Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Texas Lawmakers Challenging Expanded Industrial Liability Shield

Texas lawmakers, plaintiff attorneys and union groups are challenging a controversial Texas Supreme Court ruling that wrongly shields industrial plants from liability claims filed by contract workers.

Continuing the draconian tradition of protecting corporate greed, the conservative Texas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a contract employee at an Entergy Gulf States plant could not recover damages for negligence, because workers’ compensation laws protected the company.

A bipartisan group a legislators has filed briefs with the court asking it to rehear the case. Clay Robinson, Houston Chronicle 12/10/2007 Read Article: Houston Chronicle

Monday, December 17, 2007

Medical Omerta: Healthcare Study Proves The Conspiracy Of Silence Among Doctors Is Real

The tacit "communal" unspoken consensus is that "certain things" are NEVER discussed. Heck, we learned that as kids; no one wanted to "snitch" on a friend. The mafia called it “omerta,” the categorical prohibition of cooperation, even when one has been a victim. The "cover-up" exists in all walks of life except medicine, right?

"I swear by ...all the gods and goddesses," the Hippocratic Oath declares,"that I will fulfill according to my ability and judgment this oath and this covenant....Whatever houses I may visit, I will come for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief and in particular of sexual relations with both female and male persons, be they free or slaves." For decades doctors assured us that their profession was different. Doctors denied the existence of a conspiracy of silence to "cover-up" medical errors.

But, a study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital reveals that doctors don’t practice what they preach when it comes to reporting mistakes or potentially negligent behavior among their colleagues.

The MGH study found that nearly half of the doctors who participated had failed to report incompetence, impairment or medical error by another doctor despite saying that such errors should be reported.

Alexandra Perloff-Giles, Harvard Crimson 12/06/2007 Read Article: Harvard Crimson

Monday, December 10, 2007

Effectiveness, Safety of Zetia and Vytorin, Cholesterol Drugs, in Doubt

Zetia and Vytorin are two widely prescribed cholesterol drugs. Both drug are marketed and sold by Schering-Plough and Merck.

Cardiologists have been demanding Schering-Plough and Merck come forward with clinical trials to prove the drugs’ effectiveness and safety. Cardiologists fear that if the drugs prove to be less effective than advertised, patients may be putting themselves at unnecessary risk of heart attacks. Approximately 800,000 Americans are prescribed Zetia and Vytorin each year.

So far neither Schering-Plough nor Merck have published the results of Zetia and Vytorin trials. This ain’t Denmark, but something’s rotten here.

And this also ain’t Kansas, so the wizards at Schering-Plough and Merck better publish the data, if it’s true. 800,000 live depend on it!

Alex Berenson, The New York Times 11/21/2007 Read Article: The New York Times