Medical roundup

  • Scott Gottlieb likely to steer FDA in right direction [Daniel Klein]
  • Study of shorter versus longer medical consent forms “finds no significant difference in comprehension, satisfaction, enrollment” [Grady et al., PLOS via Michelle Meyer]
  • C’mon, ACLU and Covington: “Lawsuit Aims to Force Catholic Hospitals Perform Transgender-Related Surgeries” [Scott Shackford]
  • So much: “What The New York Times Gets Wrong On Vaping Regulation” [Sally Satel]
  • “Should you be compensated for your medical waste, especially if it turns out to be valuable? The right answer is: no.” [Ronald Bailey, Reason on Henrietta Lacks story]
  • Kimberly-Clark: we’ve sold 70 million MicroCool hospital gowns without a single complaint of injury from alleged permeability. Calif. jury: that’ll be $454 million [Insurance Journal]


  • The Kimberly-Clark hospital gown case:

    The linked article is incomplete, not offering a summary of the plaintiffs’ arguments. They sound like serious people (hospitals and health care networks), frequently on the receiving end of lawsuits themselves.

    • Exactly. Microcool gowns are claimed to be impermeable, meaning that if you substances like blood on them, they do not leak through the gown. They are used in situations like the treatment of Ebola victims in which medical personnel must take great care not to become infected by their patients. The allegation, which according to both news reports and now a court decision, is true, is that Kimberly-Clark knowingly supplied gowns that were in fact not impermeable.

      If no one became infected as a result, that is wonderful, but it is presumably due to a combination of good luck and the use of multiple precautions. Assuming the allegations to be true, what Kimberly-Clark did endangered the lives of thousands of medical personnel. While there may be no case for compensatory damages, what Kimberly-Clark did deserves serious punishment. In the civil system, punitive damages are the principal means of accomplishing that. In cases of willful and severe misconduct such as this, perhaps the appropriate reform is to send the executives responsible to prison.