Coming to a hospital near you: physician-assisted suicide.

In Featured, Opinion by Edmund Kwok2 Comments

Scenario 1: A 64 year old patient is suffering from advanced Lou Gehrig’s disease – she cannot perform her own activities of daily living, and can do nothing but watch her own body deteriorate until the slow release of death. She wishes to have the opportunity to control how she passes, with the aid of her healthcare providers. Sound reasonable? Scenario 2: A 64 year old patient is suffering from severe depression – …

Our turn to Choose Wisely.

In Featured by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Healthcare spending has been a hot topic recently. While the focus in Ontario (and subsequently spreading to other provinces as well) these days has been on curbing physician fees, let us not forget another big piece of the puzzle: over-spending on unnecessary investigations and treatments. In the U.S. alone, up to one-third of the $2 trillion of annual healthcare costs goes towards unnecessary hospitalizations and tests, unproven treatments, ineffective drugs and futile end-of-life-care. …

Facebook (organ-donating) Friends: Like or Dislike?

In Featured by Edmund KwokLeave a Comment

Hélène Campbell has become the poster child for utilizing social media successfully in her battle for a double-lung transplantation. Amidst the media frenzy and social chatter surrounding the story, Facebook recently announced their own foray into the business of facilitating organ donation – users in the US and the UK can become organ donors as easily (and as mindlessly) as a simple mouse click updating their Facebook status. There is no question that …

From Full Code to No Code.

In Featured by Edmund Kwok1 Comment

As the saying goes, there’s only two certainties in life: death and taxes. While it is true everyone will die someday, modern medicine has advanced to the point where we can keep people physiologically alive well beyond the point of any meaningful functional recovery. But just because we can potentially restart patients’ hearts after they die and make them dependent on ventilators and vasopressors, does that mean we should? Descartes’ famous cogito ergo …

What is a Physician Worth?

In Featured by Edmund Kwok4 Comments

Imagine you were in control of healthcare spending. How much would you pay a doctor a year? Write that number down. Now let me rephrase that question. Let’s say you were in a terrible motor vehicle accident, and you and a loved one suffered life-threatening injuries. The doctor at the hospital (which is on the ready 24/7 for you), who has spent over 9 years of post-graduate training to ensure you get appropriate …

Choosing the right pill.

In Featured by Edmund Kwok3 Comments

In the movie the Matrix, Morpheus gives Neo a choice: either take the red pill, or the blue pill. What Neo never considered, was that perhaps he shouldn’t take any pills. In a bid to combat the exploding epidemic of narcotic abuse and addiction, the government recently chose to stop public funding for OxyContin and instead opted to fund a new alternative called, coincidentally enough, OxyNEO. The theory sold by the drug company …