Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Dr. Oliver Sacks has had to face so much adversity in his life, which can be relatable to a lot of people. He was mercilessly disgraced for coming out as a homosexual to his Jewish family and then was diagnosed with a rare form of melanoma in his eye, leaving him blind in one eye. He starts the book with saying “I am now face to face with dying, but I am not finished with living.” This grabbed my attention immediately. He started the book in at age 80 and says he life is only about to begin. He needs to complete his life and how he is talking is really inspiring for an 80 year old man. “I don’t think of old age as an ever grimmer time that one must somehow endure and make the best of, but as a time of leisure and freedom” (Sacks 11).  He then goes in to the “my life” chapter where he talks about exactly that. He talks about in his last few months of life, he had to decide if he wants to live life to the fullest (as well as he could) or sulk. He chooses to live it up but he does say that he is fearful for what is to come but his main feeling was gratitude, he is happy about the life he has lived and his experiences. He is a refreshing joy to read because he is extremely eloquent.

Eula Biss

"On Immunity" by Eula Biss started out with references to short stories that intrigued me. How Gods and the parents who believed in those Gods in those times tried to help their kids fight off death. I especially liked Achilles story because it has obvious flaws that the parents are oblivious too. Going into vaccines, I have never been one to believe in vaccines and neither has my mother but after reading this book I have slightly opened my mind. I was forced to get vaccines upon entering college yet I was against them but I now have a better understanding of where people are coming from. I always especially believed that children’s immune system should develop on its own because children’s immune systems can fight off a lot. In Bliss’s book, she talks about how she gave her child a vaccine for Chicken Pox but that at first she was hesitant. This virus remains in your body and can always become triggered at any time by stress and lead to shingles. I have never had the flu virus or the chicken pox vaccine and alternately I have never had the flu or the chicken pox. I still believe that vaccines should be avoided at all times because it just beguiles me to think that’s it’s okay to put the virus into your body, even though it helps your body fight off the infection through your white blood cells, I don’t believe in it but I see the other side.


I read the articles about drinking milk and it really surprised me. There are a good amount of things wrong with humans drinking milk but this took it to a whole new level. If interpreting from the Bible it says to only drink milk from a calf, or a baby cow. The things that cows are subjected to for the process for us to get milk is very disturbing and I was unaware. It hurts me because I LOVE milk, I love anything that has to do with dairy, form ice cream to cheese (though my stomach has other plans) even though I am lactose intolerant as is 65% of the population. Though I will not stop indulging, I feel really bad for the cows and it hearts my heart, I see why people are vegan.

Alternative Remedy: Why The Public Has Lost Fate in Scientific Research

Posted for Roderick Moore-
One of the many concepts covered near the conclusion of On Immunity: an inoculation was that there are pockets of the population that has developed a server mistrust of public research organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute of Health (NIH). One possible explanation for the public’s mistrust of these institution is the contradictory results that can occasional come from research. Often, the results of an experiment do not always draw a clear-cut explanation for the phenomenon that is observed, and sometimes even researchers with the best of intentions can draw the wrong conclusion from a resulting experiment, only to be retracted and reconciled once additional data is collected. On top of the inconclusive results of research, there are also incidents where researchers in pursuit of fame and fortune intentionally mislead the public with false findings. In addition, there are also several organizations and individuals that promote the misinformation to either push a political agenda, or profit off the uninformed populace via scams disguised as alternative treatments. In fact, Paul Offit, a prominent researcher in his own wright, states in his interview with Biss that the notion of someone going into research for excessive profit is absurd. Even so, several blogs and news media sources have labeled Offit as the devil incarnate for his comment around the number of vaccines a child can receive, a comment that Offit himself admits to being a bit excessive (Biss). In conclusion, the best defense against this rampant case of misinformation is the education of individuals on discerning credible and non-credible information sources, and the understanding of the over sensationalized appearance of the media.
Biss, Eula. On immunity: an inoculation. London: Fitzcarraldo Ed., 2015. Print.

Final project

I am doing my project on The Soul of a Doctor.

MY Final Report

My final report will be about "Religious Exemption to Vaccine": History, Laws, Dangerous, Assault on cultural values and beliefs in America, and implications for disease outbreaks.

The Measles are Back?!

Below is an article about the measles that are back. In a big way. Cases of measles have been on the increase in the last few years, and this month an outbreak now reaching at least 94 patients has been tied to an exposure at Disneyland.
t appears that the source of this latest infection was likely either a foreign tourist or an American who returned carrying the disease from abroad, but the outbreak has brought renewed attention to the anti-vaccination movement (like this RNS commentary arguing that “Parents who do not vaccinate their children should go to jail”). What hasn’t been highlighted is the fact that the increased instances of measles and other previously-eradicated diseases in this country over the last decade are actually a cautionary tale about religious exemptions.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Final Report

Conner here! I'll be doing my final report on Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Bostrom.

Dr. Oliver Sacks Gratitude 3/30/17 post

          Dr. Oliver Sacks was, without a doubt, a remarkable man. His perspective on life is a highly intelligent and well thought out view. Of course, he has had to face so much adversity in his life, from being disgraced for coming out as a homosexual in a very religious Jewish family, to having to battle cancer.  He says,

 “I have tended since boyhood to deal with loss –losing people dear to me—by turning to the nonhuman […] Times of stress throughout my life have led me to turn , or return, to the physical sciences, a world where there is no life, but also no death”(Sacks 26).

          His connection with the sciences and periodic table attest to his hardships, I think, and make him who he is. When he speaks of neither life nor death in the “perfect world” he makes the connection to physical science even more appealing. A thought of this world without pain and hardship—without cancer—without limitations or restrictions is what he gravitates toward. I believe, as humans, that we all look to the future and hope, beyond hope, that there is a utopia waiting for us. And then, suddenly, as in Dr. Sacks case, a sense of sorrow persists that we will not get to see this utopia, quite like the way he laments on not being able to see the new breakthroughs in physical science.in the following years. His constant draw back to the periodic table is emblematic. It is what his entire life has stood for.—the 4rth element Beryllium being the first his collection, thus when he realized his passion for science. As well as, at the end when he stares into the city of element 83, Bismuth. Again, we see his visualization of a perfect world. This”modest grey metal” is symbolic of his love and devotion to his profession as a doctor. He says,

“My feeling as a doctor for the mistreated and marginalized extends into the inorganic world and finds a parallel in my feeling for Bismuth” (Sacks 30).

         This parallel speaks worlds to the adversity he has faced, especially as a young adult discovering his sexuality.  In the last chapter he speaks of how he slowly faded away from his religious affiliations. He tells about his friend who received a Nobel Prize declaring celebration of Sabbath would have trumped the prize ceremony. He, however, put achieving peace within one’s self at the utmost priority regardless of spiritual or nonspiritual sentiment. Dr. Oliver Sacks was an incredible individual, and I very much enjoyed this collection of his essays. I think his ideas are well beyond the 45 pages of the book, and speak volumes to those of us who share a love for science as well as those of us who have experienced coping with hardship and adversity.


What happens when diagnosis is automated?
By Siddhartha Mukherjee

One evening last November, a fifty-four-year-old woman from the Bronx arrived at the emergency room at Columbia University’s medical center with a grinding headache. Her vision had become blurry, she told the E.R. doctors, and her left hand felt numb and weak. The doctors examined her and ordered a CT scan of her head.

A few months later, on a morning this January, a team of four radiologists-in-training huddled in front of a computer in a third-floor room of the hospital. The room was windowless and dark, aside from the light from the screen, which looked as if it had been filtered through seawater. The residents filled a cubicle, and Angela Lignelli-Dipple, the chief of neuroradiology at Columbia, stood behind them with a pencil and pad. She was training them to read CT scans.

“It’s easy to diagnose a stroke once the brain is dead and gray,” she said. “The trick is to diagnose the stroke before too many nerve cells begin to die.” Strokes are usually caused by blockages or bleeds, and a neuroradiologist has about a forty-five-minute window to make a diagnosis, so that doctors might be able to intervene—to dissolve a growing clot, say. “Imagine you are in the E.R.,” Lignelli-Dipple continued, raising the ante. “Every minute that passes, some part of the brain is dying. Time lost is brain lost.”

She glanced at a clock on the wall, as the seconds ticked by. “So where’s the problem?” she asked.

Strokes are typically asymmetrical. The blood supply to the brain branches left and right and then breaks into rivulets and tributaries on each side. A clot or a bleed usually affects only one of these branches, leading to a one-sided deficit in a part of the brain. As the nerve cells lose their blood supply and die, the tissue swells subtly. On a scan, the crisp borders between the anatomical structures can turn hazy. Eventually, the tissue shrinks, trailing a parched shadow. But that shadow usually appears on the scan several hours, or even days, after the stroke, when the window of intervention has long closed. “Before that,” Lignelli-Dipple told me, “there’s just a hint of something on a scan”—the premonition of a stroke.

The images on the Bronx woman’s scan cut through the skull from its base to the apex in horizontal planes, like a melon sliced from bottom to top. The residents raced through the layers of images, as if thumbing through a flipbook, calling out the names of the anatomical structures: cerebellum, hippocampus, insular cortex, striatum, corpus callosum, ventricles. Then one of the residents, a man in his late twenties, stopped at a picture and motioned with the tip of a pencil at an area on the right edge of the brain. “There’s something patchy here,” he said. “The borders look hazy.” To me, the whole image looked patchy and hazy—a blur of pixels—but he had obviously seen something unusual.

“Hazy?” Lignelli-Dipple prodded. “Can you describe it a little more?”

The resident fumbled for words. He paused, as if going through the anatomical structures in his mind, weighing the possibilities. “It’s just not uniform.” He shrugged. “I don’t know. Just looks funny.”

Lignelli-Dipple pulled up a second CT scan, taken twenty hours later. The area pinpointed by the resident, about the diameter of a grape, was dull and swollen. A series of further scans, taken days apart, told the rest of the story. A distinct wedge-shaped field of gray appeared. Soon after the woman got to the E.R., neurologists had tried to open the clogged artery with clot-busting drugs, but she had arrived too late. A few hours after the initial scan, she lost consciousness, and was taken to the I.C.U. Two months later, the woman was still in a ward upstairs. The left side of her body—from the upper arms to the leg—was paralyzed.

I walked with Lignelli-Dipple to her office. I was there to learn about learning: How do doctors learn to diagnose? And could machines learn to do it, too?

My own induction into diagnosis began in the fall of 1997, in Boston, as I started my clinical rotations. To prepare, I read a textbook, a classic in medical education, that divided the act of diagnosis into four tidy phases. First, the doctor uses a patient’s history and a physical exam to collect facts about her complaint or condition. Next, this information is collated to generate a comprehensive list of potential causes. Then questions and preliminary tests help eliminate one hypothesis and strengthen another—so-called “differential diagnosis.” Weight is given to how common a disease might be, and to a patient’s prior history, risks, exposures. (“When you hear hoofbeats,” the saying goes, “think horses, not zebras.”) The list narrows; the doctor refines her assessment. In the final phase, definitive lab tests, X-rays, or CT scans are deployed to confirm the hypothesis and seal the diagnosis. Variations of this stepwise process were faithfully reproduced in medical textbooks for decades, and the image of the diagnostician who plods methodically from symptom to cause had been imprinted on generations of medical students.

But the real art of diagnosis, I soon learned, wasn’t so straightforward. My preceptor in medical school was an elegant New Englander with polished loafers and a starched accent. He prided himself on being an expert diagnostician. He would ask a patient to demonstrate the symptom—a cough, say—and then lean back in his chair, letting adjectives roll over his tongue. “Raspy and tinny,” he might say, or “base, with an ejaculated thrum,” as if he were describing a vintage bottle of Bordeaux. To me, all the coughs sounded exactly the same, but I’d play along—“Raspy, yes”—like an anxious impostor at a wine tasting.

The taxonomist of coughs would immediately narrow down the diagnostic possibilities. “It sounds like a pneumonia,” he might say, or “the wet rales of congestive heart failure.” He would then let loose a volley of questions. Had the patient experienced recent weight gain? Was there a history of asbestos exposure? He’d ask the patient to cough again and he’d lean down, listening intently with his stethoscope. Depending on the answers, he might generate another series of possibilities, as if strengthening and weakening synapses. Then, with the élan of a roadside magician, he’d proclaim his diagnosis—“Heart failure!”—and order tests to prove that it was correct. It usually was.

A few years ago, researchers in Brazil studied the brains of expert radiologists in order to understand how they reached their diagnoses. Were these seasoned diagnosticians applying a mental “rule book” to the images, or did they apply “pattern recognition or non-analytical reasoning”?

Twenty-five such radiologists were asked to evaluate X-rays of the lung while inside MRI machines that could track the activities of their brains. (There’s a marvellous series of recursions here: to diagnose diagnosis, the imagers had to be imaged.) X-rays were flashed before them. Some contained a single pathological lesion that might be commonly encountered—perhaps a palm-shaped shadow of a pneumonia, or the dull, opaque wall of fluid that had accumulated behind the lining of the lung. Embedded in a second group of diagnostic images were line drawings of animals; within a third group, the outlines of letters of the alphabet. The radiologists were shown the three types of images in random order, and then asked to call out the name of the lesion, the animal, or the letter as quickly as possible while the MRI machine traced the activity of their brains. It took the radiologists an average of 1.33 seconds to come up with a diagnosis. In all three cases, the same areas of the brain lit up: a wide delta of neurons near the left ear, and a moth-shaped band above the posterior base of the skull.

“Our results support the hypothesis that a process similar to naming things in everyday life occurs when a physician promptly recognizes a characteristic and previously known lesion,” the researchers concluded. Identifying a lesion was a process similar to naming the animal. When you recognize a rhinoceros, you’re not considering and eliminating alternative candidates. Nor are you mentally fusing a unicorn, an armadillo, and a small elephant. You recognize a rhinoceros in its totality—as a pattern. The same was true for radiologists. They weren’t cogitating, recollecting, differentiating; they were seeing a commonplace object. For my preceptor, similarly, those wet rales were as recognizable as a familiar jingle.

In 1945, the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle gave an influential lecture about two kinds of knowledge. A child knows that a bicycle has two wheels, that its tires are filled with air, and that you ride the contraption by pushing its pedals forward in circles. Ryle termed this kind of knowledge—the factual, propositional kind—“knowing that.” But to learn to ride a bicycle involves another realm of learning. A child learns how to ride by falling off, by balancing herself on two wheels, by going over potholes. Ryle termed this kind of knowledge—implicit, experiential, skill-based—“knowing how.”

"A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health"

“Look on the sunny side of life.”

“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

“See the glass as half-full, not half-empty.”

Researchers are finding that thoughts like these, the hallmarks of people sometimes called “cockeyed optimists,” can do far more than raise one’s spirits. They may actually improve health and extend life.

There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels...

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Brave New World

I will be doing my final report on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

Final paper

I will be doing my final paper on The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down.

Final Solo Project

I will be doing The Case Against Perfection by Michael Sandel (:

Homo Deus

Anyone interested in reporting on this?
Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus. amazon.com

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Final Reporting Topic

I'm calling dibs on Zero K  by  Don Delillo for my final report

Response to Concluding Chapters "On Immunity"

Eula Bliss’s book On Immunity was an exceptional read and it touched on countless topics that were all intriguing and scary at the same time. I loved how she considered so many angles when it comes to approaching our immune system. She portrays how the immune system is so complex and how everyone has different opinions when it comes to the different aspects. I have always been an advocate for vaccines and after reading this book I still am, but I now have a better understanding of where people are coming from. I understand that some people are more traditional and old school and feel that children’s immune system should develop on its own and let it regulate itself. I agree with this because children’s immune systems are impressive and can fight off tons of bacteria and other infectious organisms, but I don’t see the harm in adding an extra boost to their immune system. In Bliss’s book, she mentions how her son received a vaccine for Chicken Pox and that at first she was hesitant, but later followed through on the doctor’s advice. When it comes to Chicken Pox, it leaves a leftover virus called varicella virus. This virus remains in your nerves and can become triggered again by intense amount of stress and if your body doesn’t keep it at bay it ultimately can lead to shingles; an intense inflammation of the nerves. One of my teachers here at MTSU had shingles and I saw how much pain it caused him and I also saw how all of that could have been avoided if he had received the vaccine when he was a kid. Chiefly, I would rather receive a vaccine and not need it versus not receiving the vaccine and contracting a horrible disease or harmful organism later down the road!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Related questions:

In the pharmaceutical world, Jane Smith observes the great division is between what?
What is one of the primary mechanism of natural immunity?
Even before Christopher Columbus landed in the Bahamas, the epidemic diseases did exist in America. T/F
What was the idea that the book “Silent Spring” popularized?
What brought malaria to America?
Who said, infectious disease steal human resources?
How the plot of Dracula relates to Silent Spring?
When was the first time that the term immune system used and by whom?
What type of virus killed over 600,000 children in the developing world every year?
How long did it take to answer the question, how can we give a vaccine that doesn’t cause disease?
What is moral hazard?
What does the term regulation refer to?

What immune machismo means? And this term was used by whom?

Eugenics and forced sterilization on Fresh Air

The Supreme Court Ruling That Led To 70,000 Forced Sterilizations

Hear The Original Interivew

The Supreme Court Ruling That Led To 70,000 Forced Sterilizations

In the early 20th century, American eugenicists used forced sterilization to "breed out" traits considered undesirable. Adam Cohen tells the story in Imbeciles. Originally broadcast March 7, 2016.


This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching sitting in for Terry Gross. One of the worst Supreme Court decisions in history, according to our guest journalist Adam Cohen, was the 1927 decision upholding a state's right to forcibly sterilize a person considered unfit to procreate - unfit because they were deemed to be mentally deficient. That decision is part of a larger chapter of American history in which the eugenics movement was behind preventing so-called mentally deficient people from procreating through not allowing them to marry, sterilizing them and segregating them in special colonies.

The Nazis borrowed some ideas from American eugenicists. The eugenics movement also influenced the 1924 Immigration Act, which was designed in part to keep out Italians and Eastern European Jews. Adam Cohen's book titled "Imbeciles" is about the eugenics movement in the early 20th century and the Supreme Court case legalizing sterilization. Cohen is a former member of The New York Times editorial board and a former senior writer for Time magazine. Terry Gross spoke to him last year when his book was first published. It's just come out in paperback.



Adam Cohen, welcome to FRESH AIR. Let's start with what the eugenicists believed.

ADAM COHEN: They embraced the new genetics that was emerging in their era. And they believed that it could be used to perfect the human race. The word eugenics was actually coined by Francis Galton, who was a half-cousin of Charles Darwin, and it really derived a lot from Darwinian ideas. The eugenicists looked at evolution and survival of the fittest as Darwin was describing it. And they believed, we can help nature along if we just plan who reproduces and who doesn't reproduce.

GROSS: And who was considered unworthy of reproducing?

COHEN: Well, at the beginning, Galton looked at geniuses throughout history and looked to see if genius was genetic within families. And he believed that it was. But overtime, eugenics expanded quite a bit. And by the time it got to America, there were all kinds of categories of people who were deemed to be unfit, including people who were deaf, blind, diseased, poor was a big category, indolent.

So it was really in the eye of the beholder. People looked around, and they saw human qualities they didn't like, and they thought, we can really breed these out.

GROSS: And you left out feebleminded. What did feebleminded mean?

COHEN: Yes, feebleminded was really the craze in American eugenics. There was this idea that we were being drowned in a tide of feeblemindedness, that basically unintelligent people were taking over, reproducing more quickly than the intelligent people. But it was also a very malleable term that was used to define large categories of people that, again, were disliked by someone who was in the decision-making position. So women who were thought to be overly interested in sex - licentious - sometimes deemed feebleminded. It was a broad category. And it was very hard to prove at one of these feeblemindedness hearings that you were not feebleminded.

GROSS: So what sent you back to this unfortunate chapter of American history?

COHEN: Well, when I was in law school, I had heard of the case Buck v. Bell from 1927 when the Supreme Court upheld eugenic sterilization. But it wasn't formally taught in at least my class. And it's not taught in many Constitutional Law classes. But, you know, we knew it existed. And we knew the famous phrase that Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in the decision - three generations of imbeciles are enough. When I was thinking about something I wanted to write about, I was interested in the Supreme Court, but in many ways, I believe you can learn more about an institution and more about an ideal like justice if you look at where it's gone wrong rather than where it's gone right. And in any list of Supreme Court decisions that are terribly wrong, any list of the worst Supreme Court decisions, Buck v. Bell would have to rank very highly. (transcript continues)

Friday, March 24, 2017

How should we deal with vaccine hesitancy, refusal, and anti-vaccine beliefs?

  • From my research I found that almost as long as there have been vaccinations, there has been an antivaccine movement, and as long as there has been an anti-vaccine movement, there have been parents who refuse to vaccinate. The history also shows us how there were many organizations that had been standing against the vaccinations. For example, in the 1800s, there were even groups with names like the Anti-Vaccination Society of America and the National Anti-Vaccination League. 
  • The problem is that Parents no longer fear the diseases childhood vaccines protect against, which makes it easy for anti-vaccine activists to provide what I like to call “misinformed consent,” by spreading misinformation that vastly exaggerates the risk of vaccines compared to the benefit of vaccinating. Parents therefore who believe the misinformation conclude that not vaccinating is safer. 
  • Indeed, what to do about it? And how far the state and us should go to encourage vaccination. In my country Egypt I remember that thousands of children died because they didn't take the paralyzed vaccine. Until, the government and the ministry of health have been starting to reach almost each city and each small village to let them aware of the dangerous of anti-vaccine or refuse taking the vaccination. 
  • Here's the question, what are some reasons behind the vaccine refusal: 
  • 1-Concerns about added ingredients in vaccines 
  • 2-Worry child will suffer other complications from vaccine 
  • 3-Worries about “overwhelming” infant’s immune system 
  • 4-Distrust of pharmaceutical industry 
  • 5-Believe child will get illness from vaccine 
  • 6-Pain/stress of multiple injections for child 
  • 7-Believe naturally acquired immunity is preferable 
  • 8-Religious or political belief 
  • What should we do for increasing acceptance of vaccines? 
  • 1-Changing attitudes in the lay press—less glorifying and more scrutiny of vaccine refusers/press finally coming down negatively on vaccine refusers. 
  • 2-State laws removing philosophical exemptions for vaccines. 
  • 3-Taking more time to address all of the parents’ concerns about vaccines. 
  • 4-A new policy to dismiss vaccine refusers from practice 

  • M.Ghaly

    Quiz Mar 28

    1. What does Paul Offit find laughable?

    2. How much revenue did the rotavirus vaccine and Lipitor generate, respectively?

    3. What did a Nashville woman sell for $50?

    4. What did Jacobsen v. Massachussetts (1905) uphold?

    5. What 20th century political philosopher does Biss's sister mention, in criticizing "Dr.Bob's" counsel of silence?

    6. What paradoxical emotional state does Biss say is induced by citizenship in this country?

    7. What "cultural obsession of the moment" do some mothers consider a viable substitute for vaccination? OR, what problematic implication of their obsession do some fail to consider?

    8. Whose errant article "Deadly Immunity" was retracted, but only in its corrected version?

    9. Who said "a scientist is never certain"? OR, Who advocated "negative capability"?

    10. What was the bioethicist who said "it's not a matter of if, but when" referring to?

    11. Immunologist Polly Matzinger's _____ Model says the immune system is more responsive to entities that do damage than with those that are merely foreign.

    12. Who said "we must cultivate our garden," which for Biss implies recognizing immunity as "a garden we tend together"?

    • Do we have too many childhood vaccines, administered too soon (regardless of however many a child could "theoretically handle")? 110, 113
    • Are there any "vaccine profiteers"? 111 Do you agree that medical researchers (as distinct from pharmaceutical companies, or their Boards and stockholders) are not in it for personal profit? 112  Do you think many private practitioners rejected a life of research mainly for personal-financial reasons? What considerations will guide your own medical-vocational choices?
    • Are people who want their children to get chicken pox "idiots"? 115
    • Should we respect the "conscientious objections" of anti-vaxxers? Does it matter that they "honestly believe" unfounded, unreasonable claims about the hazards of immunization? 119
    • We owe the existence of this nation in part to George Washington's campaign of compulsory smallpox  inoculation, but also "owe some of its present character to resistance" to compulsion. 120 Have we achieved a proper balance between individual rights and the common good? Is balance a reasonable goal? Or would you defend tilting one way (individualism) or the other (the "general will")?
    •  Is conscience easily confused with any other feeling? 122
    • If "the body is such a ready metaphor for the nation," is it best conceived as an independent individual or as part of & dependent on a collective and community?
    • "We have sunshine in us!" 132 Should we be more optimistic about our future health prospects?
    • Is there anything wrong with understanding immune system as reflecting not only immunology but also environmentalism, alternative health, and New Age msyticism? 133
    • "Some prefer to assume health as an identity" 135 and not a fortunate but transient and vulnerable condition. Do you think this attitude leads those who hold it to feel less compassionate towards the sick, or less responsible for participating in behaviors that enhance the health of the whole community? Does it encourage a new and pernicious "social Darwinism"?  137
    • What's your response to those who say that AIDS is a punishment for homosexuality, promiscuity, and addiction? 138
    • Do you ever feel, when doing research - especially online research - that you've fallen down a rabbit hole? 139 How do you climb out? Is science a wonderland mostly in a good way?
    • What's the best way to deal with prevalent misinformation and "sensationalist" misleading headlines that distort science: confront, correct, or ignore? 141 Do you agree that "most published research findings are false"? 142
    • Are you optimistic about our "technologies for reproducing information" and our prospects for conquering the "mysterious unknown" of disease?
    • Are we still in the same predicament as Defoe's narrator, "left to reckon with improbable theories and pure speculation" and fears of mysterious plague? 148  Was San Francisco c.1989 not that different from London c.1665?
    • Can we defuse the "bomb" of antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
    • Is Offit's respect for fear of vaccines but not for decisions not to vaccinate coherent? 150
    • Does Stoicism seem right for our times? Is "apocalypse" an overstatement? 151 If we're too stoic, will we be vigorous enough in challenging those who do not acknowledge a civic responsibility to participate in measures to secure the entire community's health and safety?
    • Is there any rationale for banning gays from giving blood? 157
    • Are there "reasons to vaccinate that transcend medicine"? 158
    • What does "cultivating our garden" mean to you, in either medical or broader contexts? 162
    More on "milk ethics" -

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    What about Humanely Raised Milk and Dairy Products?

    freefromharm.org › Farm Animal Welfare

    May 3, 2011 - A mother cow's milk is perfectly formulated by nature to provide the essential nutrients and ..... Preventing Ex-Vegans: The Power of Ethics  ...

    Cow's Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product | Animals Used ...


    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    PETA People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ... While cows suffer on factory farms, humans who drink their milk increase their chances of developing heart  ...
    Science Friday (@scifri)

    Is MSG actually bad for your health? (Spoiler: No) scifri.me/ng93mx #SciFriArchivepic.twitter.com/SCNOeYcwgk

    How many animals are experimented on in labs?
    The bioethics of googling
    Press Release | Mar. 24 on FRONTLINE: Should Vaccinating Children Be A Choice? | Press Room | FRONTLINE | PBS 

    My sister Kim, a social worker and ER staffer, shared a photo someone posted on her ER Facebook site of a tee-shirt with the message: "Too much emergency medicine prevents natural selection." Hmmm. My comment: Nothing prevents natural selection, but humane healthcare enables the selection of decency and compassion. (Will that fit on a tee-shirt?)
    NYT Readers compare America’s for-profit system with that of Finland and other countries with universal, government-run care:

    To the Editor:

    Re “The Fake Freedom of American Health Care” (Sunday Review, March 19):

    Anu Partanen’s observations about the cost and value of American health care are right on target. Very few Americans understand how health care gets paid for. Even fewer know that we in the United States spend about twice as much per capita on health care as other developed nations, yet fewer people are insured and our outcomes tend to be worse. Ignorance of these basic facts is at the root of our stalemate about health care reform.

    Ms. Partanen is right to call out the bogus freedom being peddled by the current administration. The only freedom the current proposal protects is freedom of the market. That kind of freedom may be appropriate for buying a new toaster, but it is not appropriate for health care.


    The writer is senior director, theology and ethics, Catholic Health Association.

    To the Editor:

    The chief problem with President Drumpf’s and most Republicans’ approach to health care is that it lacks a conscience. So-called free-market health care really just means profit-based health care. Such a system has no qualms about letting someone who lacks access to health care die and is indifferent if someone hesitates to seek treatment because it’s too expensive. The only value is the bottom line, assessed annually at stockholders’ meetings.

    Thankfully, since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Democrats (primarily) have stepped in to provide a collective conscience to supplant the profit motive; that collective conscience has demanded that old people have a minimum income, hence Social Security; that old people have health care, hence Medicare; that poor people should have some health care, hence Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

    The American people are gambling with their lives if they put their health in the hands of Mr. Drumpf, other Republicans and big business.


    To the Editor:

    Anu Partanen makes a cogent case for universal health care. This would be a no-brainer if it weren’t for the fact that Republicans are worried that without the huge contributions they receive from pharmaceutical and health insurance interests, their re-election prospects would be dimmed. It’s always disturbing to see how they rationalize their support for “free market” solutions in an industry devoid of meaningful competition and rife with inherent conflicts of interest.


    To the Editor:

    Thank you for a very informative, first-person account of the differences between our slapdash corporate for-profit health care system and the Scandinavian model. As someone who has spent a lot of time in Northern Europe and has friends who work in the Swedish health care system, I found the essay spot on. I received medical attention free of charge when I needed it, even though I was not a resident, and the hospitals there are just as competent as ours here in the New York area.

    All this political posturing about “socialism” as a dirty word shows how uninformed our leaders are. The social democratic societies have the best interests of their citizens as a priority. How do they pay for it? Payroll taxes and high taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, the very root of many of our health problems.

    I wonder how many of our representatives in Washington have actually visited Scandinavia? Perhaps a field trip to spend at least two weeks in a Nordic country could open some eyes for our tunnel-visioned members of Congress.


    To the Editor:

    You don’t have to go so far afield as Finland to find a more efficient health care system than that of the United States. I can speak from experience about the much-derided Canadian system.

    Since coming to Canada in 1974, I have probably seen my family doctor 50 times (with no co-payment). I have been to the emergency room at least 20 times; I have had several M.R.I.s, X-rays, sonograms and stress tests; and I’ve had a stent put in and cataract surgery in both eyes.

    And what have I had to do for all this? Pay my taxes and show my health card. No voluminous forms to fill out or invasive questions to answer. For us the vocabulary of health care in the United States — co-payments, deductibles, pre-existing conditions — is as foreign as that of those aliens in “Arrival.”

    Of course our system is not perfect. But I’ll take ours over the American nightmare of choices any day.


    To the Editor:

    There are many differences between the United States and Finland. Finland has a population of about 5.5 million, while that of the United States is about 325 million. So the size of a bureaucracy to support a centralized health care system in the United States would be staggeringly large. And there is nothing in our current centralized medical care systems (Veterans Affairs, Medicaid) that would inspire confidence in the efficiency or lack of fraud.

    Another difference is that Finland is very homogeneous; the United States is not. According to a 2007 study by Steffen Mau of the University of Bremen, the more mixed the population, the less the people trust or support state welfare. And all this is aside from questions of freedom or rights.


    To the Editor:

    The free market has a way of working itself out for most products and services. A person of means can shop for a Cadillac Escalade and not worry much about the cost. Others who are struggling to find a way to get to work can shop for a used Toyota. The wealthy suburbanite can hire a landscaper to tend to the yard, while others will mow the lawn themselves.

    The free market does not work as well with medical care. While a wealthy person may be in great health and use medical services for nothing more serious than a tummy tuck, the struggling family across town might be seeking treatment for a sickly child without the means to do so.

    When Paul Ryan says, “Freedom is the ability to buy what you want to fit what you need,” this may apply when buying a home entertainment system, but it fails to meet many needs for health care.


    To the Editor:

    Anu Partanen is correct that the Republican idea of health care is grounded in “fake freedom.” For women, this pretense of freedom is especially offensive. The “freedom” and “choice” that Representative Paul Ryan and his male Republican colleagues highlight as the greatest pillars of their plan do not extend to women seeking reproductive freedom and reproductive choice.

    Instead, the G.O.P. bill seeks to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and to prevent the use of tax credits to purchase health plans that include abortion coverage. Beyond fake, the G.O.P. “freedom” is sexist hypocrisy.


    To the Editor:

    Choosing not to purchase health care coverage when you can afford it is not freedom but rather gross irresponsibility. Everyone is at risk of becoming ill or injured and needing expensive care to recover. To forgo insurance is to leave to others the responsibility of dealing with the costs of your illness or injury — or, worse, to force others to turn a blind eye while you suffer or die without care.

    Certainly there are people who foolishly delude themselves into believing they are invincible or choose not to think about the consequences of not having coverage. But the majority of people who fail to purchase health coverage do so not because they don’t want coverage, but because they can’t afford it. Only the most cynical would call this inability to afford coverage freedom.


    Deborah Blum (@deborahblum)

    No possible acceptable defense: De Niro Defends Screening of Andrew Wakefield Anti-Vaccine Film at Tribeca Festival nyti.ms/1RErxol
    Joe Hanson (@jtotheizzoe)

    Hey @Tribeca, I fixed some errors in Andrew Wakefield’s bio for you pic.twitter.com/JOMg7SRCuZ
    Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer)

    There is an Intelligent Designer & his name is J. Craig Venter: "Design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome"science.sciencemag.org/content/351/62…
    NYT Health (@NYTHealth)

    A doctor's memoir is all the more powerful for its frequent uncertainty nyti.ms/1N4XhM0 pic.twitter.com/K1qo4Rj0qt
    Saving The Doctor-Patient Relationship
    Lifetime M.D. Dr. Nortin Hadler joins us to look at what’s happened to the doctor-patient relationship, and how to save it.
    In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, Doctor Leonid Basovich, left, examines Medi-Cal patient Michael Epps, at the WellSpace Clinic in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    In this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016, Doctor Leonid Basovich, left, examines Medi-Cal patient Michael Epps, at the WellSpace Clinic in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
    Nortin Hadler, MD, has been doctoring for a long time. He’s old school. Loves a rich doctor-patient relationship, where the whole person – patient – is seen and comprehended. Treated in full. But these days, he says, doctors who care are burning out, retiring early, pulling their hair out. “Today,” he writes, “health is a commodity, disease is a product line and physicians are a sales force in the employ of a predatory enterprise.” Ok! This hour On Point, Dr. Nortin Hadler on how to heal American health care... On Point (listen, read an excerpt of "By the Bedside of the Patient" by Dr. Hadler)