Blog Profile / Slate: Medical Examiner

Filed Under:Health
Posts on Regator:320
Posts / Week:0.8
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Don’t Panic Over a U.S. Zika Outbreak

When it comes to an emerging contagion, it’s often difficult for the news media to deliver a balanced message. Inflammatory health scares are generally not the fault of a public health official trying to provide the facts but the media...Show More Summary

A Silent Killer

A couple days after Patty Duke died from complications of intestinal perforation, I received a text from a friend feeling under the weather asking me, “Do I have sepsis?” The answer was, mostly likely not. The reason I could say this is that my friend is a healthy person without multiple medical problems. Show More Summary

To Pee, or Not to Pee

When New York Mets fans found out Monday that their star pitcher, Matt Harvey, was suffering from an “unspecified ailment,” they quickly assumed the worst. Was he out of practice indefinitely? Was his arm permanently damaged in some way? Would he have to be replaced at this Sunday’s season opener? Fortunately, the problem fixed itself quickly. Show More Summary

Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex and Zika (but Were Afraid to Ask)

So, Zika is sexy now? No, not exactly. But there is increasing evidence that the mosquito-borne Zika virus can be transmitted via sexual contact between people if a male partner is infected. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...Show More Summary

How to Save People From Snakebites

Matt Lewin waited for the paralysis to set in. Two anesthesiologists and an emergency-room doctor monitored his vitals while the mivacurium moved through him. Mivacurium paralyzes skeletal muscles the same way a cobra bite does, with the venom’s most deadly effect: It causes the diaphragm to stop contracting, and the victim suffocates. Show More Summary

What Will It Take to End the AIDS Epidemic?

World AIDS Day is, like other world disease days, a publicity gambit that has a distinctly absurd pageantry. But there is substance beyond candlelight vigils, a red ribbon hung from the White House portico, and proclamations from politicians and public health officials. Show More Summary

Anti-Abortion Terrorism Must Be Stopped

As news continues to unfold about Friday’s Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado Springs, one thing is clear: Domestic terrorism remains unchecked, even on the day after Thanksgiving. To label this an isolated act of violence would be naïve. Show More Summary

Do Death With Dignity Laws Increase the General Suicide Rate?

Death with dignity laws do one thing, and one thing only: give terminally ill patients the choice to end their lives comfortably rather than prolonging their suffering. Relieving people of physical agony from which there is no hope of...Show More Summary

Pope Francis Should End the Ban on Condoms

The St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Homa Bay, Kenya, sits on top of a mountain that overlooks a glistening Lake Victoria. When I visited in mid-November, bookmark-size prayer cards were being distributed in anticipation of Pope Francis’ visit to Kenya in late November. Show More Summary

Superbugs Are Everywhere

On a sunny June day in 2014, I returned home from a walk in my neighborhood with what I thought were mosquito bites on my leg. Most of them quickly faded away, but one, with a tiny black dot at its center, did not. It grew. After days...Show More Summary

How Television Misrepresents Abortion

When I was 16 and anti-choice, I thought abortion was murder. I thought anyone who even considered it was selfish, cold-hearted, and godless. But then the pastor’s daughter got knocked up, and I knew she wasn’t godless. If anyone had...Show More Summary

Scurvy Is a Serious Public Health Problem

In the winter of 2009, Eric Churchill was called to a patient’s bedside at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts, to help out with a medical mystery. The middle-aged man had shown up with bleeding gums, unexplained swelling, bruises, and fatigue. Show More Summary

Hope for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Last month, a team of researchers released their latest study on chronic fatigue syndrome. Psychotherapy and a gradual increase in exercise, the researchers claimed, were lasting, effective treatments that could lead to recovery. The...Show More Summary

Facilitated Communication Is a Cult That Won’t Die

Facilitated communication claims to give a voice to noncommunicative disabled people. A facilitator physically supports a disabled person to assist him in communicating through a keyboard or other device. FC has been repeatedly documented...Show More Summary

What Environmental Factors Cause Autism?

This article originally appeared on Spectrum on Nov. 4, 2015. In 2013, data from a massive study of more than 85,000 children in Norway suggested that women who take folic acid supplements early in pregnancy lower their risk of having children with autism. Show More Summary

Slate Voice: “Sick and Far From Home”

In “Sick and Far From Home,” Slate writer Mark Joseph Stern reported on the stories of Mormon missionaries who were denied access to adequate health care by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In this podcast, Stern reads his piece exclusively for Slate Plus members. For more information on how to subscribe to the Slate Plus podcast feed, go here.

How Coffee Became a Carcinogen

This week’s news that the World Health Organization has classified processed meats and red meat as human carcinogens has once again drawn attention to how difficult it is to convey to the public the state of scientific knowledge on these...Show More Summary

Homeopathy Is a Bitter Sugar Pill

“Relief of flu-like symptoms.” “Safe, non-habit forming.” “Flower essences to calm down your unruly pets.” With claims like these, homeopathic wonder products must be good, right? These are some of the claims made by the purveyors of homeopathy, but what can homeopathy actually cure? Low blood sugar and dehydration. Show More Summary

Gun Myths Die Hard

Every week, it seems, there’s another terrible incident in the United States involving a shooting. If the incident is horrendous enough—a mass shooting or a story about a child being slain or accidentally shooting another child—it is...Show More Summary

Does Bacon Cause Cancer?

In 2012, two cheeky nutritionists decided to pick some common cookbook ingredients at random and see which ones had been linked to cancer. The results were revealing: Possible cancer-causers included flour, coffee, butter, sugar, salt, tomatoes, onions, lemon, celery, carrot, parsley, lobster, veal, cinnamon, and mustard. Show More Summary

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