Applied Sciences

Medicine


MEDICINE: DEFINED AND DESCRIBED

Medicine is also called conventional, scientific, or mainstream medicine, especially when compared with alternative medicine or traditional medicine.  It is a field that mixes applied science with art in the diagnosis, treatment, andprevention of disease.  It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness in human beings. Contemporary medicine applies health science, biomedical research, and medical technology to diagnose and treat injury and disease, typically through medication or surgery, but also through therapies as diverse as psychotherapy, external splints & traction, prostheses, biologics, ionizing radiation and others. The word medicine is derived from the Latin ars medicina, meaning the art of healing. For more details on the following aspects of medicine:
1 History
    2 Clinical practice
    3 Institutions
        3.1 Delivery
    4 Branches
        4.1 Basic sciences
        4.2 Specialties
            4.2.1 Surgery
            4.2.2 'Medicine' as a specialty
            4.2.3 Diagnostic specialties
            4.2.4 Other major specialties
        4.3 Interdisciplinary fields
    5 Education
    6 Medical ethics
    7 Legal controls
    8 Criticism of modern medicine
    9 Honors and awards
    10 Patron saints
   
.........................................................go to:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine

MEDICINE: THE INTERVIEW

The components of the medical interview and encounter are:

Chief complaint (CC): the reason for the current medical visit. These are the 'symptoms.' They are in the patient's own words and are recorded along with the duration of each one. Also called 'chief concern' or 'presenting complaint'. History of present illness (HPI): the chronological order of events of symptoms and further clarification of each symptom. Distinguishable from history of previous illness, often called past medical history (PMH). Medical historycomprises HPI and PMH. Current activity: occupation, hobbies, what the patient actually does. Medications: what drugs the patient takes including prescribed, over-the-counter, and home remedies, as well as alternative and herbal medicines/herbal remedies. Allergies are also recorded.

Past medical history (PMH/PMHx): concurrent medical problems, past hospitalizations and operations, injuries, past infectious diseases and/or vaccinations, history of known allergies. Social history (SH): birthplace, residences, marital history, social and economic status, habits including diet, medications, tobacco, alcohol. Family history (FH): listing of diseases in the family that may impact the patient. A family tree is sometimes used. Review of systems (ROS) or systems inquiry: a set of additional questions to ask, which may be missed on HPI: a general enquiry (have you noticed any weight loss, change in sleep quality, fevers, lumps and bumps? etc.), followed by questions on the body's main organ systems (heart, lungs, digestive tract, urinary tract, etc.).

MEDICINE: THE INTERVIEW

The components of the medical interview and encounter are:

Chief complaint (CC): the reason for the current medical visit. These are the 'symptoms.' They are in the patient's own words and are recorded along with the duration of each one. Also called 'chief concern' or 'presenting complaint'. History of present illness (HPI): the chronological order of events of symptoms and further clarification of each symptom. Distinguishable from history of previous illness, often called past medical history (PMH). Medical historycomprises HPI and PMH. Current activity: occupation, hobbies, what the patient actually does. Medications: what drugs the patient takes including prescribed, over-the-counter, and home remedies, as well as alternative and herbal medicines/herbal remedies. Allergies are also recorded.

Past medical history (PMH/PMHx): concurrent medical problems, past hospitalizations and operations, injuries, past infectious diseases and/or vaccinations, history of known allergies. Social history (SH): birthplace, residences, marital history, social and economic status, habits including diet, medications, tobacco, alcohol. Family history (FH): listing of diseases in the family that may impact the patient. A family tree is sometimes used. Review of systems (ROS) or systems inquiry: a set of additional questions to ask, which may be missed on HPI: a general enquiry (have you noticed any weight loss, change in sleep quality, fevers, lumps and bumps? etc.), followed by questions on the body's main organ systems(heart, lungs, digestive tract, urinary tract, etc.).

​A Bachelor of Medical Science 

A Bachelor of Medical Science (BMedSci, BMedSc, BMSc, BSci(Med)) or Bachelor of Medical Sciences is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last for 2–4 years. Acceleration modes are offered for students who decide to fast-track the duration of a relevant degree or pathway to graduate medical training (Doctor of Medicine) earlier, as opposed to completing a typical undergraduate degree which lasts 3–5 years.

Medical science students learn in depth about the human body; developing skills and knowledge on how the human body functions & how it reacts to disease and the drugs that are used to treat disease. It is possible for students to take an additional year that involves research that allows them to be conferred honours (BMedSc(Hons)) but this usually requires a set GPA. Graduates may enter a diverse range of roles including graduate-entry clinical medicine, academic research, pharmaceuticals and broader consulting roles.

The Top 10 Reasons Men Put Off Doctor Visits

Visiting your physician for an annual checkup is a simple – and essential – step to keeping your heart healthy and your self healthy. Why, then, do some men refuse to go to the doctor regularly? Here are 10 reasons why many men skip this important appointment. (And, more importantly, 10 ways to counter those reasons and get yourself or a person you care about to see a doctor.) "I don’t have a doctor."

Step one toward staying healthy is finding a doctor you trust.  But you’ll never know if you trust one unless you try. Check your insurance company or local listings for doctors in your area. Call their offices and ask questions, or check around online. It’s also a good idea to check with friends and family for recommended doctors.

"I don’t have insurance".

Everybody should have insurance under the Affordable Care Act. If you still don't, here's all the information you need to get signed up in our Consumer Health Care section.

"There’s probably nothing wrong."

You may be right but … you’re not a doctor.  That’s why you need one, to be sure. Some serious diseases don’t have symptoms. High blood pressure is one, and it can cause heart attack and stroke. (That’s why they call it “the silent killer.”)  High cholesterol is another often symptomless condition. Ditto diabetes. Finding a health problem early can make a huge difference in the quality and length of your life.

"I don’t have time."

There are about 8,766 hours in a year, and you want to save … two? When those two hours could save your life if you really DO need a doctor? If you want to spend more time with your family, these two hours aren’t the ones to lose. Try some of these tips to find time for the whole family to get moving.

"I don’t want to spend the money."

It makes more sense to spend a little and save a lot than to save a little and spend a lot. If you think spending time with a doctor is expensive, try spending time in a hospital.

"Doctors don’t DO anything."

When you see a barber, you get a haircut. When you see the dentist, your teeth get cleaned. But when you get a checkup, the doctor just gives you tests. It may seem like you don’t get anything, but you do. You get news and knowledge that can bring better health, if you act on it.

"I don’t want to hear what I might be told."

Maybe you smoke, drink too much, have put on weight. Even so, your doctor’s there to help you. You can deny your reality, but you can’t deny the consequences. So be smart: Listen to someone who’ll tell you truths you need to hear. Be coachable.

"I’ve got probe-a-phobia."

You don’t need a prostate cancer exam until you’re 50. Even then, remember that your chances of survival are much better if it’s caught early. So it’s worth the exam. But it’s only one small portion of a physical. Don’t let one test stop you from getting all the benefits of an annual physical.

"I’d rather tough it out."

If pro athletes can play hurt and sacrifice themselves for the team, you ought to be able to suck it up, right? Wrong! The Game of Life is about staying healthy for a long time – a lifetime.

"My significant other has been nagging me to get a checkup." OK, so you don’t want to give in. But isn’t it POSSIBLE you could be wrong? Give in on this one. See the doctor. When it comes down to it, there are no good reasons not to see the doctor, only excuses. Don’t wait. Schedule your annual physical today.

PREHISTORIC MEDICINE

Prehistoric medicine incorporated plants (herbalism), animal parts and minerals. In many cases these materials were used ritually as magical substances by priests, shamans, or medicine men. Well-known spiritual systems include animism (the notion of inanimate objects having spirits), spiritualism (an appeal to gods or communion with ancestor spirits); shamanism (the vesting of an individual with mystic powers); and divination (magically obtaining the truth). The field of medical anthropology examines the ways in which culture and society are organized around or impacted by issues of health, health care and related issues.

THE GREEKS, THE EGYPTIANS AND OTHERS

An ancient Greek patient gets medical treatment: this aryballos (circa 480–470 BCE, now in Paris's Louvre Museum) probably contained healing oil. The Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460 BCE – ca. 370 BCE), considered the father of medicine. Persian polymath, Avicenna, who, along with Imhotep and Hippocrates, has been called the "father of medicine"

Early records on medicine have been discovered from ancient Egyptian medicine, Babylonian medicine, Ayurvedic medicine (in the Indian subcontinent), classical Chinese medicine (predecessor to the modern traditional Chinese Medicine), and ancient Greek medicine and Roman medicine. The Egyptian Imhotep (3rd millennium BC) is the first physician in history known by name. Earliest records of dedicated hospitals come from Mihintale in Sri Lanka where evidence of dedicated medicinal treatment facilities for patients are found. The Indian surgeon Sushruta described numerous surgical operations, including the earliest forms of plastic surgery.

The Greek physician Hippocrates, the "father of medicine", laid the foundation for a rational approach to medicine. Hippocrates introduced the Hippocratic Oath for physicians, which is still relevant and in use today, and was the first to categorize illnesses as acute, chronic, endemic and epidemic, and use terms such as, "exacerbation, relapse, resolution, crisis, paroxysm, peak, and convalescence". The Greek physician Galen was also one of the greatest surgeons of the ancient world and performed many audacious operations, including brain and eye surgeries. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the onset of the Early Middle Ages, the Greek tradition of medicine went into decline in Western Europe, although it continued uninterrupted in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.


THE HEBREWS AND THE MUSLIMS

Most of our knowledge of ancient Hebrew medicine during the 1st millennium BC comes from the Torah, i.e. the Five Books of Moses, which contain various health related laws and rituals. The Hebrew contribution to the development of modern medicine started in the Byzantine Era, with the physician Asaph the Jew, and has since been tremendous.

After 750 CE, the Muslim world had the works of Hippocrates, Galen and Sushruta translated into Arabic, and Islamic physicians engaged in some significant medical research. Notable Islamic medical pioneers include the polymath, Avicenna, who, along with Imhotep and Hippocrates, has also been called the "father of medicine". He wrote The Canon of Medicine, considered one of the most famous books in the history of medicine. Others include Abulcasis, Avenzoar, Ibn al-Nafis,and Averroes. Rhazes was one of first to question the Greek theory of humorism, which nevertheless remained influential in both medieval Western and medieval Islamic medicine. The Islamic Bimaristan hospitals were an early example of public hospitals.

MEDICINE: 1300-1500


However, the fourteenth and fifteenth century Black Death was just as devastating to the Middle East as to Europe, and it has even been argued that Western Europe was generally more effective in recovering from the pandemic than the Middle East.[24] In the early modern period, important early figures in medicine and anatomy emerged in Europe, including Gabriele Falloppio and William Harvey.

The major shift in medical thinking was the gradual rejection, especially during the Black Death in the 14th and 15th centuries, of what may be called the 'traditional authority' approach to science and medicine. This was the notion that because some prominent person in the past said something must be so, then that was the way it was, and anything one observed to the contrary was an anomaly (which was paralleled by a similar shift in European society in general – see Copernicus's rejection of Ptolemy's theories on astronomy). Physicians like Vesalius improved upon or disproved some of the theories from the past.

MEDICINE: 1500 to 1800

Andreas Vesalius was an author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, De humani corporis fabrica.  French surgeon Ambroise Paré is considered as one of the fathers of surgery. Bacteria and microorganisms were first observed with a microscope by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1676, initiating the scientific field microbiology. Partly based on the works by the Italian surgeon and anatomist Matteo Realdo Colombo the English physician William Harvey described the circulatory system. Herman Boerhaave is sometimes referred to as a "father of physiology" due to his exemplary teaching in Leiden and textbook 'Institutiones medicae' (1708). It is said that the 17th century French physician Pierre Fauchard started dentistry science as we know it today, and he has been named "the father of modern dentistry".

Veterinary medicine was for the first time truly separated from human medicine in 1761, when the French veterinarian Claude Bourgelat founded the world's first veterinary school in Lyon, France. Before this, medical doctors treated both humans and other animals.

MEDICINE: 1800 TO TODAY

Part 1:

Modern scientific biomedical research (where results are testable and reproducible) began to replace early Western traditions based on herbalism, the Greek "four humours" & other such pre-modern notions. The modern era really began with Edward Jenner's discovery of the smallpox vaccine at the end of the 18th century (inspired by the method of inoculation earlier practiced in Asia), Robert Koch's discoveries around 1880 of the transmission of disease by bacteria, and then the discovery of antibiotics around 1900.

The post-18th century modernity period brought more groundbreaking researchers from Europe. From Germany and Austria, doctors Rudolf Virchow, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, Karl Landsteiner and Otto Loewi made notable contributions. In the United Kingdom, Alexander Fleming, Joseph Lister, Francis Crick and Florence Nightingale are considered important. Spanish doctor Santiago Ramón y Cajal is considered the father of modern neuroscience. From New Zealand and Australia came Maurice Wilkins, Howard Florey, and Frank Macfarlane Burnet.

In the United States, William Williams Keen, William Coley, James D. Watson, Italy (Salvador Luria), Switzerland (Alexandre Yersin), Japan (Kitasato Shibasaburō), and France (Jean-Martin Charcot, Claude Bernard, Paul Broca and others did significant work). Russian Nikolai Korotkov also did significant work, as did Sir William Osler and Harvey Cushing.

Part 2:

As science and technology developed, medicine became more reliant upon medications. Throughout history and in Europe right until the late 18th century, not only animal and plant products were used as medicine, but also human body parts and fluids.[29] Pharmacology developed from herbalism & many drugs are still derived from plants (atropine, ephedrine, warfarin, aspirin, digoxin, vinca alkaloids, taxol, hyoscine, etc.). Vaccines were discovered by Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur. The first antibiotic was arsphenamine / Salvarsan discovered by Paul Ehrlich in 1908 after he observed that bacteria took up toxic dyes that human cells did not. The first major class of antibiotics was the sulfa drugs, derived by French chemists originally from azo dyes.

Pharmacology has become increasingly sophisticated; modern biotechnology allows drugs targeted towards specific physiological processes to be developed, sometimes designed for compatibility with the body to reduce side-effects. Genomics and knowledge of human genetics is having some influence on medicine, as the causative genes of most monogenic genetic disorders have now been identified, and the development of techniques in molecular biology and genetics are influencing medical technology, practice and decision-making.

Evidence-based medicine is a contemporary movement to establish the most effective algorithms of practice (ways of doing things) through the use of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. The movement is facilitated by modern global information science, which allows as much of the available evidence as possible to be collected and analyzed according to standard protocols that are then disseminated to healthcare providers. The Cochrane Collaboration leads this movement. A 2001 review of 160 Cochrane systematic reviews revealed that, according to two readers, 21.3% of the reviews concluded insufficient evidence, 20% concluded evidence of no effect, and 22.5% concluded positive effect. For more on the history of medicine go to:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_medicine

INOCULATION AND RELIGION

Two books: On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss(Graywolf, 200 pages, 2014), and Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine by Paul A. Offit, M.D.(Basic Books, 230 pages, 2014) were reviewed in The New York Review of Books in March 2015. The review points out that: "The world of my parents, and that of their children, dramatically improved in the latter half of the twentieth century as modern medicine introduced an array of effective vaccines and antibiotics. When the Salk vaccine against the polio virus became available I was inoculated, along with my friends & young family members. The idea of preventing or curing dreaded infectious diseases naturally, relying on the body alone, hardly entered our minds. But two generations later, such ideas have considerable traction in our society. Eula Biss, a writer who teaches at Northwestern University, seeks to understand their appeal, and whether they should be given credence. 

On Immunity is an effort to reconcile her divided feelings, fearing both infection and the imagined risks of vaccination. Her book weaves metaphor and myth, science and sociology, philosophy and politics into a tapestry rich with insight and intelligence.  As a review in The New York Times (30/9/'14) puts it: "It’s a slim volume that weighs the scientific evidence and is strongly pro-vaccination (her son has all his shots), yet it’s one that has a grasp on the distrust that an increasing number of parents feel toward the medical establishment. She presses down on the ways “our fears are dear to us,” and on how, when it comes to our health, “we are all irrational rationalists.” She is especially exacting on the topic of what she calls “people like me,” those blazingly hygienic parents, many of them upper-middle-class, for whom organized personal purity (air filters, water filters, “natural” foods) substitutes for organized religion. For more go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/books/on-immunity-an-inoculation-by-eula-biss.html?_r=0

EUTHENASIA

Massachusetts has joined Oregon and Washington in implementing a form of physician-assisted dying, sometimes called aid-in-dying. These terms are favored by proponents over the older term, physician-assisted suicide, because they distinguish it from the typical suicide in which someone with a normal life expectancy chooses death over life. Here the patient is near death from natural causes anyway, & chooses the timing & manner of an inevitable death.) Montana, through a 2009 decision by its Supreme Court, not a voter referendum, also permits physician-assisted dying. For more on this theme go to:http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/oct/11/may-doctors-help-you-die/

MEDICAL AND HEALTH TECHNOLOGY


Health technology is Any intervention that may be used to health, to prevent, diagnose or treat disease or for rehabilitation or long-term care. This includes the pharmaceuticals, devices, procedures and organizational systems used in health care.[2]

Medical Technology, which is a proper subset of health technology, encompasses a wide range of healthcare products and is used to diagnose, monitor or treat diseases or medical conditions affecting humans. Such technologies (applications of medical science) are intended to improve the quality of healthcare delivered through earlier diagnosis, less invasive treatment options and reductions in hospital stays and rehabilitation times. Recent advances in medical technology have also focused on cost reduction. Medical technology may broadly include medical devices, information technology, biotech, and healthcare services.

Medical technology could be defined as the field of medical science which
extends and improves life. It alleviates pain, injury and handicap. Its role in healthcare is essential. Incessant medical technology innovation enhances the quality and effectiveness of care. Billions of patients worldwide depend on medical technology at home, at the doctor’s, at hospital and in nursing homes. Wheelchairs, pacemakers, orthopedic shoes, spectacles and contact lenses, insulin pens, hip prostheses, condoms, oxygen masks, dental floss, MRI scanners, pregnancy tests, surgical instruments, bandages, syringes, life-support machines: more than 500,000 products (10,000 generic groups) are available today. Medical technology represents only 6,3% of total healthcare expenditure in Europe - a modest share if you consider the benefits for every member of society. For more on medical and health technology go to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_technology


For some additional categories of information in the field of medicine the following terms are useful. Readers should google these terms if they would like to know more about them.
    Allied health professions
    COCIR
    Defibrillator
    Eucomed
    Gamma knife
    Head mirror
    Heart pacemaker


    Heart rate monitor
    Holter monitor
    Medical device
    Medical equipment
    Medical laboratory
    Medical Laboratory Scientist
    Biomedical engineering



FORENSIC SCIENCE GETS GOING

While the Baha’i temple in Sydney was in its final months of construction before its official opening in September 1961, Stephen Bradley was convicted of the murder of an eight year old boy, Graham Thorne, in the first trial in which modern, complex forensic science--and particularly forensic botany--played a dominant role in securing a conviction.  Thorne had just won Australia’s first big lottery to finance the building of the Opera House.–Ron Price with thanks to WIN TV, 9:35-11:15 p.m., “Kid For Ransom,” Crime Investigation Unit, 27 November 2007.

Forensic sciences have an interesting history going back to the Roman physician Galen who performed the first autopsies in the 2nd century BC. But in the 19th century the history of forensic science developed exponentially. In 1844 the first forensic medicine was taught in London.  A method for the identification of bloodstains was discovered in 1863. In 1892
Sir Francis Galton(1822-1911), cousin of Douglas Strutt Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, who was an English Victorian polymath: anthropologist, eugenicist, tropical explorer, geographer, inventor, meteorologist, proto-geneticist, psychometrician, and statistician, wrote a book on the classification of fingerprints.  The story of forensic science in our modern age had just begun.-Ron Price with thanks to Jim Fisher, “Forensic Science Timeline,” Internet Site, 28 November 2007.

They were very big years with
Yuri Gagarin going around
the earth and with TV sets
going to two million from
1958 to 19611 Downunder.

I joined Baha’i, a movement
that had just got going back
then with, say,  three hundred
members in that far-off isolated
continent where they had started
building that temple back then in
Sydney finishing it in ’61 just after
the greatest manhunt in Australian
history, the trial of Stephen Bradley
and the use of forensic botanical
science for the first time in a
major criminal investigation.

1 Noel Sanders, “Crimes of Passion: TV, Popular Literature and the Graeme Thorne Kidnapping,”  The Australian Journal of Cultural Studies, Volume 1 No.1 May 1983.

Ron Price
28 November 2007


THE BRAIN

Michael Mosley studied philosophy, politics and economics at the New College Oxford before working for two years as a banker in the City of London.  He then decided to move into medicine, intending to become a psychiatrist, studying at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School. However, he became disillusioned by psychiatry, and joined a trainee assistant producer scheme at the BBC.

Many people can identify a turning point in their career or life, perhaps determined by a chance meeting or a favourable situation. For Michael Mosley the driving force behind his change of direction was not the subtle cogs of fate but a conscious decision to leap, almost blindly, from a promising medical career into the world of media. I found these words by Beth Chapman from the internet site BMJ Careers provided an excellent overview of Mosley’s life and not a bad statement of my own. I, too, have leaped all over the place from country to country, state to state and town to town in a set of jobs too long to list here---perhaps part of my Baha’i pioneering-travelling mentality.

I will not list all of the programs Mosley has presented and produced.  Tonight I watched his Inside the Human Body: Building Your Brain(1) the story of the maturation of the human brain from birth to the age of 20.   -Ron Price with thanks to (1)WIN TV, 8:30-9:30 p.m. 7 July 2011.

If you stretch your brain in adulthood
it will rise to the challenge--I was very
pleased to learn and to know---what I
had already experienced in this early
evening of my life in which learning has
come to be centre-stage after more than
35 years teaching others. There are more
connections in the brain than there are stars
in the universe: one-hundred billion & so there
are plenty of resources to do the jobs I want
them to do in these years of late adulthood
and old age----the years from 60 to 80, and
80+, if I last that long & only time will tell---
Michael---and thank you!

Ron Price
7 July 2011

TRANSFUSION OF NEW BLOOD

It was not until the lifetime of Baha’u’llah that blood transfusions were seriously considered by any of the medical establishment and it was not until the late 1930s that the “transfusion of blood” became “important to medicine.”1  It seems to me more than coincidental that this process of the transfusion of blood, a highly specialized activity, synchronized with the start of the Teaching Plan in 1937.  ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s conception of humanity’s spiritual destiny and the mission He wished humanity to undertake would be unfolded in this Plan.  This Teaching Plan would require, beyond anything else, the blood of new believers. It was a global transfusion process that would take decades to complete. -Ron Price with thanks to Keith Taylor and Julian Schorr, “Blood,” Collier’s Encyclopedia, Vol.4, MacMillan, NY, 1983(1950), p. 269.

My parents were just about
to meet and make the person
I am--genetically---
when this Cause
was transfused with new blood
in an enterprise which
had been held in abeyance
for twenty years
while administrative forms
slowly took shape
in the limbo of
pitifully inadequate means.

A Guardian who was
completely alone
and whose life was darkened
by that somble thread
of jealousy in history’s fabric,1
needed, as we still need,
the transfusion of that new blood
to give expression concretely
to the principle
of the Oneness of Mankind.

1 Century of Light, p.47.

Ron Price
16 July 2003

QUIETNESS OF THE HEART

To really abandon oneself to one’s vision, as a poet, one needs to possess an unvexed quietness of the heart, an originality of perception and spontaneity of language which has not been killed off by life and a capacity to join, what are sometimes vaguely conceived and at other times graphically experienced, incompatibles and contradictions: calm and commotion, love and dislike, successfully keeping a secret but wanting to share it at the same time, et cetera.  Poetry is much more a way of saying something than it is the thing said.  Poetry is good medicine, an anodyne for the wounds of life. And it matters not whether it looks like prose.1 -Ron Price with thanks to T.S. Eliot in The Force of Poetry, Christopher Ricks, Oxford UP, 1984, p.89.

I like to think I teach
what is not known,
taking my reader by
some restless desire
to a final solution,
by the excitement
of the journey itself,
by some great simplicity,
adorning known truths
with a special light
from the sidelines,
new dress for his
familiar world,
fresh grace,
to see what is now
negligently regarded.

Ron Price
4 March 2000


MEDICAL RESEARCH: SOME PROBLEMS

Part 1:

In the September 2010 issue of the London Review of Books, an article entitled "The Mild Torture Economy" by Carl Elliott appeared. It was a review of the following books: (i) Medical Research for Hire: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials by Jill Fisher, 250 pages, 2009; (ii) When Experiments Travel: Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects by Adriana Petryna, 250 pages, 2009; and (iii) The Professional Guinea Pig: Big Pharma and the Risky World of Human Subjects by Roberto Abadie, 200 pages, 2010.

That review begins as follows: "The last few years haven’t been the best for the business of medical research. There was the Sanofi-Aventis researcher in California who was arrested waving a loaded handgun; police found a package of cocaine stuffed in his underwear. There was the psychiatric researcher in Oklahoma City whose medical licence was suspended after he infected two patients with genital herpes, and who was investigated by the FDA after he barred a research subject from leaving his clinical trial facility. In Miami, investigative reporters for Bloomberg Markets magazine discovered that a contract research organisation called SFBC International was testing drugs on undocumented immigrants in a rundown motel; since that report, the motel has been demolished for fire and safety violations."

"Several pharmaceutical companies have been caught up in controversial cases of suicide, such as that of Dan Markingson, a young man who stabbed himself to death while taking Seroquel in an AstraZeneca trial at the University of Minnesota, and Traci Johnson, who hanged herself in a study of Cymbalta at the Eli Lilly trial site in Indianapolis. Britain had its own disaster at Northwick Park Hospital in north-west London, where six healthy subjects nearly died in a ‘first in man’ study of a monoclonal antibody. And Pfizer has spent longer than a decade dealing with the fallout of a study in Kano, Nigeria, in which 11 children died during a meningitis trial allegedly rigged to show that the antibiotic Trovan was superior to a competitor’s drug. The Trovan case has wound its way through various courts for years, generating millions of dollars in damages and a stubborn public relations problem for Pfizer.".....For more go to:http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n18/carl-elliott/the-mild-torture-economy

Part 2:

Biomedical research (or experimental medicine), in general simply known as medical research, is the basic research, applied research, or translational research conducted to aid and support the body of knowledge in the field of medicine. Medical research can be divided into two general categories: the evaluation of new treatments for both safety and efficacy in what are termed clinical trials, and all other research that contributes to the development of new treatments. The latter is termed preclinical research if its goal is specifically to elaborate knowledge for the development of new therapeutic strategies. A new paradigm to biomedical research is being termed translational research, which focuses on iterative feedback loops between the basic and clinical research domains to accelerate knowledge translation from the bedside to the bench, and back again. Medical research may involve doing research on public health, biochemistry, clinical research, microbiology, physiology, oncology, surgery and research on many other non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. For more go to:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_research