Medical roundup

  • “Oral Contraceptives Should be Free (From the Third-Party Trap)” [Jeffrey Singer, Cato]
  • Arbitrator awards $17.5 million after hospital fires neurosurgeon: in retaliation, or because he didn’t disclose problems with the law unrelated to practice? [Mike Baker, Seattle Times]
  • Idea of empowering government to rewrite recipes for packaged food has gotten more traction in British public health sector than here [Sean Poulter, Daily Mail]
  • Encyclopedia time: you can look up a variety of health topics in the now-online Encyclopedia of Libertarianism including Michael Cannon on health care generally, Gene Healy and Bruce Benson on illegal drugs, Jeffrey Schaler on psychiatry. And the Routledge Encyclopedia of Libertarianism includes Jessica Flanigan on libertarianism and medicine;
  • If treatment deviating from the standard of care is the standard for malpractice, then some patients in pursuit of unconventional therapy choose it, and the law of waivers and of assumption of risk should respect their autonomy [Nadia Sawicki via TortsProf]
  • About the Washington Post’s big opioid-legislation exposé, a few questions [Robert VerBruggen]


  • Mr. Singer is on the money. I don’t know about contraceptives but, a few weeks ago I got into some poison ivy and had a reaction to it. My Doctor proscribed a steroid cream for it. My insurance co-pay was $15. After paying for the cream I found out that it was only $8 if I would not have used my insurance.

  • On the calorie reduction, I would first point out that elephants only eat salad and look how big they are. Seriously, they are assuming that people only buy single serving pizza? People buy pizza for the whole family or for a party. Now they will have to buy multiple smaller pizzas? Will they need special permission? For burgers, I will sometimes buy the giant burger or two smaller sandwiches–will I not be allowed to buy 2? This is way overboard nannyism. Obesity can sneak up on you. If you only gain 1 lb/yr (1/365th per day) you will eventually be obese, but the daily effect is too small to notice. Portion control was tried under Obama’s school lunch program, and not only was the food inedible, but larger athletes, who burn 3000 calories/day, were starving. This is all frankly none of their business. This is what happens when you get socialized medicine–suddenly the government owns you.

  • Re: Dismissal of surgeon. It’s hard to tell from the article, but was termination authorized by the failure to notify? If not expressly authorized, I could see how an arbitrator could be influenced here. (Not that arbitrators shouldn’t have to follow the law, but often times arbitrators do deliberately avoid the letter of the law to avoid giving windfalls.)

    Award seems excessive.

  • Generic BCP’s cost less than $10/month. The whole problem with insurance coverage and religious objections goes away if BCP’s are available OTC.