TORONTO - Doctors need to move beyond the "yes or no" debate about physician-assisted death and begin preparing policies and guidelines in the event the act is legalized in Canada, a group of palliative-care specialists argues.
How much you can expect to pay out of pocket for a Lung Transplant, including what people paid in 2014. For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for a lung transplant typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for surgery and other procedures, which can easily reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
California has become synonymous with financial dire straits. In recent years, when discussing the most indebted jurisdictions in the western world, some politicians often included California in the same conversation as Greece and Spain. While that might have been a … Continue reading →
There is a scene in the film “Spider-Man 2” where Spider-Man prevents a train full of people from crashing by holding it back with about 10 sets of spider silk ropes each less than half an inch thick. It turns out the scene isn’t just fantasy.
“We calculated roughly how thick the fibers were, how many of them he had attached to the walls, how much the locomotive and people weighed, and how fast it appeared to be going,” says Randy Lewis, a professor of biology and biological engineering atUtah State University. “Spider-Man would have been able to stop that train,” says Lewis, a molecular biologist, materials scientist, and chemist who for 25 years has been striving to synthesize spider silk.
Despite being a protein, spider silk is by weight five times stronger than steel and three times tougher than Kevlar, a p-aramid fiber from DuPont. Strength is defined as the weight a material can bear, and toughness is the amount of kinetic energy it can absorb without breaking. The silk’s primary structure is its amino acid sequence, mainly consisting of repeated glycine and alanine blocks.
Potential applications include cables and bulletproof vests. Spider silk’s antimicrobial properties make it suitable for wound patches. Because the silk is not rejected by the human body, it can be used to manufacture artificial tendons or to coat implants. And its thermal conductivity is similar to that of copper but its mass density is one-seventh of copper’s, making it a potential heat management material.
We can blame Big Pharma all we want, but the truth is without physicians there is no market.
Sieg Holle's insight:
Take responsibility for your own health care by intelligent and informed choice?
Despite their limited statistical significance, however, the data are quite intellectually significant. They help us understand that pharmaceuticals don’t cure all, that over-reliance on prescription drugs is quite possibly not only costly but also stunningly ineffective. They help us see that many of the clinical trials touted as “evidence” of a drug’s efficacy are poor indicators of the drug’s impact in real-world situations. Even with cardiovascular disease, where pharmaceutical drugs may have slightly improved aggregate mortality, the costs associated with exceedingly modest gains should give us pause.
The International Monetary Fund has again upgraded its projection for Canada's economy, but the latest outlook from the international financial organization shows it is far from sold on the country's underlying fundamentals.
This month, architects in Amsterdam started work on the world's first completely 3D-printed house. It'll take three years and quite a bit of money to finish. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, a company claims to have printed ten houses with inexpensive industrial scraps in less than a day. What's the difference?
Advances in micro- and nanoscale engineering in the medical field have led to the development of various robotic designs that one day will allow a new level of minimally invasive medicine. These micro- and nanorobots will be able to reach a targeted area, provide treatments and therapies for a desired duration, measure the effects and, at the conclusion of the treatment, be removed or degrade without causing adverse effects. Ideally, all these tasks would be automated but they could also be performed under the direct supervision and control of an external user.Several approaches have been explored for the wireless actuation of microrobots. Among these, magnetic fields have been the most widely employed strategy for propulsion because they do not require special environmental properties such as conductivity or transparency (for instance: "Artificial nano swimmers", with a video that shows the controlled motions of particles in a magnetic field).
This approach allows for the precise manipulation of magnetic objects toward specific locations, and magnetic fields are biocompatible even at relatively high field strengths (MRI).In a new work, a team of researchers from ETH Zurich and Harvard University (David Mooney's lab) demonstrate that additional intelligence – including sensing and actuation – can be instantiated in these microrobots by selecting appropriate materials and methods for the fabrication process.
"Our work combines the design and fabrication of near infrared light (NIR) responsive hydrogel capsules and biocompatible magnetic microgels with a magnetic manipulation system to perform targeted drug and cell delivery tasks, Dr." Mahmut Selman Sakar, a research scientist in Bradley Nelson's Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems at ETH Zurich, tells Nanowerk.Reporting their results in the November 4, 2013 online edition of Advanced Materials ("An Integrated Microrobotic Platform for On-Demand, Targeted Therapeutic Interventions"), first-authored by Sakar's co-researcher Stefano Fusco, the team fabricated an untethered, self-folding, soft microrobotic platform, in which different functionalities are integrated to achieve targeted, on-demand delivery of biological agents.
Should Quebec's national assembly pass its new death with dignity law, it will be enacting legislation that has more in keeping with Europe's "unbearable suffering" approach to physician-assisted death than with what U.S. states have done.
Sieg Holle's insight:
Freedom of individual choice is it coming to Canada?