biological weapons attack. Since published data on the anthrax vaccine are scarce, it is difficult if not impossible to evaluate claims of its effectiveness and safety. In addition, questions concerning its safety have been raised, based on reports that associate the anthrax vaccine with high frequencies of adverse reactions and chronic illnesses. The chronic signs and symptoms associated with anthrax vaccination are similar to those found in Gulf War Illness patients, suggesting that at least some of the chronic illnesses suffered by veterans of the 1991 Gulf War may have been caused by vaccines. Some...

Tags: anthrax, vaccines

Robert P. Nirschl, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 3
Volume Number: 5
May/June 2000

Introduction The revolution in health care financing and its impact on health care services itself has approached a watershed moment. American society has reached a critical position because of a momentous shift in financial control from the user of the medical service (e.g., the patient) to a third party payer (e.g., management company or government) who is the purchaser but not the user of the medial services in question. This shift in the financing paradigm extends far beyond the espoused goal of societal cost control to the very core and tradition of medical practice as articulated by Hippocrates to physicians, approximately 360 B.C. The essence of the Oath of Hippocrates is doing what is in the best interest of the individual patient. The current sacrifice of this time-honored...

Tags: Medicare

Harold E. Buttram, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 5
March/April 2000

Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths. Philosophy of Science: A Personal Report," in C. A. Mace (ed.), British Philosophy in the Mid-Century. Sir Karl Popper   In early August of last year congressional hearings were held in Washington D.C. on the question of vaccine safety. Congressman Dan Burton, Chairman of the U. S. House Government Reform Committee, called the hearings. On the weekend of October 2-3, 1999, an autism conference was held at Cherry Hill, New Jersey, sponsored by the Autism Research Institute of San Diego, California. Over 1,000 people were in attendance, the great majority of whom were parents of autistic children. At one point in the meeting, when those parents who thought their child's autism was caused by vaccines were asked to stand, a...

Tags: vaccines

Franklin E. Payne, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 5
March/April 2000

For a half-century, "officials"* have promoted the mass vaccination of the world's population, primarily children. In the United States, recommendations by non-legislative bodies, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have been mandated into state laws by willing legislators who are always ready to promote any action that is for the "good of the children." (Wouldn't you like some laws for the "good of the parents?") As with any medication, vaccines have side effects, allergies, and unintended effects. These range from slight redness at the site of injection to low-grade fevers, paralysis, and death. The milder reactions are more common, and the more severe reactions are rare. Indeed, the latter are so rare statistically...

Tags: vaccines

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 5
March/April 2000

Vaccines --- Kill or Cure? As the controversial debate over mandatory vaccine policy heats up igniting passions, it is perhaps appropriate we summarize what is known about the manifest benefits of modern vaccines, not forgetting the tremendously salutary impact on health and longevity wrought about by better living conditions, hygiene and sanitation, in general, and the introduction and subsequent widespread use of antibiotics, in particular. In Part I of this essay, we discussed the history of vaccinations, the advent of the germ theory of disease, and the ushering in of the dawn of scientific medicine.(1) In Part II, we will weave into this historic tapestry the more contemporary history behind some of the many infectious illnesses of the 20th century and revisit the story as to how...


Conrad F. Meier
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 2
Volume Number: 5
March/April 2000

Late last year, in another assault on the truth, President Clinton claimed the rising number of uninsured is due to Congress' failure in 1993 to pass his plan for nationalizing health care.(1) Contrary to his predictable spin, the growing national population of uninsured citizens is a cancer clearly identifiable at the state level with Washington State becoming a textbook case for legislators and single-payer advocates. Make no mistake about this: it is not because state legislators failed to implement universal health care, but precisely because they did! The state of Washington experience is one we should not discharge with a cavalier wave of the hand. It has national implications of a metastasis spreading across this land, with no state, no citizen immune to the effects of liberal (...


William K. Summers, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 5
January/February 2000

ABSTRACT Tacrine (1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-5-aminoacridine, THA, Cognex®) has had an interesting history since its synthesis in Australia as part of the WWII effort. In 1986, it was described in its oral form as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease. In 1993, it became the first FDA approved treatment for Alzheimer's, but this was not without controversy, and many practitioners believed the drug was ineffective and hepatotoxic. This review of the literature demonstrates the studies that refuted the effectiveness of tacrine were seriously flawed. The role of lecithin was reviewed in the literature. Fatal and serious hepatotoxicity was found to be minimal (less than 5 in over 300,000 patients). While lecithin appeared to substantially lessen the impact of the benign liver enzyme...


Edward R. Annis, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 1
Volume Number: 5
January/February 2000

In our society, things don't just happen. It is informed, motivated and active people who persevere until they make things happen. A little history, however short, seems in order. It was in 1942 that Sir William Beveredge was able to establish national health insurance for Great Britain. Patterned after that legislation, the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bill was introduced to the United States in 1943. This bill that same year prompted the formation of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) by private physicians to stop all forms of third-party intervention in medicine, particularly government intrusion in the patient-doctor relationship. Little progress was gained despite strong support for socialized medicine from multiple union bosses. That support continued and was...

Tags: unions

Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Article Type: Feature Article
Issue Number: 6
Volume Number: 4
November/December 1999

There are a growing number of clinicians and basic scientists who are convinced that a group of compounds called excitotoxins play a critical role in the development of several neurological disorders including migraines, seizures, infections, abnormal neural development, certain endocrine disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, learning disorders in children, AIDS dementia, episodic violence, lyme borreliosis, hepatic encephalopathy, specific types of obesity, and especially the neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and olivopontocerebellar degeneration.(1) An enormous amount of both clinical and experimental evidence has accumulated over the past decade supporting this basic premise.(2) Yet, the FDA still refuses to...



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?