×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

TheMeuge Re:I've heard that government moves slowly... (299 comments)

I once attended a seminar by one of the heads of emergency response from the city that's often portrayed as the world's biggest terrorism target. He was going on about communications equipment that is stored away for use after a low-yield nuke detonation. I asked the speaker whether the equipment and storage facilities are shielded against EMP. He asked me what "EMP" is.

I walked out.

about a month ago
top

WV Senator Calls For Ban On All Unregulated Cryptocurrencies

TheMeuge Re:Phew! Thank goodness Bitcoin is not anonymous (240 comments)

There have been plenty of people who argued for banning the use of cash. In many EU countries I believe they already have a ban on cash transactions above 1000 euro.

about 2 months ago
top

US Carriers Said To Have Rejected Kill Switch Technology Last Year

TheMeuge first they came for our cell phones... (197 comments)

You don't live in that kind of a society right up until the moment when you do live in that kind of a society, at which point it is rather too late to do anything to prevent it. Trust someone who lived behind the iron curtain - you don't WANT to know what society will be like if we keep heading in that direction. However small those steps are, they are not reversible.

about 2 months ago
top

Australian Spy Agency Offered To Share Data About Ordinary Citizens

TheMeuge Re:Where is this leading? (78 comments)

No one seems to think we are on a slippery slope here.

Not anymore. I think we're long past it. We're like Wile E Coyote... we've run off the cliff, just haven't fully realized it yet.

about 5 months ago
top

Australian Spy Agency Offered To Share Data About Ordinary Citizens

TheMeuge Re:Privacy != Paranoia (78 comments)

Actually, it's worse than that. What will undoubtedly affect most people is not the power imbalance between the individual and the government as a whole, but the tremendous power imbalance between an individual and the lowest tier public worker that has access to that information. When your local policeman will be browsing your daughter's naked photos (that she took in the shower with her cell phone) while contemplating which would be better to coerce her into sex, her confession about cheating in French class, smoking a joint once a year ago, or going on a date with two different people without them knowing it; and when you find out, and the same person will threaten you with being arrested for anything he could make up he saw in the surveillance, put you on a watch list, destroy your life.... that's when you will realize how far the power separation has gone.

Take it from someone who was brought up in the Soviet Union - even the lowliest civil servant had power, and exercised it. There was no action without bribery, and there was not even a concept of freedom... not because of power coming from the top down, but because the system was so skewed at a traffic cop could pull you over, rob you, rape your wife, then kill you both, and if anyone witnessed it, they'd keep their mouth shut.

Power corrupts.

If you give someone absolute access to your information (even forgetting the concept that the latter will likely mean absolute access to making stuff up), you given them absolute power over you.

about 5 months ago
top

Google Glass Making Its Way Into Operating Rooms

TheMeuge Re:More dehumanization in medicine (120 comments)

Well, if we didn't have to document several fold more, and got paid less for interacting with patients, we may do it. As it stands, unless a doctor is doing something to you, he/she is unlikely to get paid much. Obviously there are upsides and downsides to a system that rewards cutting but not measuring.

about 5 months ago
top

Google Glass Making Its Way Into Operating Rooms

TheMeuge Re:Sterilization (120 comments)

Why would it need to be sterilized? It's on a person's face, probably the dirtiest place in the OR. Or are you suggesting that we autoclave all the other surgeons' premium eyewear?

The disposable plastic face shield goes in front of the dirty bacteria-ridden face, glasses or not.

about 5 months ago
top

NSA Planned To Discredit Radicals Based On Web-Browsing Habits

TheMeuge spirals (415 comments)

Information imbalance creates a vast power imbalance. And we'd be fools to think that this power imbalance would not be exploited. Generally, in military terms you talk about capabilities, rather than intentions when making assessments. So when universal surveillance becomes a capability, we have to assume it's not just used, but used universally. And one doesn't have to go far in history to search for consequences of having such a system. While not nearly as sophisticated, East Germany during the Soviet era provides plenty of evidence for what WILL be done with the information obtained as a result of a vast surveillance network. In a few words, mainly ammunition for the government to persecute and discredit critics (which isn't new), but also alarmingly but unsurprisingly, a way for those with access to this information (specific individuals within law enforcement and government) to exert this power over other private individuals for spite, profit, blackmail, coverup, etc. It's happened before. We have to be fools to think it won't happen again.

about 5 months ago
top

European Commission Outlines Steps To Restore Trust In EU-US Data Flows

TheMeuge Re:We have a reform process in the US? (75 comments)

Yes, the reform is in the direction of no-privacy for everyone.

I have to say it, but we should mod up the AC.

The active privacy reform across the industrial world (yes, EU, UK, AU I'm talking to you as well, not just US) is the assertions that:
1. there no right to privacy for the citizens
2. there IS a right to privacy for n, where n=power or money (read: police, government, corporate interests)
3. noting a vast power unbalance as a result of 1 and 2 makes one a terrorist

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

And that is fairly scary for hospice situations. If people are not allowed to die, eventually they will gain tolerance to the painkillers and there will be some suffering, and there is not a thing they can do about it.

Give them more opiates?
There's no limit.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

Intent is the key. If your goal is to control pain at any cost in a terminal patient, and the next dose of opiate happens to stop them from breathing, that's fine. But I am not going to give them a dose of opiates that's INTENDED to stop them from breathing. It's a fine line, but an important one.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re: Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

Because I swore to do no harm. I am not sure that it's a good precedent for doctors to do that. I recognize the source of the contention, and I even sympathize. I'm just not sure that I can foresee a way to make the negative implications less scary.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

Step 1.
Most importantly, TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES. If they don't know your wishes, they will be unable to interpret them if that time comes.
Step 2.
Fill out a healthcare proxy form, available from any primary care MD or even the state itself, with preferably a hierarchy of surrogate decisionmakers (in case of an accident involving more than one person).
Step 3.
Discuss your wishes with your doctor and lawyer, who can help you iron out the language for a living will.

Consider though that 1 and 2 are much more important, because unless you specifically prohibit something in your living will, your proxy or surrogate may overrule it on your behalf. However, I would discourage you from writing any absolutes in your living will. It's not instructions, it a reminder and guidance for your healthcare proxy. Otherwise, you may miss a potential live-saving treatment that was unknown to you or unavailable when you filled out the form.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

When it get to the point where even the most powerful pain meds are no longer very effective, agony and torture are properly descriptive.

There is no such point. Opiates have no ceiling effect. In terminal patients, unless it is was prohibited by the patient, or the surrogate disagrees, it is appropriate to escalate opiate dosing to any level required to achieve pain control. What the effects of that dose would be otherwise is irrelevant.

Now that's not always done, sometimes because of family, sometimes because of the doctor's discomfort... which is why it is so important that palliative care education be a large part of medical education in the US.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

You don't REALLY need to make those decisions if you trust your healthcare proxy (I hope you all have one) to know what your wishes are. The doctors (if they are good) will talk to them about the available options if such a need arises (I hope it doesn't for you or anyone else).

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Ironic (961 comments)

How ironic that a doctor doesn't want "extraordinary measures". It is like a car mechanic who says "take it to the scrap heap" rather than opting to replace the engine or transmission on his '57 Chevy.

That's a silly comment. Extraordinary measures are fine, as long as they accomplish something. Hence the word "reversible" in my original post. If all "extraordinary measures" (by which I assume you mean enteral feeding, mechanical ventilation, etc) are doing is keeping a shell physically alive, that's not at all equivalent.
The equivalent would be keeping a car that's been crushed in a press in your garage for sentimental reasons.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

Neither.
In the absence of artificial hydration intravenously or via percutaneous or intranasal gastric tube, people who are unable to tolerate PO liquids will pass away rather rapidly. For discussion of pain control in terminally ill patients, see another one of my replies in this thread.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

I think you're making a lot of assumptions that are fundamentally false by projecting your imagination into a situation that is very different.
People with mental status that is sufficiently compromised to fall under the category I am describing are not really able to feel hunger the way we do. Actually, starvation due to decreased drive to eat is one of the primary mechanisms of end-stage dementia.
Also, appropriate end-of-life care within the palliative setting involves very aggressive pain control.
At no point should anyone in hospice care die in pain.

about 5 months ago
top

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad

TheMeuge Surrogate decisionmaking (961 comments)

For the most part, while there are exceptions, active suicide is almost unnecessary for someone in a grossly debilitated state. As a physician, I both have a living will and my family is well-informed that if I ever lose the ability to function mentally, in a way that is not reversible, I am not to receive ANY life-prolonging treatment. That means no artificial hydration, no feeding, and no antibiotics. Many of my physician colleagues have made similar arrangements. That's why MDs are the group in the population with the lowest end-of-life cost. While a surrogate or healthcare proxy may not make a decision to end a life, they are certainly within their rights to do the abovementioned, unless a person's living will specifically forbids it. In general, this means a person will pass away within days. For the most part it allows the family time to fly in, and make peace with the inevitable.

about 5 months ago
top

Getting Evolution In Science Textbooks For Texas Schools

TheMeuge Re:Creationism = religion, not science. At all. (710 comments)

Creationist is not a system of scientific thought. Neither is "intelligent design". The whole concept of a scientific system is that it makes no assumptions, beyond being able to attain accurate and true measurements. Teaching "intelligent design" is a gross intellectual dishonesty because it IS an excuse to teach religion. Once you "presuppose" a specific world view, you've negated any concept of science.

I have faith, I even believe in God. Yet I'm a scientist, and I think I will utterly fail both faith and science if they are ever allowed to meet in my head. Once is a philosophical framework for the world. One is a structure of strict mathematics and logic. They have nothing to do with one another, and every time someone tries to bulldoze scientific education with their narrow-minded unimaginative worldview that does truly derive solely from a n-thousand-year-old book, it makes me cringe.

If I want to teach my kids religion, I'll do it, or I'll send them to temple, or a religious school. Please don't teach them YOUR version of a specific world view in public school.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

top

No charges father after fatal beating of map raping his 4 year old daughter.

TheMeuge TheMeuge writes  |  about a year ago

TheMeuge (645043) writes "A Texas grand jury has declined to issue an indictment in a case that proves that common sense can still prevail. The father heard his daughters screams during a family event, he told police, and followed them to a secluded area, where he witnessed an employee of the family attempting to rape his 4-year-old daughter. Several witnesses decribed seeing the father beating the assailant's head against the pavement repeatedly. During the subsequent 911 call, the father's frantic voice can be heard: "I need an ambulance! This guy was raping my daughter, and I beat him up, and I don't know what to do!""
Link to Original Source
top

Malpractice Insurance May Force M.D.'s out of NY

TheMeuge TheMeuge writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TheMeuge (645043) writes "Newsday is reporting that recent hikes in malpractice insurance in New York State will amount to a 25% increase in premiums, in addition to a $50'000 surcharge.

With insurance rates peaking at as much as $100'000/year, this will mean that many doctors may have to shell out nearly $175'000 in insurance premiums this year alone. Considering an average physician in private practice makes around $200'000 in New York State (before taxes), it is leaving a significant percentage of doctors with no choice but to pick up and move elsewhere.

Given that health insurance companies have no intention of paying 25% more for doctor's time we're left with a situation where rising healthcare costs are being blamed on overpaid doctors, while liability claims go through the roof and malpractice insurance threatens to reduce the physician to a minimum-wage job."
top

Measles Outbreak Reveals Under-Vaccination

TheMeuge TheMeuge writes  |  more than 5 years ago

TheMeuge (645043) writes "Recent measles outbreaks in several states, have led to more than 70 cases so far this year, the worst in six years. Uut of the 64 of the most recent cases, 63 of the patients have not been vaccinated. Some in the medical community are concerned that disease outbreaks may be fueled by clusters of believers, dedicated to vaccination controversies. While the a 1998 UK study, proposing a link between autism and the MMR vaccine has long been refuted, and even retracted by 10 of the 12 of its authors, many parents as well as vocal groups across the internet remain committed to the cause."
top

Merck settles Vioxx lawsuits for $4.85 Billion

TheMeuge TheMeuge writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TheMeuge (645043) writes "Three years after pulling the infamous anti-inflammatory drug off the market and 20 civil trials, Merck has agreed to pay $4.85 Billion to settle nearly 27'000 lawsuits brought by people who claim they or their family members suffered injuries or died as a result of taking the drug. Interestingly, this comes after Merck won most of the lawsuits that reached juries... after the initial spectacular $253 million dollar verdict against the company. As a result, the average plaintiff will receive on the order of $100'000 before legal fees and expenses."

Journals

TheMeuge has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...