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Comment: Re:This is just another waiver (Score 3, Informative) 332

by alphastrike (#34735772) Attached to: Do Sleepy Surgeons Have a Right To Operate?

I agree. Being a resident I have some additional points to add on to your arguments. It may seem simple to reduce work hours, but it's over-simplified solution to a very complex problem.

Resident physicians are physicians who have finished medical school. They have a MD behind their name but are still in training. Say that hospital A has a training program for doctors. In order for the community to recognize the doctors graduating from hospital A's program is competent, hospital A must get approval from the ACGME(Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education).
The ACGME evaluates the program intermitently to assure the program's training fits the acceptable standards. Say the Residency program has 5 residents per year.

Right now the ACGME has a limit that no resident physician can work over 100 hours per week.(Let me point out that is actually 2.5 full time jobs). Say the ACGME drops that to 80 hours per week. Now suddenly you need more residents. If all 5 residents work 20% less, they will need at least 2 more residents per year to make the schedule happen. If the program have 20 residents, they'll need 6-7 more residents to make it happen. The ACGME however, might not approve of this. All hospitals have a patient load. If your residents are barely getting enough experience, diluting the load by adding more residents might put the training program below standard. Thus the ACGME can deny your request for additional personnel.

So the ACGME is forcing hospital A to reduce work hours, yet at the same time refuse to approve more residents. What do you do? Hire some physician assistants? Their average salary is more than 150% of an average resident, and they work far less hours. As a hospital/group who is trying to make profit, it would be less than ideal. Like the "don't ask don't tell system" it's easier if they just didn't report the work hour violations.

So if the problem is sleep, if you set thinigs up so residents work only 12 hour shifts instead of a 24 hour shift(call) then it would be okay right? No so. Continuity of care is not as good. A nurse sign out to the next nurse when their shift is done, but they have upwards of 6-8 patients on the floor. When a physician sign out to his/her relief, you are talking about any where from 10-50 patients. The more hand offs = more room for error, so you are trading exhaustion for hand off errors. Plus you have to now staff nights, which increases the number of staff needed. Previously when one person is staffing you now require 2 to provide 24 hour coverage.

The ACGME is making work hours more strict, but is the hours the surgical resident working really going down? Are they going to scrub out of a 12 hour case early so they can go home? no. Are they going to come in late and miss the next day's cases? no. Are they willing to lengthen their training from 5 years to 8 years because of a reducting of work hours and cases? hell no. Are they going to report their own program, have it shut down and end up having to look for new place to train? Again no. So most of the time they just don't report it when they work over their limits.

The institution try to fix the problems on the surface. The real problem lies in the cost of hiring medical personnel, the large debt from medical education, and the sharp difference in wages between a resident physician and an attending physician. Medical care when treated as a business is going to be squeezed for profit like any other business. Work hours is one of the scenarios where patient care and profit clash.

Comment: A hypothesis (Score 1) 642

by alphastrike (#34607862) Attached to: UK Gov't Wants To Block Internet Porn By Default

(The WHY part is mostly my theories, I don't have hard evidence.)

I thinks this move "may have" spawned from the british government's attempt to decrease Teen pregnancy rates. The government had pledged to cut teen pregnancy rates by half in 1999 over ten years, as in 1996 Britain ranked 4th in their teen pregnancy rates amongst developed countries(Guess who is ranked #1, that's right USA). They made some progress but arn't meeting their goals. Perhaps this is a desperate attempt to save face.

However, if this is the case...they are significantly underestimating some of the proven factors that is linked to pregnancy. Amongst these are education level, teen drug use, access to sex ed and contraceptives. There are many countries that don't have the same level of censorships on porn but still have far lower teen pregnancy rates.

And perhaps this isn't a desperate attempt to save face. On an interesting note, Brits cut funding to The Teenage Pregnancy Independent Advisory Group due to the financial crisis. The question of "what are you going to do about our high teen pregnancy rates?" probably came afterwards. The answer: "No prob, we'll ban porn!"

Non-sequitur anyone?

Comment: But is it fair to? (Score 1) 372

by alphastrike (#34556654) Attached to: Air Force Blocks NY Times, WaPo, Other Media

Does an organization/company have the authority to prevent access to any internet site
that is not work related to their employees?

The hospital where I work blocked facebook.com, espn.com, and wizards.com, but
if you access WiFi as a patient using an itouch, none of those site are blocked.

I see that it's obviously suspicious for Air Force to block Wikileaks and related sites.
And if say my AT&T DSL Cable Company start blocking Wikileaks, I'd be Raging against
the Machine for sure.
But is it within their power as employers to dictate what employee's browsing options are?

I think it's an interesting question at least.

Comment: Re:The Right to Choose (Score 1) 1505

by alphastrike (#34556494) Attached to: Judge Declares Federal Healthcare Plan (Partly) Unconstitutional

If we can mandate him having insurance for public health and cost reasons, why can't we make him stop smoking? Why can't we make him eat a healthy diet? Why can't we make him get a good night's sleep every night? Why can't we keep him from having unsafe sex? Why can't we prevent him from riding motorcycles because of the dangers? What about taking the stairs?

Where is the line?

Where does the line lie? I'll tell you where it lies: When Billy Bob spends Tax payer money for his care. When he spends MY money, he don't get to choose.

If Billy Bob is a Billionaire mega CEO, and he can afford it...he can do whatever he wants with his own body, it's his money. He can smoke, use drugs, drive motor cycles without a helmet while drunk, while having unprotected sex with multiple partners as he eats fried twinkies off their backs.

If Billy Bob is spending MY money for health care? He don't get to do whatever he wants. He will do what the system is telling him to do, or he can die. Because it's the Tax Payer's money, not his money. I have no interest in paying to save someone who is working hard to destroy himself. If I have to give up some of my money, it's going to the person I can actually save.

Mandatory insurance doesn't mean mandatory Government insurance. If you think government's insurance is too strict on your lifestyle? Then make some money and buy your own damn insurance. A person is allowed to waste his own resources at his whim, but not everyone else's. Because it's not his to spend.

That's where the line is.

Comment: The Right to Choose (Score 5, Interesting) 1505

by alphastrike (#34537628) Attached to: Judge Declares Federal Healthcare Plan (Partly) Unconstitutional

Quoting Judge Hudson, "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance—or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage—it's about an individual's right to choose to participate."

The problem with his perspective, is that the eventual goal of universal healthcare is aimed at prevention. Not matter how incomplete the current health care bill is, the eventual goal is to decrease high cost of health care associated with late complications of TREATABLE diseases.

If you are sick right now in this country and you walk into an emergency room, they are obligated to treat you. You can't not be turned down for care if you can't not pay, so long as the care is necessary. So if you can't pay and you have no insurance, somebody's gotta suck up the cost. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists arn't going to work full time jobs for free. Guess who has to pay? The taxpayers, through government giving hospitals checks so they don't go bankrupt.

Now take Billy Bob, he is a 40 y/o truck driver, smokes 1 pack a day. He has no health insurance, so he doesn't see a doctor. No one tells him to quit smoking. He has hypertension, but he doesn't get treated because he feels fine and doesn't see a doctor. At Age 50 he develops diabetes, he feels crappy from time to time but he doesn't see a doctor(no insurance) At Age 58 he has an heart attack, get sent to the ER. They find he can't be cathed, and has to go through a bypass procedure. Except he is also is in chronic renal failure from chronic diabetes and hypertension. To save his life they do a bypass and his kidney is shot for good. He stays in the ICU for 2 weeks sick as a dog after his surgery, because
he has COPD and his lungs won't work. Then he gets to go home but is living on dialysis. At age 60 he has a big head bleed from all the anticoagulants he takes for his heart. He goes back to the hospital and slow waste away after a Tracheostomy and PEG(Percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy or feeding tube.) He dies six weeks later in a nursing home from pneumonia.

Was his care good? Absolutely, top notch care, they did everything right. Except for the last 2 years his life sucked, and he died a miserable death. What's his cost of care? It's probably more than Billy Bob ever made in his entire life. And taxpayers are paying for it.

So what's the alternative? Billy Bob has insurance, he sees a doctor. He can't quit smoking but at least he start taking his blood pressure pills and his diabetes pills. His first heart attack comes at age 68 but he is not as sick so his bypass goes much smoother. He get scared and finally quit smoking. Great, that's a lot more years on his life, that he can enjoy. A lot more years where he is contributing to society by driving a truck. And as a Tax payer...I like the fact that ten years of blood pressure pill and insulin still cost a hell of a lot less than Emergency Bypass+ICU+Diaysis+Trach PEG and nursing home. I think if Billy Bob had to pick, he'd pick this route as well.

That is why everyone should have insurance. Now the other alternative is stop paying for Emergency Care. Grandma has an appendicitis? No insurance...let her die. You wife get shot in a drive by? No insurance...bleed to death. Your kid came out with some rare genetic disease that's gonna cost tens of thousands to fix? No insurance...good luck. You can crawl to the doorsteps of the ER, and they'll shut the door on you if you can't pay.

But are we ready for this kind of society? I don't think we are...yet.

So since I am a taxpayer, and I have to pay for people who can't pay...I rather pay less. So what is wrong with universal health care? Every dumb idiot out there who isn't covered and seeing a doctor, is making me pay more out of my pocket. Because when they are sick enough, they all come to the hospital.

I disagree with Judge Hudson, it's not about an individual's right to choose to participate. It's about if I have to pay taxes, I like to pay less.

Comment: Re:Insanity of Modern Decision Making (Score 1) 754

by alphastrike (#34458170) Attached to: Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

You make some good points again. However, I gotta say something about Fannie Mae.

Quoting wikipedia: FNMA(Fannie Mae) was established in 1938 by amendments to the National Housing Act[5] after the Great Depression to create a liquid secondary mortgage market and thereby free the loan originators to originate more loans, primarily by buying Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgages.

That was their original purpose.

Again Quoting Wiki: In 1992, President George H.W. Bush signed the Housing and Community Development Act of 1992. The Act amended the charter of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reflect Congress' view that the GSEs "have an affirmative obligation to facilitate the financing of affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income families."

The company are under polictical pressure to cater to "owning > renting". Because some politicians decided it was a political favorable move to establish such the notion of "owning > renting". Why did they make those proposals? Can you truly exclude the real-estate lobbyists?

Comment: Re:Insanity of Modern Decision Making (Score 1) 754

by alphastrike (#34456502) Attached to: Rear-View Cameras On Cars Could Become Mandatory In the US

What you are saying make a great deal of sense, and you gave a lot of examples of people using Precautionary Principle decision making instead of a cost/benefit analysis. However, I think there is something deeper about the way people act, it's not just stupidity and insanity. There is a great deal of blatant self-interest that drives those seemly "insane" decisions. The Precautionary Principle Decision making is perhaps only an excuse, a mean to an end.

Your example 1: What if Senator Feinstein knows there is a group of voters that he can sway in his favor by being pro-wild life preservation? By taking such an action he can step into the spotlight and act like an hero and appeal to his constituents. Perhaps he took careful measurements of how the decision would influence the voters, and acted in pure self interest to get elected/re-elected. The whole Precautionary Principle decision making only justifies but does not defines his actions.

Your example 3: River snails cause interstate to be re-routed. What if there is a road construction company currently very much in need of a big contract? They happen to have friends in the government, and the snails was just their excuse to advocate for the re-routing of the interstate.

Your example 4: From a pure entrepeneur's point of view, why is it important to define the benefit of owning a home versus renting? If you only care about making money by having people buy houses, you only concerns is convincing people that it is BETTER to own than to rent. If you convince enough people, then it becomes a part of the American Dream. Nowadays People keep talking about needing a smaller government, and how "Free Market" is gonna fix everything. They forget that it's free market and unmitigated greed that caused the problem in the first place. Now the corporation passed the hot potato to the government and the taxpayers, and people are angry. The people again forgot is IT IS THEY who allowed corporations to lobby, they who gave corporations that much control of the government(to deregulate and bail), and now they reap their own bitter fruit. It's a democracy, no one to blame but ourselves.

If you want to talk about precautionary principle decision making, what about about Social Security? That's another big pot of worms. The point I am making is this: While there seem to be a great deal of "Insanity" and "Stupidity" in modern decision making especially at the government level, most of it is simple self serving interest hiding behind the guise of these "Precautionary Principles".

Comment: Ad Banners (Score 1) 273

by alphastrike (#34392620) Attached to: Facebook's 'Like This' Button Is Tracking You
I don't know a great deal about online marketing and privacy policies, if someone could please enlighten me. I assume Facebook's research eventually lead to Ad banners that cater to the type of things that I have "liked". However, I never click on Ad Banners. If they sell this information to some company, that company is losing out(because I don't click on Ad Banners). So what am I losing here?

Comment: pessimistic view (Score 0, Offtopic) 375

by alphastrike (#34200842) Attached to: Can Windows, OS X and Fedora All Work Together?
The question is: Can people work together as a whole toward a single goal? Exhibit A: Our current government system(unadulterated pessimism) Exhibit B: The great wall of China So I think the answer is yes, if there is a Overlord with substantial credibility threatening all the subordinates with death and destruction.

Comment: L33T Passwords (Score 1) 233

by alphastrike (#34200754) Attached to: How Often Should You Change Your Password?
Have anyone every tried to use L33T as a way to create new passwords? You take words, add L33T to them and they become an amalgamation of letters, numbers and punctuations. It's easy to remember since they are words, and L33T is a relaxed enough system so everyone's L33T is not uniform. It's like a poor man's encryption system!

Comment: sexual reproduction (Score 5, Insightful) 133

by alphastrike (#34200504) Attached to: Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu
That's interesting, sexual reproduction is meant to increase genetic variation within a population and adapting to evolutionary changes. An animal that forgoes this process and clones itself to reproduce must of had genetic defects already weeded out from the gene pool at large. It might have perfectly adapted to survive in its surroundings, without experiencing harsh evolutionary demands. If this lizard has been around for millions of years, it might be interesting to analyze genetic variance of individual lizards, and see how many original lines exist within the population. After all if they are clones, it's possible that the entire species is consisted of clones descended from ONE individual! That's pretty rad stuff for the animal kingdom.
Biotech

Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu 133

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-the-bigfoot-burger dept.
eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

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