Grab Bag – Monday Evening

I’m sorry that I’m not available to gather a comprehensive post for today. Unfortunately, I got beaten up pretty good at work. It wasn’t the number of patients. It was the complexity of their cases.

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  • The Obama administration released a highly redacted CIA report on interrogations. The report should remove all doubt that we did torture detainees. The report states that “systematic, clear and timely guidance” to interrogators were missing especially early in 2002 and 2003. There’s a reason for this. That’s exactly what the Bush administration wanted. Remember, the gloves are coming off. You can see a lot more of the description of the abuses — here.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder appointed John Durham as a special prosecutor. The scope of the special prosecutor’s charge is very narrow. This may be problematic.
  • It was pretty clear that President Obama really did not want to get deep into this. It was clear that he did not want to bog down his presidency, but we are here nonetheless.
  • The two memos (here and here) that Vice President Dick Cheney asked for were released. If these memos prove that torture worked, I don’t see it.
  • I’ve been wanting to post something for weeks on the swine flu. Somehow I never had the time or I posted something else instead. As a physician, let me say that the swine flu will be back. Without appropriate precautions, we may be in deep trouble. During flu season approximately 200,000 Americans are hospitalized. Estimates for the swine flu are as high as 1.8 million! Be vigilant.
  • Jeffrey Smith has six reasons not to prosecute CIA interrogators. He was general counsel of the CIA from 1995-1996. Take your time and read the six reasons. They’re not as outlandish as they sound. Okay, they are a little outlandish.
  • The Los Angeles coroner came to the conclusion that almost every American came to several weeks ago — Michael Jackson died from an overdose of a drug called propofol. I’ve thought about this for weeks. Propofol is a drug that I’m very familiar with. I use it almost every day in the intensive care unit. I know some of the original investigators who worked with developing the drug. The drug is extremely well-tolerated. It is fast acting and it goes away very quickly. It is a perfect drug, if there’s such a thing, to induce anesthesia. I use it as a sedative in the ICU for patients who are on the ventilator. Yet a doctor used it at somebody’s house? The stupidity is too much for me to comprehend. Hopefully, we’ll find out that the doctor took appropriate precautions (appropriate monitoring equipment along with materials needed to place Michael Jackson on the ventilator if necessary).