Category Archives: Legal

When is DNR not DNR?

Patients are often encouraged to make wishes known with a living will or other instrument. If someone says they would not want resuscitation if their heart stopped, they are said to be DNR, as in Do Not Resuscitate, or more … Continue reading

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Quitting Smoking and Happiness

The FDA is proposing a new rule in regards to tobacco regulation. As detailed recently in the New York Times, the benefits of stopping smoking, such as less heart and lung disease, would need to be discounted 70%, making it … Continue reading

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Up in Arms, Up in Smoke

If you apply for health insurance, you may find you have to pay higher rates if you’re a smoker. Now federal regulators are trying to decide if insurers who participate in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) exchanges can add … Continue reading

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Tort Reform and Forced Sterilization in North Carolina

In 2011 the North Carolina legislature made major changes to the law governing medical malpractice claims. This tort reform, among other things, capped non-economic damages at $500,000. Such caps on damages do not restrict payments for financial losses, such as … Continue reading

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An Epidemic of Gun Violence

Last week I wrote about the 1st Amendment. This week I’m going to talk about the 2nd. There is an epidemic of gun violence. This is a serious health problem. Watching your diet, exercising, and taking pills is all for … Continue reading

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Dinners and the Sunshine Law

Though implementation has been delayed until 2013, per the Sunshine Law, pharmaceutical companies are now collecting information to report to a public website the value of things they give to physicians, including such things as dinner meetings. It may sound … Continue reading

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Tort Reform and the Sanctity of the Jury

I serve on WAMPAC, a political action committee for the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA). To help guide our members, last month we met with candidates for Washington State governor Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee.  They were both generous with … Continue reading

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Making the Affordable Care Act Individual Mandate Work

The Supreme Court has ruled that most of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, is constitutional. In order to provide affordable care to all, insurance companies need the healthy to pay premiums, and not just the people who will use … Continue reading

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FDA and Generic OxyContin

As recently reported in the Wall Street Journal, the pain killer OxyContin is set to go generic next year, and Purdue Pharma is trying to postpone it. A funny thing often happens before a drug goes generic. Close to that … Continue reading

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Drug Shortages and the Joint Commission Stance

Periodically there have been drug shortages in the United States, which comes as a surprise to many. There are a number of reasons for this. Recently one of my company’s pharmacists informed the physicians in my group of a nationwide … Continue reading

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