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Author Topic:   Expectations For The New Obama Democrat Government
Member (Idle past 487 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006

Message 271 of 341 (490055)
12-02-2008 12:00 AM
Reply to: Message 270 by Modulous
12-01-2008 5:17 PM

Re: Socialized Medicine
Trading Standards mean that if in order to sell something you claim it does something - you have to demonstrate that it does indeed do that something.

Homeopathy has been available on the NHS since the Health Service first began in 1948.
There are five NHS homeopathic hospitals in the NHS and qualified homeopathic doctors work in many other settings such as community-based clinics, general and private practices.

Holy cognitive dissonance, Batman!

Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 272 by Kringle, posted 12-02-2008 8:18 AM subbie has taken no action

Junior Member (Idle past 4827 days)
Posts: 1
From: Sunderland, UK
Joined: 10-15-2008

Message 272 of 341 (490090)
12-02-2008 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 271 by subbie
12-02-2008 12:00 AM

Re: Socialized Medicine
Trading Standards mean that if in order to sell something you claim it does something - you have to demonstrate that it does indeed do that something.

Some time ago, in the UK at least, there was an ethical discussion amongst medical practitioners for many years regarding the use of drugs purely for their placebo effect, sugar pills and such. The result was that it is not allowed, anything prescribed for a placebo effect is essentially illegal as it is ethically wrong, you are giving your patient something and telling them it is something else.

To the topic at hand, I am eternally grateful for socialised healthcare provided for me and my family on the NHS. My gradfather has had numerous heart attacks and heart operations all covered for him under it. I myself had meningitis, and as a result of the infection i also had septicemia, at a very young age and was seriously close to death. I needed braces for three years and the care that went along with that, i underwent surgery to remedy and prevent testicular torsion, i have broken numerous bones etc etc, the list goes on and on.
My family is the least well off when compared to all the people I know so we most certainly could not have afforded the care of my grandfather and myself. In short, without the NHS we would have been screwed.

Also as a side to Buz:
What alternative remedies would you have to meningitis, as a pharmacy student I would love to hear your suggestions. Do you have anything that would be better than, or even as effective as, pennicillin, chloramphenicol or cefotaxime? What part of the human immune or physiological system do these remedies act upon in order to fight the infection?
Let's say you, or a member of your family, got cancer. Would you put all your faith in holistic remedies or use conventional medecine if you have to? Let's say you got a type of cancer, if holistic remedies did not work and you had to use conventional medicine to save yourself you you be able to afford the treatment for it? Bearing in mind one injection in the treatment of colorectal cancer costs £240, one injection for the treatment of advanced head and neck cancer is £4400 for 5ml (yes, £4400)and one of the treatments for myeloid leukemia is 100mg of a certain drug, twice a day totalling £170 a day.

I do not mean to come off as accusing here, i just have no fondness for alternative medicines that have not undergone the rigourous clinical trials that all other drugs must go through. Also being a pharmacy student, my salary will eventually mostly come from the NHS so i have some fondness for it :)

Also I would like to say hello to everyone at this site. long time reader, first time poster.

Added by edit: I would also like to congratulate all the americans that are happy about the appointment of of Obama as POTUS and to all those that are against it: just wait and see please, he is not a secret muslim terrorist and he will not destroy your country.

Edited by Kringle, : Quick addition

This message is a reply to:
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Member (Idle past 2875 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005

Message 273 of 341 (490098)
12-02-2008 9:32 AM
Reply to: Message 263 by Buzsaw
11-30-2008 9:21 PM

Re: Socialized Medicine
Out of interest, what would have happened to my youngest son if he had been born in the US and we had no insurance? He was born with transposition of the great arteries and required two weeks intensive care and full open heart surgery on his sixth day performed by one of the world's leading cardiologists.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 274 by kuresu, posted 12-02-2008 10:52 AM cavediver has replied

Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006

Message 274 of 341 (490102)
12-02-2008 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 273 by cavediver
12-02-2008 9:32 AM

Re: Socialized Medicine
To be callous, you would have been screwed.

The movie John Q should give you a good idea. And he even had an HMO! Just goes to show, even having insurance is not a garauntee for recieving critical health care.

My guess is that your son would have gotten the treatment, but you would be bankrupt to this day (not knowing how old your son is, your yearly salary, etc). I simply cannot imagine the hospital letting your son die, if nothing more than the civil suit you could potentially file against them.

As a side note, litigation is one of the reasons health care costs so much. You know, malpractice. The US has been and is one of the most litigatious societies in the world, going back to before the revolution (in fact, that was one thing you brits thought you had going for you--how could a bunch of squabbling lawyers unite?). With no to little controls on who and how much you can sue, the insurance hospitals take out is unecessarily large, helping to drive up costs.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 273 by cavediver, posted 12-02-2008 9:32 AM cavediver has replied

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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3461 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008

Message 275 of 341 (490119)
12-02-2008 2:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Buzsaw
11-05-2008 9:07 AM

Word, Buzzsaw. we are so fucked.

This message is a reply to:
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 Message 276 by kuresu, posted 12-02-2008 3:13 PM Artemis Entreri has replied

Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006

Message 276 of 341 (490124)
12-02-2008 3:13 PM
Reply to: Message 275 by Artemis Entreri
12-02-2008 2:29 PM

And yet, Gates is being asked to stay on? Hmmm.

Perhaps Obama is not the radical communist muslim terrorist you may have thought he was.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 275 by Artemis Entreri, posted 12-02-2008 2:29 PM Artemis Entreri has replied

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Artemis Entreri 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3461 days)
Posts: 1194
From: Northern Virginia
Joined: 07-08-2008

Message 277 of 341 (490150)
12-02-2008 6:57 PM
Reply to: Message 276 by kuresu
12-02-2008 3:13 PM

well he is still comming out of PR Illinois.

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Member (Idle past 2875 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005

Message 278 of 341 (490151)
12-02-2008 7:02 PM
Reply to: Message 274 by kuresu
12-02-2008 10:52 AM

Re: Socialized Medicine
I simply cannot imagine the hospital letting your son die, if nothing more than the civil suit you could potentially file against them.

Thanks kuresu. But in this case, no standard hospital would have a hope in hell's chance of performing the operation. Within 4 hours of birth, our son was whisked on emergency evac to Guy's, a world centre for this sort of thing. How would this be dealt with, as it would require the cooperation of several entities (maternity hospital, specialist hospital, emergency evac)?

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Member (Idle past 1104 days)
Posts: 6349
From: San Diego, CA, USA
Joined: 05-03-2003

Message 279 of 341 (490732)
12-07-2008 7:54 PM
Reply to: Message 268 by Granny Magda
12-01-2008 4:49 PM

Granny Magda writes:

The placebo effect can be a valuable tool in fighting such minor maladies.

Incorrect. There is no such thing as the placebo effect.

Pill Popping: Debunking the power of the placebo effect.

Meanwhile, in a stunning 2001 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, two Danish physicians debunked the mighty placebo effect. Although most clinical trials include only active treatment and placebo groups, the researchers systematically collected all the studies in the medical literature (130 at the time) that also included a critical third group: patients who received neither active nor placebo treatment—just passive observation. The patients in placebo groups did report slightly less pain than the no-treatment groups; the analogy of a parent kissing a skinned knee comes to mind. But on almost every other objective measure of illness, the placebo-treated patients improved the same amount as the ones who got nothing at all. In other words, just believing you were getting treatment—the power of positive thinking—didn't really fix anything. It just made the patients hurt a little less.

There is no excuse in refusing to subject "alternative" therapies to rigorous testing to see if they do any good and if they don't, dropping them.

If people are queuing up for CARM placebos, the NHS may as well provide them. It will provide real benefits, even if the drugs are bogus.

No, it won't. No benefit will be seen. All it does is waste money.

What's more, it keeps people who are not particularly ill from cluttering up the surgeries of real doctors!

Really sick people need real treatment, not fake treatment.


Thank you for your submission to Science. Your paper was reviewed by a jury of seventh graders so that they could look for balance and to allow them to make up their own minds. We are sorry to say that they found your paper "bogus," specifically describing the section on the laboratory work "boring." We regret that we will be unable to publish your work at this time.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 268 by Granny Magda, posted 12-01-2008 4:49 PM Granny Magda has replied

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 Message 280 by Granny Magda, posted 12-08-2008 12:35 PM Rrhain has taken no action

Granny Magda
Member (Idle past 67 days)
Posts: 2384
From: UK
Joined: 11-12-2007

Message 280 of 341 (490784)
12-08-2008 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 279 by Rrhain
12-07-2008 7:54 PM

Hi Rrhain,

First of all, I would like to make clear that I do not necessarily agree with the homoeopathy on the NHS, I was playing something of a Devil's advocate in my previous post because I think there is an interesting case to be made here. In fact, I'm not sure what I think. I brought it up because I think that it is an argument with some merit, even though it goes against my own instinctive hostility towards homoeopathy.

Incorrect. There is no such thing as the placebo effect.

I think you are overstating that somewhat.

Now I admit that I was not familiar with the Hrobjartsson paper. Having read it, it certainly does shine a new and rather damning light on the placebo effect. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. In retrospect, I was probably talking placebo up a little more than it deserves. But, no placebo effect? At all? I don't think that is quite what the study is saying.

They do say that the placebo effect doesn't have any physiological effect, but they still acknowledge it in pain control, as they note here;

The pooled standardized mean difference was significant for the trials with subjective outcomes but not for those with objective outcomes. In 27 trials involving the treatment of pain, placebo had a beneficial effect, as indicated by a reduction in the intensity of pain of 6.5 mm on a 100-mm visual-analogue scale.

Even if the placebo effect is wholly restricted to combating pain, that is a very real benefit where it reduces patients suffering. Pain medication can have serious side effects, so if the placebo effect can help reduce the amount of medicine they need, that is a good thing.

Also, the Hrobjartsson study isn't the only one out there. This meta-analysis uses much of the same data as Hrobjartsson and Gotzsche, but comes to a different conclusion.

The explorative analysis of outcome parameters and strength of placebo effects yielded a classification into responsive "physical" versus non-responsive "biochemical" parameters. In total, 50% of trials measuring physical parameters showed significant placebo effects, compared with 6% of trials measuring biochemical parameters.

From Evidence for placebo effects on physical but not on biochemical outcome parameters: a review of clinical trials by Meissner, Distel and Mitzdorf, 2007

The full text is available here.

Another recent study claimed to find a host of sub-groups of placebo type effects. Here is the abstract;

A broad view of the “placebo effect” incorporating neurobiology, individual psychology, epistemology, history, and culture deeply enriches our understanding of these complex and powerful forces and, indeed, urges us to abandon that narrow and logically inconsistent concept for a much more interesting one. We review some of the data and background for such a contention in a thoroughly interdisciplinary way showing how differently presented, but equally “inert,” treatments (2 placebo tablets versus 4, for example) can have different effects; how the same inert treatment can act differently in different historical times and cultural places; and how crucial is the attitude of the clinician in shaping these intensely meaningful forces. These matters, which typically are left to chance, to ideology, or to market forces, should be embraced by the scientific community. We believe that fundamental insights into human biology remain to be discovered in this area.

Unfortunately only this miserable little abstract is available on-line without a fee. :mad: It's here.

I'm not trying to get in to a game of your-study-my-study ping-pong here, I'm just trying to point out that the issue is far from done and dusted. Personally, I think I'll reserve judgement for a while, not least because the meta-analyses you and I linked to are based on trials that were not primarily concerned with the placebo effect itself. Some trials that do look directly at placebo are needed I think.

No benefit will be seen. All it does is waste money.

I disagree. The placebo effect does seem to exist with regards to pain. Much of what doctors do is not curative, but merely palliative. If the placebo effect can help lessen someone's pain or discomfort, I call that a real benefit, even if it is primarily happening in their imagination.

Really sick people need real treatment, not fake treatment.

I couldn't agree more.

The problem is that doctor's surgeries are beset by people who are not really sick or only trivially so. That's fine at a private clinic, but not so good in a tax-funded healthcare system that is stretched to capacity. What's more, doctors are often unable to do anything for a patient with a chronic complaint beyond providing a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on. That is one thing that CAM practitioners tend to be quite good at.

Don't get me wrong; the first port of call for someone who is unwell should always be a doctor. There is no way I trust some ridiculous homoeopath to do triage. I do think though that they might be able to take some of the hypochondriacs and other time-wasters away from doctors waiting rooms whilst still giving them the help they need (even though a hypochondriac's latest disease may be imaginary, their distress is very real and they do deserve help).

Having said all of this, I'm still pretty hostile to CAM treatments on the NHS, just for different reason than the ones you give above. I think that providing these treatments on the NHS gives them an undeserved veneer of respectability that helps prop up the wider CAM market and mostly for that reason, I am, on balance, against it. I think.

I just think that the placebo argument is an interesting one, with some merit, even if it is restricted to subjective symptoms.

Mutate and Survive.

"The Bible is like a person, and if you torture it long enough, you can get it to say almost anything you'd like it to say." -- Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade

This message is a reply to:
 Message 279 by Rrhain, posted 12-07-2008 7:54 PM Rrhain has taken no action

Member (Idle past 1745 days)
Posts: 2544
From: boulder, colorado
Joined: 03-24-2006

Message 281 of 341 (495225)
01-21-2009 5:11 PM

Well, if this is any indication, it seems like we're in for four years of bad jokes.


It also seems like Obama doesn't really appreciate digs.

Still, on the plus side, gitmo trials are getting shut down, the executive order shutting down gitmo will be signed thursday, and already Obama and the military and related personnel are discussing the new plans for Iraq and Afghanistan.

It's finally sinking in that he's president. Wow.

Member (Idle past 1527 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008

Message 282 of 341 (500106)
02-23-2009 3:34 AM

Obama and human rights...Were you wrong Buz?
According to this article, President Obama has denied the people captured and placed in a makeshift prison camp in Afghanistan a right to trial.

This brings up up two questions.

For those "pro" Obama: What do you think of this?

And for Buz: Were you wrong about him?

I hunt for the truth

What you can do in my country and get away with:

Softdrugs? Legal!
Legal drinking age? 16!
Birth control (the pill)? Free!
Gay marriage? Legal!
Abortion? Legal!
Euthanasia? Legal!
Age of consent? 16 (14 if you have the parents permission)!

Yep, only one way down for us!

Replies to this message:
 Message 283 by dronestar, posted 02-23-2009 10:32 AM Huntard has taken no action

Posts: 1394
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008

Message 283 of 341 (500129)
02-23-2009 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 282 by Huntard
02-23-2009 3:34 AM

Re: Obama and human rights...was everyone wrong?
Hi Huntard,

In the thread "On this day, let us all be proud of America", Message 217 wrote that Obama said he would draw down troops, halt torture, and stop acting like a patronizing world cop.

On the contrary, I gave evidence (message 219) that the foreign policies of Bush would continue under Obama.

Indeed, since that post I can add to my list:

8. Torture: Obama's legal loopholes MAY allow some torture.

9. Increase troops: Afghanistan troop increase against President Hamid Karzai demands:

10. Policy of invoking state secrets:

11. Continued shipping of illegal weapons to Israel:

Regarding foreign policy, that any Amercian can assert that Democrats are "far and away better" than Republicans (or vice versa) proves that the American voter is indifferent to facts and are apathetic to other's suffering.

Edited by dronester, : clarity

Edited by dronester, : addition

Cogito, ergo Deus non est

This message is a reply to:
 Message 282 by Huntard, posted 02-23-2009 3:34 AM Huntard has taken no action

Inactive Member

Message 284 of 341 (500170)
02-23-2009 6:40 PM

Topic Update
It appears that we need to get the focus back on the OP list as follows. I've placed a dash on the ones which I see as on track as per the policies of the president and his cabinet. There's a question mark on a couple which are likely but questionable.

Perhaps in the space we have left, members would cite items on the list which you particularly wish to address. It's easy to get off topic if we go too in depth into any one of the items.

Buzsaw OP Statement writes:

-1. Forced unionism.
-2. Socialized medicine.
-3. Weaker smaller military.
-4. Paramilitary civilian government controlled services required upon every young person.
-5. So called (miss called) Fairness Doctrine essentially eliminating right wing talk shows in the media, highly expanding what is regarded as hate speech.
-6. Increased Jihadist terrorism by terrorists who supported the Obama presidency.
-7. Further undermining of the sovereignty of Israel.
-8. Increased energy costs.
?9. Excessive high coal standards which will essentially put the coal mines out of business.
?10. Expansion of the EPA's influence to the point of more dependence of foreign energy.
-11. Severe depression as the result of regulation and high taxes on business and the well to do who provide the jobs as they choose to close up rather than to comply.
-12. Expansion of regulations on businesses.
-13. Wider open boarders and expansion of rights etc to illegal aliens.
-14. Highly expansion of UN powers over nations and diminishment of sovereignty of nations.
-15. Billions of American $$ more committed to UN welfare for third world nations, including oppressive governments.
-16. Reduction of freedom of religion via the Fairness Doctrine and other government regulations.
-17. Totally leftist Supreme Court and circuit courts etc which essentially permanently embeds America into socialism and the leftist agenda relative to all aspects of life.
-18. Expansion of anti-gun laws.
-19. Phenomenal expansion of Federal government power/control and diminishment of state and local government control.



The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

Replies to this message:
 Message 285 by Dr Adequate, posted 02-23-2009 7:41 PM Buzsaw has replied
 Message 287 by kuresu, posted 02-24-2009 3:29 AM Buzsaw has replied
 Message 292 by Chiroptera, posted 02-24-2009 10:24 AM Buzsaw has taken no action

Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 283 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006

Message 285 of 341 (500177)
02-23-2009 7:41 PM
Reply to: Message 284 by Buzsaw
02-23-2009 6:40 PM

Re: Topic Update
I'm glad that I don't have to live in your imagination.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 284 by Buzsaw, posted 02-23-2009 6:40 PM Buzsaw has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 286 by Buzsaw, posted 02-23-2009 9:54 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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