Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference

Monday, 25 June, 2012

Chris Keefer - Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference - pix 01

Faria Kamal - Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference - pix 02

My personal thanks to the doctor and medical student who spoke up on our behalf. Shame on our Canadian government. Shame on us Canadians that we are not more aware of this problem. Canadians are BETTER than the actions of our current government in power!

According to the YouTube clip info, the names of the doctor and medical student speaking up are Chris Keefer and Faria Kamal respectively. I applaud Chris and Faria’s brave protest, risking retribution from the Harper government and their hospital administration.

Shame on Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference

See CBC News, “Refugee health cuts protest cuts off Oliver announcement

TorStar, “A new low for refugees in Canada

The issue (a website) as posted in the YouTube clip info.

Chris Keefer & Faria Kamal - Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference - pix 03


Andrew Wakefield, Autism-Vaccine Scare

Thursday, 13 January, 2011

Shocking research and reports. Brian Deer has done a great job in uncovering the truth about this autism-vaccine scare scandal. Unfortunately, what we learn here should serve as a serious warning for journalists or general public when we read medical news/research to be a little bit skeptical, even when the researches are published in supposedly “authoritative” medical journals like The Lancet.

BMJ, “How the case against the MMR vaccine was fixed” by Brian Deer (Part 1 of 2 “Secrets of the MMR scare”) Here is an excerpt,

“The journal [Lancet], meanwhile, took 12 years to retract the paper, by which time its mischief had been exported. As parents’ confidence slowly returned in Britain, the scare took off around the world, unleashing fear, guilt, and infectious diseases—and fuelling suspicion of vaccines in general.

BMJ, “How the vaccine crisis was meant to make money” by Brian Deer (Part 2 of 2 “Secrets of the MMR scare”)

* UK Guardian, “The medical establishment shielded Andrew Wakefield from fraud claims – Brian Deer spent years investigating Andrew Wakefield’s MMR and autism research, which he now alleges was fraudulent. Here he argues that doctors closed ranks behind one of their own

* NPR, “Journal Claims Profit Motive Helped Fuel Autism-Vaccine Scare

* “Wakefield Debunked, But Vaccine Fear Lives

* “Autism ‘study’ represents a failure of journalism


A tool that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it’s not available to you

Tuesday, 11 January, 2011

A very insightful TEDWomen presentation from Deborah J. Rhodes, M.D. at Mayo Clinic, “A tool that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it’s not available to you“.

Here is a link to the abstract of an article referenced by Dr. Rhodes in January 2011 Radiology, 258, 106-118 “Dedicated Dual-Head Gamma Imaging for Breast Cancer Screening in Women with Mammographically Dense Breasts” by Deborah J. Rhodes, MD, Carrie B. Hruska, PhD, Stephen W. Phillips, MD1, Dana H. Whaley, MD and Michael K. O’Connor, PhD


‘Superglue’ (Kryptonite Bone Cement) helps heart patients recover faster: study

Sunday, 24 October, 2010

Kryptonite Bone Cement - Cadaver Analysis

Nov 5, 2010 Update: Here is a link to the press release “Kryptonite™ superglue improving the quality of life in heart patients recovering from open-chest surgery” from the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. [HT Anon]

***

After reporting in Nov 2009 “Kryptonite bone glue helps open-heart surgery patients“, I am happy to include an excerpt from an interesting CTV update of the latest findings reported this weekend “‘Superglue’ helps heart patients recover faster: study” (emphasis added),

A surgical procedure pioneered by Calgary researchers that uses a revolutionary superglue can improve the recovery of heart patients recovering from open-chest surgery, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society reports.

The glue, dubbed Kryptonite, is being used to enhance the closure of the breastbone after surgery and perhaps one day, to take the place of steel wire that is traditionally used to close up the bone.

Dr. Paul Fedak, a cardiac surgeon at the Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta at Foothills Hospital Medical Centre, says the new superglue has properties like natural bone and allows for new bone growth. It also hardens quickly. Doctors say that within 24 hours, it is as hard as natural bone. Read the rest of this entry »


Interview with Orgasm Inc. director Liz Canner plus what I’ve learned from the documentary

Wednesday, 13 October, 2010

Orgasm Inc. - The Strange Science of Female Pleasure

I had a lot of unexpected fun and gained much insight (FDA-approved clinical trials, drugs vs placebo, etc) from watching the internationally widely acclaimed documentary Orgasm Inc by director Liz Canner. And I was fortunate to be able to arrange an interview with Liz to talk about her doc and issues raised by her film.

[Note: Feel free to check out the included film trailer and and film synopsis at the end of this article. If you live in Canada, I highly recommend you watch Orgasm Inc. for FREE online at CBC The Passionate Eye. Other countries may have similar arrangement, check Orgasm Inc for more info.]

Here is my interview and insightful chat with Liz – Part 1 (See my comments after the interview video clips.)

Interview – Part 2

Now, before I start discussing some serious issues, I want to say Orgasm Inc. is “upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative” and indeed will “change the way you think about sex.” In short, the film is fun (pron selection for medical study) and thoughtful at the same time, so don’t let the seriousness in the following discussion scare you from watching Orgasm Inc.

The claim of “43% of American women experienced sexual dysfunction

In the film, Liz dug deep and discovered the origin of the “43% of American women experienced sexual dysfunction” claim was from the article “Sexual Dysfunction in the United States: Prevalence and Predictors” (JAMA 1999). Problems with the widely publicized “43%” claim, as Liz explained in the film and the above interview, include:

* the 1999 study was based on extremely liberal interpretation of sociological survey conducted in the early 90s. In fact, a woman answering “yes” to these questions will qualify her as “sexual dysfunction“.

* the authors’ financial ties with the drugs companies. (originally undisclosed when the article was first published)

The Berman Sisters and other “experts” in the media

Dr. Laura Berman, a very photogenic/charming lady,  has been on Oprah and different TV shows many times and she will even have a TV show on Oprah’s new TV station in 2011. At the same time, the film posts some serious challenge to Dr. Berman’s credibility (financial ties with drug companies) (doc info based on this detailed LA Times article “Dr. [Jennifer] Berman’s Sex Rx“) and talks her beliefs of drugs’ benefits when these “benefits” have not been shown as scientifically significant (i.e. no better than placebo) in FDA-approved clinical trials.

I am now more cautious when I see “experts” speaking on TV in advance of drugs launches, the public need to know drug companies often spend millions to promote drugs. For example, P&G spending $100 million to advertise a drug can be powerful and influential enough to create the need for the drugs when people are not really “sick” and don’t really need the drugs.

It seems wrong to me that “medical experts” are permitted to be much less careful on TV speaking to the general public, declaring their “beliefs” of the benefits of certain medications when the drug companies’ own FDA approved researches have clearly failed to prove the benefits in a scientifically significant manner.

Off-label use of medications

Quoting Wikipedia, “Off-label use is the practice of prescribing pharmaceuticals for an unapproved indication.” I now am much better aware of the potential danger of off-label use which may not be work to the benefit of the patients.

Medical ethics

In some way, Orgasm Inc expose the lack of medical ethics in our society. In an age where drugs are billion dollars businesses, there are many doctors, “experts”, TV/showbiz personalities who are willing to do and say things for money. So it is very important for the public to be careful to not blindly trust anyone.

I first read about medical ethics in Dr. A. J. Cronin‘s classic novel “The Citadel” and I am saddened to see there are enough “doctors” today willing to bend or disregard their medical ethics in order to make money.

To recap, here is a film trailer.

Here is the film synopsis (emphasis added),

In the shocking and hilarious documentary ORGASM INC., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first Viagra drug for women that wins FDA approval to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. Initially, she plans to create a movie about science and pleasure but she soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with a cadre of other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. ORGASM INC. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire — and that ultimate moment: orgasm.

Upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative, ORGASM INC. will change the way you think about sex.


Orgasm Inc. – The Strange Science of Female Pleasure

Tuesday, 5 October, 2010

Orgasm Inc. - The Strange Science of Female Pleasure

If you haven’t seen the documentary “Orgasm Inc. – The Strange Science of Female Pleasure“, I highly recommend you go get a copy and watch it. I very much agree with the claim in the sysnopsis that Orgasm Inc. is “upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative” and indeed it will “change the way you think about sex.

If you live in Calgary or anywhere in Canada, you can actually watch the full Orgasm Inc. documentary online at CBC The Passionate Eye. (Other countries may have similar arrangement, check Orgasm Inc for more info.) See my previous entry about the film and director Liz Canner. [Oct 6th Update: I have just interviewed Liz to talk about her film and updates about issues discussed in the film. I will post my interview with Liz later. Stay tune.]

Here is a film trailer.

Here is the film synopsis. (emphasis added)

“Extraordinary behind-the-scenes access reveals a drug company’s fevered race to develop the first FDA-approved Viagra for women – and offers a humorous but sobering look inside the cash-fueled pharmaceutical industry.”– Hot Docs Film Festival

“In the shocking and hilarious documentary ORGASM INC., filmmaker Liz Canner takes a job editing erotic videos for a drug trial for a pharmaceutical company. Her employer is developing what they hope will be the first Viagra drug for women that wins FDA approval to treat a new disease: Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). Liz gains permission to film the company for her own documentary. Initially, she plans to create a movie about science and pleasure but she soon begins to suspect that her employer, along with a cadre of other medical companies, might be trying to take advantage of women (and potentially endanger their health) in pursuit of billion dollar profits. ORGASM INC. is a powerful look inside the medical industry and the marketing campaigns that are literally and figuratively reshaping our everyday lives around health, illness, desire — and that ultimate moment: orgasm.

Upbeat, engaging, enlightening, and provocative,
ORGASM INC. will change the way you think about sex.”

Here are some screen captures form the film,

Orgasm Inc - pix 00b

Orgasm Inc - pix 01

Orgasm Inc - pix 04 - Berman Sisters

Orgasm Inc - pix 05 - Berman Sisters

Orgasm Inc - pix 06

Orgasm Inc - pix 07

Orgasm Inc - pix 09


Liz Canner, director of documentary Orgasm Inc., at ideaCity10

Tuesday, 28 September, 2010

Have a watch of Liz Canner‘s, director of documentary Orgasm Inc., insightful and interesting talk at ideaCity10. I am glad that I am starting to discover some interesting ideaCity talks.

Check out Orgasm Inc. and have a look of the trailer. In fact, if you live in Canada, you can watch the full Orgasm Inc. documentary online at CBC The Passionate Eye.

Here is an earlier (pre-trailer) clip with some additional materials.


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