Health News Review
  • Jan 11 2015

    Sunday summary of other noteworthy health care news

    This blog took a back-seat this week to the re-launch of our systematic, criteria-driven news story reviews.  But here’s come catch-up: Big-time conflict of interest problems at NBC News, as reported by the Washington Post, “Maria Shriver reported on a movie about Alzheimer’s for NBC. She didn’t mention she’s one of the film’s executive producers.” [...]

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  • Aug 5 2014

    The cost of cowboy doctors…debate over diet drugs…gems in JAMA Internal Medicine

    Imagine a Dartmouth economics prof giving a talk in Texas about the “cowboy doctor problem.” Whoa, Nelly, writes Carey Goldberg on the WBUR Boston CommonHealth blog. Jonathan Skinner, the Dartmouth prof, says “cowboy doctors were associated with nearly 60 percent greater spending among patients near the end of life.” A paper Skinner co-authored for the [...]

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  • Jun 24 2014

    Important story on NYT blog: When Advance Directives Are Ignored

    Paula Span wrote a very important story on the New York Times‘ New Old Age blog about how – despite the best efforts – a dying person’s documented wishes might be unknown or ignored. The story discusses one possible solution – the use of a POLST form.  POLST stands for a Physician Orders for Life [...]

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  • Sep 13 2013

    New book: Knocking on Heaven’s Door: The Path To a Better Way of Death

    Last year, my 89-year old mother surprised me.  For most of the time I’d reported on health care news, she’d urged me to pursue/embrace just about anything she read about in Prevention magazine or on talk radio regarding breakthroughs.  But, in the face of a diagnosis with an aggressive stomach cancer, she turned down all [...]

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  • Feb 6 2013

    An update on how we die in the U.S.

    My mother died last summer one month after being diagnosed with an ugly stomach cancer.  The oncologist she saw only once handled the discussion of options masterfully.  My mom chose no further explorations, no treatment beyond pain control, and spent her last month at home, with hospice care and with up to 15 helping family [...]

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