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Are You Going to Use Finasteride for Hair Loss? Read This First

Sold in the market under the brand names Propecia and Proscar, finasteride is a medication that is intended to treat people who are suffering from hair loss.  In the early days, finasteride was just like other medications that were originally used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer. It turns out that patients who took finasteride for their prostate-related issues had experienced great results with it, along with a surprising bonus, and that is, the growth of hair.

Finasteride actually works by means of inhibiting or stopping type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for converting the hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).  DHT, in turn, is the one responsible for losing one’s hair, resulting to baldness if not remedied.  Thus, simply put, the action of finasteride is to prevent the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and the end result would be the prevention of hair loss. This “favorable side effect” of preventing hair loss and promoting growth of new hair by finasteride is what made it famous in the pharmaceutical world, not by its primary use which is for treating benign prostatic hypertrophy and other prostate-related ailments. Read more…

Publishing info on dead soldier was unethical, MD concedes

Dr Kevin Patterson (right) has admitted to acting unethically and unprofessionally and has been disciplined by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia for publishing a graphic magazine article about his experience treating soldiers in Afghanistan.

In the article, published in Mother Jones magazine, Dr Patterson vividly described and gave the name of a Canadian soldier who died in a shooting that took place inside NATO's Kandahar base.

The Canadian military, which was investigating the killing and has since laid charges against another soldier, considered bringing criminal charges against Dr Patterson for releasing classified information without permission but eventually relented.

The disciplinary decision (PDF) from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC consists of a written reprimand and requires Dr Patterson to take courses in ethics and professionalism, to pay $5,000 in costs to the college, and to donate the $7,000 Mother Jones paid him for the article to charity. The punishment has been publicized across the country, from Dr Patterson's local Nanaimo Daily News to the Canadian Press and CBC News. "I'm glad he did admit it," Kevin Megeney's mother told CBC News. "We were shocked at the article. It was very graphic."

Dr Patterson's admission that he acted unethically stands somewhat in contrast to a statement he made to me shortly after the article appeared in print in summer 2007, when he seemed to defend his decision to publish the soldier's name and to describe his dying moments in detail. "If the public is to get a sense of the price being paid on our behalf by these young men and women, it is necessary to face with open eyes the grotesque nature of war trauma," he wrote to me in an email. "The recent disengagement and fatigue of the public with these matters is itself grotesque."

As a journalist, Dr Patterson acted not just ethically but admirably. But as a physician -- as the College argued, and as he seems now to admit -- his ethical obligations changed. Could Dr Patterson's admission cause a chilling effect in his and other physicians' writing and reporting? I hope not. Dr Patterson and other doctors will surely realize that the circumstances that led to this outcome were unusual and limited in scope. Nevertheless, in the disciplinary decision is a good lesson for doctors who write: "Dr. Patterson has assured the College that in any future writings based on medical scenarios, or in any future works of journalism or fiction, he will not include the identities of patients or any information that could identify patients."

Also, let me add: don't breach the terms of your confidentiality contract with your employer.

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1 comments:

  1. sharon29 January, 2009 9:21 AM

    This is a very interesting article on the passions, talents, and commitment of the humanitarian perspective.

    In one discipline( medicine)the "action" infringes upon the rights of another.

    In one discipline (journalism)the "action"is designed to personalize and put a human face on the tragedy of war.

    This case profiles the depth of commitment the physician has to the individual patient ( an intimate and binding trust)and how strongly governing bodies seek to use that bond as a "control" mechanism.

    It would be wonderful if the reason was the patient but I suspect the reason is to prevent the ultimate/? inevitable breakdown of commitment between patient and doctors that necessitates the control of "association" beyond membership advantages.

    For those, like myself,that expect confidentiality from physicians, clergy and lawyers I am happy to look at their own "performance contracts" and sign for release of information .... perhaps doctors should consider that ( I am sure they do them for the television reality medical shows).

    A good "ethos" must be broader than the perspective of the individual regardless of professional title or arena of operation.

    For myself, my motto is" if you cannot be bought you cannot be sold" .
    This eliminates "owing your soul to the company store"

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