as our descent back into the Middle Ages continues


A place for the discussion of all things not closely related to the sport and its competitive side. (as always, locked for the duration of major international championship)

Postby dukehjsteve » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:15 pm

guru wrote:Steve, a couple of things -

First, what does whether or not I wear a bike helmet have to do with the subject at hand? Perhaps we could also discuss the color of my shirt or how many pockets my cargo shorts have to determine the validity of my posts.

Second, I've stated some things in this thread you may not agree with. That's fine. But unlike Bisonhurdler you and Mr. Hammy decided to take the low road so I have no interest in discussing the topic with you as I did with Bison. If you have some personal issue with me that's bothering you feel free to PM me your email and we'll discuss that off the board.


Peace and love, guru, peace and love.

Someone else brought up the bike business, not me. But your justifications for both the bike business and the vaccine business have the same rationale ( your personal experience.) That is the only reason I brought it up. I did not intend to be abrasive, or take a "low road", and if you have perceived such, I think you are mistaken, but since your perception becomes your reality, I apologize.

I repeat: peace and love, peace and live. I mean it.
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Postby mcgato » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:43 pm

Since I agreed with guru earlier, I will come to his defense a little by saying that I also did not receive a vaccine for bird flu. I somehow survived that pandemic. I'll take my chances with this pandemic. I kind of ignore the media when they repeatedly claim that the sky is falling. We've somehow survived the previous fifteen media created end of the world scenarios, I'm sure we'll get through this one.
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Postby gh » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:52 pm

Whether or not swine flu is media-frenzy is irrelevant, and not why I started the thread. I'm dismayed (beyond belief) that so many educated people would take a stance which flies in the face of public-health common sense.

(FWIW, my university training was in bacteriology & public health)

Picking and choosing which things you think are worth getting protected against has it backwards. You should be thinking about what the consequences are for those around you as much as yourself. Pro bono publico
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Postby scottmitchell74 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:58 pm

Agreed. It's why people shouldn't go to work sick.
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Postby Pego » Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:33 pm

guru wrote:
bad hammy wrote:
guru wrote:It's clear we are not going to see eye to eye on this Bison. I respect your stance, but respectfully disagree.

All I know is my personal experience, having never been vaccinated beyond the early childhood regimen. Working around high school kids every day in Ohio winters I get sick maybe once every 3 or 4 years, and never take any medication during the illness. At 42 I plan to stick with what's worked.

Let's see. Where should I get my medical advice. Oh, I know, I'll go to a track and field site and listen to advice from some guy with no formal relevant medical training who refuses to wear a helmet when riding a bike. Thanks for the tips, dude!



Allow me to restate the first line of my paragraph, with slightly larger font since they say eyesight is often the first to go in advanced age -

All I know is my personal experience


That is referred to as anecdotal evidence, totally useless. It's like saying cancer of the lung is not caused by smoking, because I smoked 50 years and never got it.

Your education and business makes your stand on this issue even more bizzarre.
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Postby mcgato » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:43 pm

gh wrote:Whether or not swine flu is media-frenzy is irrelevant, and not why I started the thread. I'm dismayed (beyond belief) that so many educated people would take a stance which flies in the face of public-health common sense.

I'll just agree to disagree. For whatever wikipedia is worth, here is a quote from their influenza page:
A vaccine formulated for one year may be ineffective in the following year, since the influenza virus evolves rapidly, and new strains quickly replace the older ones.

How many people last year had a flu vaccine and then got swine flu?

If it looked like flu could be eradicated like small pox, I would most likely get vaccinated. That doesn't look likely. As I see it, if I don't get a flu vaccine, I may get the flu. I'll probably survive. If I get a flu vaccine, I may get the flu. I'll probably survive. If I were in a high risk category, my attitude would be different. I've assessed the risks, and chosen accordingly. You've done the same. I'm not dismayed by your choice, but you are of mine. So be it.

This is most likely my last post on this thread.
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Postby Marlow » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:07 pm

mcgato wrote:As I see it, if I don't get a flu vaccine, I may get the flu. I'll probably survive.
If I get a flu vaccine, I may get the flu. I'll probably survive.

I hope you never go to Vegas with that kind of understanding of how the odds work.
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Postby gm » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:16 pm

...and may I add -- WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS AFTER YOU USE THE RESTROOM, GUYS!

Yes, every time. No matter what number you go.

Are women as lax when it comes to this, ladies of the board?
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Postby bad hammy » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:21 pm

gm wrote:...and may I add -- WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS AFTER YOU USE THE RESTROOM, GUYS!

Yes, every time. No matter what number you go.

It's as if you're my identical twin . . .
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Postby BisonHurdler » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:23 pm

I know a few people who have had the flu in the past few years who were formerly of the "No flu shot for me man, ain't no way ain't no how" mindset. Then they got the flu.

Now that's their first priority when Autumn rolls around.

We're essentially required to get both the standard Influenza Vaccine as well as the H1N1 Vaccine at school.
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Postby DrJay » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:07 pm

May I digress? There have been some pointed comments back and forth in this thread, with obvious differences of opinion, yet it has not descended into the mire of nasty name-calling and use of expletives that has come to characterize too many Message Board threads in recent months. It has been a little tense (this thread), but generally civil. For the ability of most of the "regulars" here to do this, I am thankful. I just wish some of the posters who are newer and becoming regulars would take a hint and become part of this "lunchroom clique" that was so roundly disparaged on another thread a few days ago. I suspect they would be welcomed if their level of restraint was on par with guru's, who easily could have lashed out nastily in response to some of the above posts, but who, as usual, simply stood his ground with confidence and grace. Thank you all.
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Postby 2 cents » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:23 pm

DrJay wrote:May I digress? I just wish some of the posters who are newer and becoming regulars would take a hint and become part of this "lunchroom clique" Thank you all.


You're most welcome. If only we all had your bedside manner, Doc....Too many of these jerks are like House....Thanks again Doc.
On a thread related note, I understand that only about 40 percent of healthcare professionals get flu shots...
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Postby BisonHurdler » Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:58 pm

2 cents wrote:
DrJay wrote:May I digress? I just wish some of the posters who are newer and becoming regulars would take a hint and become part of this "lunchroom clique" Thank you all.


You're most welcome. If only we all had your bedside manner, Doc....Too many of these jerks are like House....Thanks again Doc.
On a thread related note, I understand that only about 40 percent of healthcare professionals get flu shots...



I believe that figure refers to healthcare workers in general, including ancillary staff and lab techs, who are less likely than physicians and nurses to get the shot. Either way, regardless of your duties, if you're crossing paths with patients you run the risk of infecting them (and vice versa).
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Postby polevaultpower » Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:40 am

gm wrote:...and may I add -- WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS AFTER YOU USE THE RESTROOM, GUYS!

Yes, every time. No matter what number you go.

Are women as lax when it comes to this, ladies of the board?


What? No, of course not. Women (in the US), as a whole, almost always wash their hands. I rarely see anyone exit the bathroom without doing so. Gross.
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Postby tandfman » Fri Oct 09, 2009 6:01 am

There is an old joke about two guys, one Harvard, one Yale, in the men's room. The joke can be told in either direction, I suppose, but the way I first heard it, it went like this, after the Yalie washes his hands and the Harvard man doesn't.

Yale Guy: You know, at Yale, we wash our hands after we pee.

Harvard Guy: At Harvard, we don't pee on our hands.
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Postby Zat0pek » Fri Oct 09, 2009 7:54 am

I had a regional manager for a national chain of funeral homes in my office a few years back regarding a business matter. At one point he commented about how business had been bad last year.

"Wait, what? Don't people pretty much die at the same rate? How does a funeral home have a 'bad year'?" I asked.

"No flu," he responded. "We don't make any money until there's a good flu outbreak. It's the only thing that is widespread enough to impact the death rate. Most years we break even or just make a small profit. It's flu outbreaks where we're able to gather some capital and really get our heads above water."

A couple of years later, I met with a casket sales rep. I told her about his comment and asked if that was true.

"Oh, sure," she said. "Our inventories are adjusted based on flu forecasts."

In 2006, everybody who attended by youngest daughter's birthday (including my whole family) came down with the flu, including the the pregnant mother of one of the girls. The flu caused her to lose the baby.
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Postby Zat0pek » Fri Oct 09, 2009 8:05 am

gh wrote:Whether or not swine flu is media-frenzy is irrelevant, and not why I started the thread. I'm dismayed (beyond belief) that so many educated people would take a stance which flies in the face of public-health common sense.


I stopped being amazed by things like this a long a time ago. There is a difference between ignorance and studity. Ignorance can be fixed with education, but stupidity cannot. I meet very stupid but highly educated people all the time. I have never met a highly educated ignorant person.

There is also a difference between knowledge and wisdom. I know many people with huge amounts of knowledge and absolutely no wisdom. I also know some very, very wise people with comparatively little knowledge. Give me that latter every time. It's much easier to fix a lack of knowledge than it is a lack of wisdom.
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Postby BruceFlorman » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:32 am

BisonHurdler wrote:
jhc68 wrote:I don't think anti-vaccine people are neanderthals. They are parasites playing the odds. The mentality is that there is no need for them to be immunized because everyone else will.

Me. I'm old enough to have been in the first generation to get polio shots. It was a common thing in the 1950's to know people in "iron lungs" (youngeer posters won't know what the hell I'm referring to, lucky for them). When reminders of the reasons for vaccinations disappear then it is easy to discount the need for them.

Bingo. People crying out about how 1/1 million people may suffer some moderate adverse reaction forget that the shot they're getting probably protects against one of the diseases that used to infect half the population, while killing a significant percentage of those infected.

Okay, so do any of you folks have any advice for me about how to convince someone who got violently ill after a flu vaccine a few years ago that giving it another go this year would be a good idea?
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Postby Daisy » Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:52 am

Is isolation for the whole winter an easier option?
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Postby gh » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:15 am

The first question, of course, would be "proof" that it was the flu shot that caused the problem. It's the logical answer, but we get sick all the time for no apparent reason.

Assuming it was the shot, was it the antigen itself or was it some adjunct in the shot that caused the problem? If the latter, might the nasal option work better? (I have no idea if those are formulated differently)

And the biggest question might be, how "violent" was "violently ill"? If the cure is as bad as the disease, thinking twice about doing it again is certainly a viable option.

OK, Dr. House imitation over :-)
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:51 am

gh wrote:The first question, of course, would be "proof" that it was the flu shot that caused the problem. It's the logical answer, but we get sick all the time for no apparent reason.

Assuming it was the shot, was it the antigen itself or was it some adjunct in the shot that caused the problem? If the latter, might the nasal option work better? (I have no idea if those are formulated differently)

And the biggest question might be, how "violent" was "violently ill"? If the cure is as bad as the disease, thinking twice about doing it again is certainly a viable option.

OK, Dr. House imitation over :-)



The nasal vaccine is a live attenuated version of the virus, which actually tends to be MORE reactionary for people (and I believe recommended mostly for people in the "healthy adult" age range, but the guys who have actually graduated med school can confirm/reject that).

The problem is that people don't understand causation vs. correlation. People get flu shots in the cold months. People tend to get more illnesses in the cold months anyway, disregarding influenza.

Then again, increased ice cream consumption leads to increased murders, dontcha know? Guess we should start increasing police forces that patrol the ice cream parlors.
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Postby bambam » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:21 pm

gh wrote:Assuming it was the shot, was it the antigen itself or was it some adjunct in the shot that caused the problem? If the latter, might the nasal option work better? (I have no idea if those are formulated differently)


This is a brilliant ?, GH. A classic example is allergies to penicillin. Many, many of our patients tell us they are allergic to penicillin. But a couple years ago, an infectious disease specialist told me it was almost always an allergy to the preservative that was used back in the 50s, 60, and early 70s, and that true allergic reactions to PCN are exceedingly rare, and these days, in patients who never were exposed to that antigen, are almost non-existent. Nonetheless, we have to be careful, but very nice thinking.
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Postby guru » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:23 pm

One problem with the mist option is you can't get the "regular" flu shot at the same time if you're so inclined.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:47 pm

bambam wrote:
gh wrote:Assuming it was the shot, was it the antigen itself or was it some adjunct in the shot that caused the problem? If the latter, might the nasal option work better? (I have no idea if those are formulated differently)


This is a brilliant ?, GH. A classic example is allergies to penicillin. Many, many of our patients tell us they are allergic to penicillin. But a couple years ago, an infectious disease specialist told me it was almost always an allergy to the preservative that was used back in the 50s, 60, and early 70s, and that true allergic reactions to PCN are exceedingly rare, and these days, in patients who never were exposed to that antigen, are almost non-existent. Nonetheless, we have to be careful, but very nice thinking.



We were taught earlier this year that the main reason PCN allergic reactions occur is because the molecule reacts with and can attach to other serum proteins to form a hapten-carrier complex (more or less a hybrid antigen that looks completely foreign to immune cells), and our body reacts against that. It's actually the subsequent administrations of pencillin following this initial administration that the real exciting allergic reactions occur (similar to a delayed type hypersensitivity found with poison ivy). Then again, my brain's full of bacteria and antibiotics right now, so the immunology stuff is getting crowded out at the moment.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:48 pm

guru wrote:One problem with the mist option is you can't get the "regular" flu shot at the same time if you're so inclined.



The point of the flu mist is so you don't need the shot. It's either/or. Why would you want to be vaccinated twice?
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Postby guru » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:49 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:
guru wrote:One problem with the mist option is you can't get the "regular" flu shot at the same time if you're so inclined.



The point of the flu mist is so you don't need the shot. It's either/or.



H1N1 and seasonal are not covered by a single vaccine. You should know that.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:52 pm

guru wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:
guru wrote:One problem with the mist option is you can't get the "regular" flu shot at the same time if you're so inclined.



The point of the flu mist is so you don't need the shot. It's either/or.



H1N1 and seasonal are not covered by a single vaccine. You should know that.




For some reason I assumed you were talking about the traditional flu vaccine for both. H1N1 wasn't even on my radar when I posted that. My brain is mush right now.
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Postby guru » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:55 pm

Just to be clear - an individual could get both the H1N1 and seasonal flu SHOTS at the same time, but cannot receive the H1N1 mist and seasonal shot together.
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Postby bambam » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:40 pm

tandfman wrote:There is an old joke about two guys, one Harvard, one Yale, in the men's room. The joke can be told in either direction, I suppose, but the way I first heard it, it went like this, after the Yalie washes his hands and the Harvard man doesn't.

Yale Guy: You know, at Yale, we wash our hands after we pee.

Harvard Guy: At Harvard, we don't pee on our hands.


And the Southern Boy, Harvard joke:

Southern boy goes up to Harvard as a freshman and gets lost. He is in the yard when he sees a guy with a pipe, tweed coat, looks like a professor so goes up to him looking for help:

Southern Boy: Sir, can ya'll tell me where the library's at?
Harvard Prof: My good young man, here at Harvard College, we never end our sentences in a preposition.
Southern Boy: OK, can ya'll tell me where the library's at, asshole?
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Postby Marlow » Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:53 pm

The 10 favorite classes of University of Florida football players: 

1) Philosophy: Why Don't They Spell It with an "F" ? 
2) Pre-Law Seminar: Age of Consent in 50 States 
3) Sandwich Making: A Project Course 
4) Hand-Shadow Workshop 
5) Subtraction: Addition's Tricky Friend 
6) Cliff's Notes vs. Monarch Notes: 2 Views of the Classics 
7) Hooked on Phonics 
8) The College Classroom: A Simulation 
9) ABC's: An Extended Version 
10) Literature: Coloring inside the lines
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Postby Pego » Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:07 pm

BruceFlorman wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:
jhc68 wrote:I don't think anti-vaccine people are neanderthals. They are parasites playing the odds. The mentality is that there is no need for them to be immunized because everyone else will.

Me. I'm old enough to have been in the first generation to get polio shots. It was a common thing in the 1950's to know people in "iron lungs" (youngeer posters won't know what the hell I'm referring to, lucky for them). When reminders of the reasons for vaccinations disappear then it is easy to discount the need for them.

Bingo. People crying out about how 1/1 million people may suffer some moderate adverse reaction forget that the shot they're getting probably protects against one of the diseases that used to infect half the population, while killing a significant percentage of those infected.

Okay, so do any of you folks have any advice for me about how to convince someone who got violently ill after a flu vaccine a few years ago that giving it another go this year would be a good idea?


As was already pointed out, there is not enough information for definite advice, but I would tell him not to risk the shot.
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Postby BruceFlorman » Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:47 am

Thanks all for the advice. To be honest, I don’t know how “violent” her illness was. Back in the April-May timeframe, when the H1N1 epidemic in Mexico first became known, while I was preparing for my three-month visit to Moscow, my then-girlfriend (now wife) and I were concerned about it, not because we were particularly worried about catching the flu, but we worried that the Russian authorities might suspend air travel from North America, or impose some highly restrictive quarantine regimen on travelers arriving from here. The media frenzy had largely died down by the time I arrived in mid-June, and although we were all required to remain on the plane until a medical crew had gone through and taken everyone’s temperature, it was carried out with surprising efficiency and didn’t cause any further hassles. Afterwards I essentially stopped paying attention to the news stories about swine flu, since they didn’t seem to have any direct bearing on my life.

I returned to the U.S. in September — alone, since it will take several months yet to get my wife an immigrant visa, and since now that the paperwork is underway, she could be turned away at the border if she tried to enter again on her current tourist visa — and a couple of weeks ago the topic of swine flu came up again during one of our daily conversations on Skype. Apparently a few cases have popped up in her neighborhood of Yuzhnoye Butovo, and a couple of the local schools were temporarily closed. She asked how bad the swine flu was these days in America, and I replied that I hadn’t been paying very close attention to it, but it seemed that the news outlets were no longer keeping track of the precise number of cases in the country/state/city. I mentioned that flu vaccines would be offered through my work in a couple of weeks. She said the same is true for her work there in Moscow, but that she was “probably” going to pass on it. That’s when she related the story of getting sick from the vaccine a few years ago. The topic hasn’t come up between us since.

I’m still a little skeptical of the assertions here that getting vaccinated is really a matter of civic duty rather than a personal choice. If the vaccine is truly effective in protecting the recipients, then how is their health going to be put at risk by the choice of others to remain in the unprotected group? And if the overall effectiveness is really dependent on near-100% public compliance, then the public policy and “marketing” of the vaccine as non-free optional treatment seems to be seriously flawed.
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Postby gh » Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:02 am

BruceFlorman wrote:T....
I’m still a little skeptical of the assertions here that getting vaccinated is really a matter of civic duty rather than a personal choice. If the vaccine is truly effective in protecting the recipients, then how is their health going to be put at risk by the choice of others to remain in the unprotected group?.....


There's a large (the largest) group of people who will neither rush out to get vaccinated, nor have a strong stance against it. So they're unlikely to be immune, so they become at risk. And there are those who are pro, but procrastinate, or are in an area where supplies are low, etc., etc.

The more high-risk people who get shot up, the fewer potential Typhoid Marys there are out there to spread it to the rest of the populace.

(again, this is speaking vaccination in general, not focusing on Swine Flu)
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Postby mcgato » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:21 pm

BruceFlorman wrote:...
I returned to the U.S. in September — alone, since it will take several months yet to get my wife an immigrant visa, and since now that the paperwork is underway, she could be turned away at the border if she tried to enter again on her current tourist visa —
...

That sounds like a Russian mail order bride. Cool.
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Postby guru » Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:37 pm

gh wrote:The more high-risk people who get shot up, the fewer potential Typhoid Marys there are out there to spread it to the rest of the populace.

(again, this is speaking vaccination in general, not focusing on Swine Flu)



Nobody is saying "high risk" people shouldn't get the vaccine, including me in this very thread.

But in general, you have to think twice about getting something put into your body that has risk such that federal legislation specifically protects the manufacturers/providers from legal liability.
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Postby gh » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:07 pm

guru wrote:...
But in general, you have to think twice about getting something put into your body that has risk such that federal legislation specifically protects the manufacturers/providers from legal liability.


The only reason federal legislation is required is because the lunatic fringe has found an ally in personal-injury lawyers who otherwise would make it impoossible for prophylactic medicine to be practiced.

That decision has nothing to do with "risk" of any significant nature.

Will some people get sick, yes. Will some people die, yes. Welcome to the real world; hopefully a real world where "some people" is kept at a manageable number.

Nobody lives forever.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:29 pm

gh wrote:

Nobody lives forever.




I'm pretty sure Bill Maher thinks he will. In fact, he basically said that there's no use for almost any medicine, because he [and I guess he thinks everyone should just decide to follow suit] just wouldn't ever let himself get sick enough to need medicine.

I hope that secret doesn't get out, or I'll be out of a job before I graduate.

I know links to copyrighted material is inappropriate here, but go to a certain site that hosts videos and type in "bill maher anti-medication" and the very first video with Bob Costas and company is a prime example of how out of his gourd Maher is.

5:31 of some of the funniest (but in a bad way) schtick. Except he's serious.
Last edited by BisonHurdler on Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby guru » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:30 pm

gh wrote:
guru wrote:...
But in general, you have to think twice about getting something put into your body that has risk such that federal legislation specifically protects the manufacturers/providers from legal liability.


The only reason federal legislation is required is because the lunatic fringe has found an ally in personal-injury lawyers who otherwise would make it impoossible for prophylactic medicine to be practiced.

That decision has nothing to do with "risk" of any significant nature.



You're right of course. Getting a (yearly) shot of mercury can't possibly be bad for you. Especially if you're a child with a developing nervous system.
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Postby Daisy » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:35 pm

BisonHurdler wrote:In fact, he basically said that there's no use for almost any medicine, because he [and I guess he thinks everyone should just decide to follow suit] just wouldn't ever let himself get sick enough to need medicine

I assume he does not include surgery. Or, if he has appendicitis, he's just going to ride it out? Let's hope he does not get diabetes; maybe insulin does not count as medicine? And what if he gets blood poisoning? He'd forgo antibiotics?

I know what he's trying to say, but such an extreme statement makes him look naive.

guru wrote:Getting a (yearly) shot of mercury can't possibly be bad for you. Especially if you're a child with a developing nervous system.


But is there any evidence for it causing problems?
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vsd/th ... _outcomes/

Green potatoes contain neurotoxins but you never hear of people getting up in arms over that? On the other hand, maybe people would if they knew about it.
Last edited by Daisy on Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby BisonHurdler » Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:42 pm

Daisy wrote:
BisonHurdler wrote:In fact, he basically said that there's no use for almost any medicine, because he [and I guess he thinks everyone should just decide to follow suit] just wouldn't ever let himself get sick enough to need medicine

I assume he does not include surgery. Or, if he has appendicitis, he's just going to ride it out? Let's hope he does not get diabetes; maybe insulin does not count as medicine? And what if he gets blood poisoning? He'd forgo antibiotics?

I know what he's trying to say, but such an extreme statement makes him look naive.



See my edit above and find the link to the video. Apparently the only reason anyone should take antibiotics, according to him, is if you're in a car wreck or suffer a war injury.
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