Viewpoints: Learning Cybersecurity Lessons From Medical Devices; Big Pharma Should Be Embarrassed — But Are They?
A selection of opinions on health care from around the country.
Cybersecurity Concerns and Medical Devices: Lessons From a Pacemaker Advisory
Medical devices increasingly include capabilities for wireless communication and remote monitoring systems that relay clinical information from patients to clinicians. For example, many cardiac implantable electrical devices can transmit data regarding arrhythmia burden and heart failure metrics with minimal patient effort. This technology can improve patient care, but also introduces possible risks to data security and patient safety. (Daniel B. Kramer and Kevin Fu, 10/18)
The New York Times:
'Drug Dealers In Lab Coats’
Big Pharma should be writhing in embarrassment this week after The Washington Post and “60 Minutes” reported that pharmaceutical lobbyists had manipulated Congress to hamstring the Drug Enforcement Administration. But the abuse goes far beyond that: The industry systematically manipulated the entire country for 25 years, and its executives are responsible for many of the 64,000 deaths of Americans last year from drugs — more than the number of Americans who died in the Vietnam and Iraq wars combined. The opioid crisis unfolded because greedy people — Latin drug lords and American pharma executives alike — lost their humanity when they saw the astounding profits that could be made. (Nicholas Kristof, 10/18)
The Washington Post:
Democrats Are The Real Abortion Extremists
What would America’s abortion policy be if the number of months in the gestation of a human infant were a prime number — say, seven or eleven? This thought experiment is germane to why the abortion issue has been politically toxic, and points to a path toward a less bitter debate. The House has for a third time stepped onto this path. Senate Democrats will, for a third time, block this path when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) brings the House bill to the floor, allowing Democrats to demonstrate their extremism and aversion to bipartisan compromise. (George F. Will, 10/18)
End-Of-Life Care Among Immigrants Disparities Or Differences In Preferences?
Although describing a “good death” is an existentially challenging exercise, most people, if asked to do so, would note the importance of the presence of friends and family, relief from distressing symptoms, time at home, completing life goals, and other values. Although these goals are likely shared quite widely, how they are prioritized, and how they relate to other goals, may vary among individuals and across cultures. (Michael O. Harhay and Scott D. Halpern, 10/17)
Blood Transfusions From Previously Pregnant Women And Mortality: Interpreting The Evidence
The availability of large databases of blood donors and transfusion recipients has facilitated investigation of associations of donor characteristics with recipient outcomes. These databases are available in Sweden-Denmark, Canada, and the Netherlands, using government health data, and in the United States, using a donor-recipient database funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (Ritchard G. Cable and Gustaf Edgren, 10/17)
The Kansas City Star:
The Cure For Cases Like Kansas Inmate’s Killer Brain Fungus: Rein In Privatized Care
Can we all agree that prison inmates with health problems should never be refused treatment? Or assumed to be faking symptoms even as they’re dying? Nor should they receive medical care from a private company with a financial incentive for doing just that. It isn’t as though inmates can shop around for a doctor, or even seek a second opinion. (10/18)
I was in my first year of medicine residency, still losing my way to radiology, still forgetting the codes I needed to access one room or another, still desperately trying to learn how to keep track of my multiple patients and their multiple problems when I assumed his care. As the intern, it fell to me to examine Mr Jones and write admission orders. As the intern, I’d also been up all night. My new white coat was stained with coffee spilled while sprinting to accomplish one forgotten task or other. My pager was chirping regularly, a constant reminder of the calls I’d yet to return. Tired, anxious, and painfully aware of his nurse’s brisk competence as she quieted a beeping alarm and tugged the bed sheet, I introduced myself. (Jessica Gregg, 10/17)