When Does Feeding Prisoners Violate Medical Ethics?

Guantanamo detainees on a hunger strike are now being strapped into chairs and gagged as doctors push a feeding tube through their nose into the back of their throat and into their stomach as often as twice a day. It’s a disturbing new practice, but one we must examine in full as we consider whether Guantanamo reflects American values. Anyone who has had a nasogastric tube placed through their throat while awake knows why hospitalized patients often complain about the tube more than they complain about the pain of surgery. The gagging can be extreme even when patients are relaxed and cooperating by swallowing repeatedly during the procedure. Resisting the tube during its insertion, as the unwilling detainees at Guantanamo do, elicits an exacerbated rapid cycle of gasping for air and gagging or vomiting. Why is the U.S. government initiating this new round of forced gagging? It may be simply to save itself from the potential embarrassment if a majority of detainees die on a principled hunger strike. Guantanamo detainees have resorted to desperate measures to call attention to what they and many others view as human rights violations, including the disintegration of due process. A classified memo released in 2011 indicates that military officials were then aware that up to two-thirds of inmates were, at best, “low level” threats and that nearly 20 percent were believed to be “innocent.” Nevertheless, 166 prisoners...

If Famous Scientists Had Their Own Typefaces

If you have ever wanted to know what a typeface from your favorite scientist would look like, your search has come to an end! This graphic presents the typefaces of some (actually a lot) of the greatest scientists ever. Courtesy of Visua.ly user PrateekLala. Show a science geek! Featured image from vusual.ly |...

Thrift Shop Parodies Are Played Out, But This is Amazing

The University of Florida Pathology team really takes musical parody to the next level in this video. All we’ve got to say here at AlmostDocs is “damn that’s a good hematologist!” See it for yourself:     Although every bored group of coworkers in the country has at one point considered making a Youtube parody, few have pulled it off quite so successfully. In fact, previous UF efforts have yielded less impressive results:     Featured image is a screenshot from the first...

Crosswords for Incoming M2s

This summer has been a hot one, for sure! While it’s great to relax and enjoy the summer heat, now it’s time for all you med students to warm up something else…your brain! This fun crossword puzzle is a fun way to refresh your memory on some valuable med school info so that your return to school (right around the corner) will be as smooth as the waves you were surfing this summer. Click on the links to download and print the crossword puzzle and answer key (two separate links so you don’t take an early peek).       Click here for the crossword and clues.   Click here for the answer...

The “Quadruple Bypass Burger” at the Heart Attack Grill: Deadly Or Delicious?

NOTE: The Doctor’s Channel editorial staff recently learned that the Heart Attack Grill in Chandler, AZ has closed — with a sole location in Las Vegas remaining. Given our previous video on the restaurant, we thought it was time we reflected on some of the questions that arose when we visited there. While it is said that most things are good in moderation, one cardiologist’s hospital-themed restaurant takes indulging to another level. The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas (and formerly in Chandler, AZ) serves some seriously calorie-laden food; diet cokes are strictly forbidden, the fries are deep fried in pure lard, and the burgers are so big you can barely open your mouth wide enough to take a bite (can you picture what a Quadruple Bypass Burger looks like?). Although the surroundings have a passing resemblance to a health-focused institution, slogans like “Alcohol… It’s good for you” and “Over 350 [pounds]? Eat free!” give the restaurant away as a temple of decadence. While the food may taste fantastic, there could be some flaws in the Heart Attack Grill’s nutritional plan — the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the 9,982-calorie, 3lb Quadruple Bypass as the most caloric burger. And, you’re probably not the only one who finds it troubling that a doctor who has treated many heart attack patients (and inevitably some unsuccessfully) now serves the very food that can lead to...

One Injection (Flu Shot Anthem)

One Flu Over The Cuckoo’s Nest There’s only one thing I love more than science-based medical gangsta rap—and that’s a good old-fashioned Boy Band! So how could I resist when the Human Resources team at Zappos.com approached me about making a video PSA promoting their free flu shot clinic? I mean, science + music + shoes = WTF? I was in feet-first with both velcro-strapped Keds, yo! Especially when I realized that there was this adorable new Boy Band called One Direction, with a syrupy pop ditty called What Makes You Beautiful. A perfect parody storm!       Featured image is a screenshot from video...

The Glorious Tradition of “See One, Do One, Teach One”

COMMENTARY: The time-honored philosophy of “See One, Do One, Teach One” seems to have become yet another senseless casualty in the conspiracy to “modernize” medical education. In the good old days, all a patient needed to know was that his or her doctor had once seen a heart transplant and had been endowed by the power of Medicine with an instinctive ability to perform that transplant unsupervised when the opportunity arose. We didn’t have this ridiculous reliance on repetition and supervision. These days, people are always asking, “How many of these have you done?”…”Is it safe?”…”What are the risks?” When Medicine was in its glory days, people didn’t ask insulting questions like these. Back then, the word “doctor” communicated an unassailable infallibility. A physician’s demands were called doctor’s “orders” for a reason; they were never meant to be questioned or challenged by some doubting pharmacist, clerk, or nurse. These orders were written in stone like commandments from the finger of the heavens. No real doctor would have stood by and allowed uppity patients to act like they had gone to medical school just because they had seen something in an internet or on one of these “Googles” somewhere. Trainees, too, have lost confidence in the medical gifts that allow them to perform inspired medical feats with no experience. When given a new assignment, a “learner” can often be heard...

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