JAMA Forum: High-tech Care Can Save Lives—But it Also May Create Incentives That Result in Lives Lost

JAMA Forum: High-tech Care Can Save Lives—But it Also May Create Incentives That Result in Lives Lost

Originally posted on news@JAMA:

Austin B. Frakt, PhD

Austin B. Frakt, PhD

In a news story about the care provided to premature infants in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), reporter Alex Halperin illuminated the miracles and unintended consequences of health care technology. With the use of modern methods, vastly more premature infants now survive early birth—often by many weeks, even months—than was imagined possible a few decades ago. That’s amazing.

It’s also extremely expensive. The cost of medical care for a single premature infant can total hundreds of thousands, even a million dollars, in just the first several months.

Of course, insurance cushions the financial blow for families with coverage. The large insurance payments that hospitals with NICUs receive for saving premature infants’ lives are also good business. Halperin documented how high insurance payments for NICU care help subsidize less profitable hospital services. This serves as an incentive for hospitals to invest in NICUs and to expand the…

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BBC R4 promotes unchallenged anti-Israel propaganda and warped histories of Jerusalem


BBC is nowadays a spokesperson for the Islamic State it seems. Their uniquely warped view of reality mostly fits in with the viewpoints professed by the more radical of the ideology

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

On September 3rd BBC Radio 4 aired an edition of a programme called ‘Agree to Differ’ which will be repeated on the evening of September 6th and is available here. The title of the edition is “Jerusalem” and the programme is presented by Matthew Taylor – today the chief executive of the RSA and formerly Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to Tony Blair during his premiership.R4 Agree to Differ

At the beginning of the programme Taylor informs listeners:

“…we’re going to give you a completely new way to understand a controversial issue and to decide where you stand.”

“We’re looking at a dispute that’s almost as old as civilization itself. We’re exploring the respective claims of Palestinians and Israelis over the city of Jerusalem.”

That historical illiteracy unfortunately continues throughout the programme with Taylor promoting a variety of bizarre and inaccurate interpretations of historic, political and legal issues as we…

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E. O. Wilson on free will


Not dissimilar to my thoughts on it: The Monkey on the Ape’s back http://petrossa.me/2010/05/16/free-will-does-it-exist/

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

Ed Wilson has finally decided to wade into the murky hinterlands of Consciousness and Free Will, as seen in a new article in Harpers called “On free will: and how the brain is like a colony of ants.” (Sadly, you can’t read more than a paragraph without paying.)  I’ll quote from the pdf I have, but, in general, the article adds little to the debate about free will, which to me seems largely semantic. The real issue—the one that could substantially affect society—is that of determinism, which most philosophers and scientists agree on (i.e., we can’t make choices outside of those already determined by the laws of physics).

There are two problems with Wilson’s piece: it doesn’t say anything new, its main point being that consciousness and choice are physical phenomena determined by events in the brain, and it doesn’t define the subject of the piece, “free will.” How…

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Too little salt as bad as too much

American consumers ingest, on average, about 3400 milligrams of sodium every day (similar to the diets of most recorded civilizations), well above the dietary sodium targets set by US government agencies and the American Heart Association of 1500 to 2300 milligrams or lower. However, there has been much debate about whether or not these recommendations are too strict, a position that we at ACSH have long been endorsing. Last year, the Institute of Medicine published a report stating that there are insufficient data supporting a benefit of sodium consumption below 2300 milligrams per day, and now a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has come to the same conclusion.

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Laat vallen wat valt

Originally posted on Visionair België:

De mensheid, een tamelijk hilarische voetnoot in de geschiedenis van de planeet aarde

LaurelEen paar jaar geleden kwam prof. Etienne Vermeersch ons met zijn gekende bulderstem vertellen dat deze planeet demografisch op springen staat. Straks zijn we met 9 miljard, en het absoluut armste land ter wereld –Niger- heeft het hoogste vruchtbaarheidscijfer. Op geen enkele manier staat de bevolkingstoename nog in verhouding tot de beschikbare woonruimte, landbouwoppervlakte, grondstoffen, energie. De roofbouw is dusdanig, dat de uitputting van de planeet nabij is, en dan is het gewoon gedaan. Niet alleen met de menselijke soort, maar mogelijk met alle leven op aarde, bijvoorbeeld door een wereldwijde kernramp.

Zo’n uitdoving is geen uniek feit, zo leert enig opzoekwerk: ze behoort tot een natuurlijk geologisch ritme. Sinds het Cambriumtijdperk (circa 500 miljoen jaar geleden, waar vermoedelijk de eerste levende organismen ontstonden) zijn er al vijf totale “extincties” geweest. Momenten dus waar alle leven op aarde…

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Gordon Fulks, Physicist, shows some sense on Wind Turbines


‘Renewable energy’ is another way of saying ‘Perpetual motion’

Originally posted on JunkScience.com:

Gordon Fulks PhD Physics, explains the silliness of the Cuisinarts.

This is an OP ED in the Oregonian, the newspaper of record in the state as I understand..

Green Energy – Green Deception
Wealthy corporate giants like Apple and Google now hawk not only their innovations in the virtual world but an ever greater commitment to ‘Green Energy.’ Even Portland General Electric relentlessly hawks their Green Energy. What amazing virtue! What progress! But is it? There are dark clouds on the horizon, as we turn away from objective science and engineering to a look-alike promoted by the politically connected but scientifically challenged.

One of the dark clouds is certainly climate hysteria, which once motivated societies to sacrifice virgins to appease the climate gods, and today seems intent on merely sacrificing industrialization. But that is not my concern here.
I wonder why we are abandoning ‘Efficient Energy’ in favor of…

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