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Quick links today February 23, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in America, geo-politics, humor, india.
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I know someone who could have written this article, but given the name and age, I figure its not the friend I know :-).

Same topic, but this time it gets dirty – you have to see it to believe it.

And then, the role reversal . You get to see all kinds of people in one day – its a big world 😀 .

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What is your bathing style – pick one.

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Taking on doctors yet again 😉 :

Nobody pretends medicine is easy, but if there’s one thing we ought to be able to rely on, it’s that the doctors looking out for us are doing more than playing hunches. We take certain medicines because they work, right? We go into the operating room for certain procedures because they’ll make us well, don’t we?

Well, maybe. More and more, however, doctors are making the unnerving case that no matter how reliable a drug or other treatment appears to be, too often there’s simply little hard evidence that it would make a long-term difference in a person’s quality of life or prolonged survival. Obviously, drugs are tested rigorously to show that they are safe and effective before they are approved by the U.S. and other developed countries. But a clinical study is not the real world, and just because a drug leads to a statistically significant improvement in, say, cholesterol levels doesn’t guarantee that the desired effect–a healthier heart and a longer life–will follow. Often your doctor is left to make prescription decisions based at least in part on faith, bias or even an educated guess.

I don’t know how to get through this without offending atleast one group of doctors out there. If I say, the above is surprising the doctors might ask me to name one thing that we are really really sure of and suggest that I am naive to have not known this. On the other hand, should I say the above is just a fact of life that we live with, then I risk being admonished for disrespecting a profession that is based on rigorous science. Nevertheless, I lean on the latter.

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India and China have per capita carbon emissions of 1.19 and  3.2 (as of 2003) tonnes. The rich countries average about 15. What then happens when we get there ? I don’t know. Do I worry about global warming ? That debate has blood stains over it – the blood of demagogues on both sides – and I claim ignorance, stay away. But I might well be accused of hypocrisy here. Afterall the same is true of evolution/I.D, free market Vs. collectivist societies. Yet, those are favorite topics. Why ? Perhaps because climate change is one of the most boring ( to me ) topics out there. I can’t imagine talking on the topic for more than 2 minutes. ( No disrespect to climate scientists. )

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Comments»

1. Ashwini - February 24, 2007

Let’s just say “hunches” can’t be taken in the strictest sense of the word when applied to doctor’s decisions…Agreed ,hunches play a role [more important than we dare to admit] but they are not baseless whims…
There’s a difference between a debate/conversation & a lecture…& the above ‘lecture’ about evidence based medicine [or EBM – arguably a “standard” acronym] tries it’s best to seem non-biased.
Drawback of EBM is that though it makes sense a lot of times …….”a lot of times it works” is not convincing enough when the subject of the experiment …..happens to be a life.
Besides,an experienced Dr’s “hunch” VS a statistically correct one’s “non-hunch”. Which would we choose?

2. raosharath - February 26, 2007

The last line is a good argument……no answer though 🙂 ..there is no right answer anywhere..


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