Viewpoints: New Weight-Loss Drugs Need To Be Covered By Insurance; Will AI Take The Place Of Doctors?
Editorial writers examine weight-loss drugs, AI and robots in health care, covid public mistakes, and more.
The Washington Post:
Wegovy, Zepbound And Other Weight-Loss Drugs Should Be Available To All
The medical sensation of the decade is a set of drugs that help people slim down. With weekly injections, people can drop 15 percent to more than 22 percent of their body weight on average, often 40, 50 pounds — or more. No safe medicine or any other weight-loss strategy except surgery has been so effective. (11/26)
Will AI And ChatGPT Replace Doctors Like Me On The Other End Of The Stethoscope?
As a hospital-based physician, almost every day, I have to break the terrible news to patients that they have cancer. It’s never an easy conversation, and there’s no set script to do so gently and empathically. A doctor with a good bedside manner may deliver the diagnosis similarly to the voice in the introduction; however, that compassion was not spoken by an actual human, but instead generated by ChatGPT-4, an “artificial intelligence.” (Dr. Thomas K. Lew, 11/27)
Covid Public Health Mistakes Fueled Mistrust In Scientists
During the pandemic years, Americans’ trust in scientists fell, according to a Pew poll released this month. In 2019, only 13% of Americans were distrustful enough to say they weren’t confident in scientists to act in the public’s best interest. Now that figure is 27% — despite recent triumphs in astronomy, cancer research, genetics and other fields. (F.D. Flam, 11/26)
The New York Times:
‘My Patient Did Not Have To Die The Way She Did’
In the fall of 2021, a soft-spoken woman in her 60s came to the emergency room where I worked, complaining of pain in her foot. When I examined her, I could see that I would need to amputate the infected leg immediately, or she risked sepsis and death. I amputated her leg that night. She died 14 months later. (Anahita Dua, 11/27)
Poor Hospice Wound Care Hurts Patients And Families
A few years ago, I worked with a patient close to 100 years old. She had diabetes for most of her adult life, which affected circulation in her foot. Without circulation to her foot, it turned black, and then her calf turned black. In this stage of deterioration, no one is talking about treating metabolic disease; often, patients even stop checking their blood sugar. But, the impact of metabolic disease on the body complicates end-of-life care, with wounds as a factor. (Julie Roskamp, 11/24)
The Next Census Could Radically Undercount Disabled Americans
About 20 million disabled people will be erased if the U.S. Census Bureau moves forward with changes to disability data collection methods. That is because many disabled people will no longer be counted as disabled by the new questions the Census is proposing to use starting in 2025 with the annual American Community Survey (ACS). (Bonnielin Swenor and Scott Landes, 11/27)
'A Shot In The Arm' Documentary Treats Vaccine Denialism With A Dose Of Empathy
Global vaccination trends are telling us both good news and bad news stories, nearly four years after the start of a global pandemic. On the plus side, some childhood immunizations have begun recovering to pre-COVID rates. Against that, almost half of the 73 countries that reported pandemic-related declines in vaccine rates have either flatlined or continue to drop. Also on the downside, UNICEF reported earlier this year that public trust in vaccinations had eroded worldwide. (Keith Kloor, 11/22)