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Journal Journal: Filling in a DNR or Advanced Medical Directive is sobering.

With people living longer, and with the possibility to extend life even when doing so would be undignified, and distressing to everyone around you, eventually you should ask yourself "do I want to live like that?" Nobody wants to spend their last years unable to recognize anyone, in diapers, eating through a tube, and being the source of continual stress for friends and family.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

Your arguments are bullshit when it comes to experimental treatments. People can give consent after being informed that the treatment may make their disease or condition worse, or even kill them.

The same applies to people in drug trials. In blind tests, you cannot tell people whether they will receive the test treatment or not, and if you haven't noticed, All consent forms for treatment, even in hospitals, contain the stipulation that the patient has been informed of any risks (and "any risks" includes death) before consent can be given.

It is universally recognized that ANY and ALL treatments carry a risk, that every medication has side effects, and that it is the right of the patient, unless they are unable to give or withhold consent, to make an informed decision.

You might want to look at things like advanced medical directives, where you can give consent to procedures that will, for example, reduce pain even though they will hasten your death. Get with the times.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

If the patient has a fatal illness, it doesn't matter - they're going to die. That's what fatal illness means. And then we have people screaming not to give those same patients heroin because they might get addicted.

Also, since this is a test, you don't know if the placebo is less dangerous than the treatment being tested - or you wouldn't need to run the test. Your arguments are not based in law, nor are they in agreement with the physician's code of ethics, which works by informed consent in such cases.

Comment Re:Not a proper study, get this astroturf out of h (Score 1) 74

Seeing as 90% of all medical research is flawed, (and no, this is not some crank - it's pretty much accepted in research because of the evidence, as well as researchers personal knowledge/experience of bad studies we need to test against placebos, because some of the supposedly beneficial treatments are later found to be harmful.

Remember thalidomide? Or more recently, the panic over hormone replacement therapy because the biggest, best trial of HRT ever was started prematurely because it purported to show harmful effects of estrogen? 10s of millions of women world-wide were suddenly put on antidepressants to help deal with menopause side-effects. Turns out that the study was bogus, but more than a decade later, many doctors still haven't got the memo.

The flaw in the study was in using only estrogen from pregnant mare urine (Premarin and Prempro). Equine estrogen is not bio-identical to human estrogen (estradiol estrogen is), but it also contains equine enzymes that the human body has never seen in nature and can't handle - which cause, among other things, liver failure. Having horse enzymes in your blood, your organs, your brain ... that's going to cause problems. Also, progestins were included in HRT even though not needed, further increasing the risk. So this "definitive" study was harmful to people.

Heart attack is the #1 killer of women (no, not breast cancer). Estrogen helps protect against cardiovascular diseases. So people on a placebo would have been healthier, with less chance of sudden death.

Studies also show it's a potent anti-depressive, and delays the onset of Alzheimers and other dementias. Those are sentences of a slow death. It also reduces or stops suicidal ideation.

It also slows down bone demineralization by enabling the digestive system to take up more calcium (which is why calcium supplementation by itself doesn't work - if your body can't absorb it, you'll just eliminate it). 28% of women and 37% of men who fracture their hip die within one year. Considering that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will get at least 1 hip fracture, that's a significant amount of women who are now at higher risk because of this "greatest study ever."

So even the best studies need to be re-done, because if this study had included a placebo as well as Premarin, and also included other sources of estrogen such as estradiol, Premarin would have been singled out as the biggest contribution to health risk from HRT.

So placebos have a place - they would have saved millions of women from premature death, not endangered them further. That's why we do studies, and why we include placebos. Plus, placebos also work even when the patient is told that it's just a sugar pill. That's why you compare the benefits of a course of treatment with a placebo as well as no treatment. Why prescribe a drug with bad side effects when a placebo performs either as well or better? Not including placebos places people depending on the results of the study to make informed decisions at risk of making bad decisions. Some of those are fatal.

Comment Re:The electoral college is not needed (Score 1) 481

The farmers won't starve - they're the ones with the food. They only need a small portion of it to feed themselves. 98% of the population depends on them. Do you really think that 98% of the population is going to go out, raid the farms, and then plant the next round of crops? Without that next round, they starve in less than a year. But the farmers will survive.

Same with cattle. Same with chickens. Are they going to take over the chicken farms raising broilers in bulk? Get the eggs every day? Make sure the animals are fed, sheltered, etc? You'd run out of eggs in 2 months. Same with milk. You going to run the slaughterhouses? So forget your bacon as well. Unless the cities are willing to become farmers themselves, leaving their other jobs, ain't gonna happen. And even if they did, they don't have the expertise.

It's not like the National Guard can ensure that farmers don't purposefully screw everything up right under their eyes because mostly they aren't farmers. It owuld be the same if you asked them to watch over programmers to make sure they don't purposefully add bugs.

Comment Re: Here's a real hint (Score 1) 481

Hillary's stand not hypocritical? Really? Green Party donors aren't funding the recount - Clinton supporters are. They've already donated more for the recount than the Greens spent trying to elect Stein.

She went from "you must accept the results - anything less is undemocratic" to supporting a recount that will change nothing (and that has already been admitted to by the Stein camp - this is just a way for Stein to stay relevant a bit longer).

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 130

Plenty of places give a discount for cash - you just have to ask for it. Even some big-box stores. They hate those cash-back credit cards because that "cash back" is also deducted, in addition to the regular credit card merchant fees, and there's no way to tell just by looking at the card what, if any, cash back they're going to be hit for.

What - you thought the credit card companies were giving you that money out of their pockets? They're using their duopoly status to gouge retailers.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 130

"United States coins and currency (including Federal Reserve notes and circulating notes of Federal Reserve banks and national banks) are legal tender for all debts, public charges, taxes, and dues." Not accepting cash means that the banks take a cut, which means credit card dollars have less value to a creditor than bank notes.

Want to pay Uber in cash? Book a ride to a destination other than where you want to go. When the driver gets there, tell them you'll cancel the ride and pay him cash to take you to your real destination - just like a real taxi service. Think of it as "dark money."

You give a fake destination so that Uber won't see that the driver went to the place the cancelled ride was supposed to go to, so no evidence they were cut out of the loop.

Comment Re:Garages? (Score 1) 11

Drones have a very high power to weight ratio. Helicopters also have no problem turning. The best ways I can see are either cable rides (like on ski hills where you grab a t-bar) or hollow tubes and your vehicle's wheels push against the sides. Or a monorail that has rollers inside and outside an I-beam so that it can't leave the track. Picture a roller coaster with a single rail like that - that would be cool.

I think that in a sci-fi story the monorail would allow moving larger loads as well as presenting less risk to the users. Cars of different sizes could do everything from transporting small packages to heavy bulky objects. They don't have to be enclosed - just strap stuff down so it doesn't float off, etc. And the high-speed ones could use maglev for propulsion and to keep the guide rail from coming into contact with the pod. Maybe go all away around the moon and build up enough speed to launch stuff into space.

And of course, even for moving around on the moon, Mars, and Earth (I took a monorail ride at the World's Fair in 67 and it was fun. A lot less stressful than the gondola ride - that would take time to get used to, 360 visibility way way up in the air and the only thing keeping it up was an overhead cable).

So - anything you might incorporate in another story?

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