Published Articles

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Charleston, SC, is dear to my heart, where in more peaceful and nostalgic times I attended medical school. North Charleston is close enough, and the recent shooting incident in that locality in which a white police officer shot and killed a black man, fleeing the scene (he might have thought the arrest was related to being delinquent in his child support payments), is an atrocity related to the new law enforcement paradigm militating for the militarization of the police force. I cannot enter the human mind for definitely establishing a racial crime, but I'm certain of the militarization side of the equation.

And this incident is just as infamous as the racial motive claimed by black leaders, including Al Sharpton. It goes without saying that the shooting is an affront to all decent, freedom-loving citizens of all races because it was unjust as well as the fact the shooting trend is reminiscent of a police state that would threaten life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

And from the outset, it should be stated this trend is not the fault of the courageous men and women serving in the police force — but the fault of the authoritarian leaders at the very top of...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Economically worldwide things are developing as I stated in my article two years ago. Virtually every nation is bankrupt, has resorted to printing money to lower the value of their currency with a resultant currency war. They all have huge debts, failing economies, and centralized control by Fed-like organizations. They are now trying, with Russian and Chinese help, to destroy the dollar as becoming valueless by setting up their own currency as the medium of exchange rather than the dollar. The only ones who do not know this are the people in the USA, who are being kept in the dark. If it became known that the USA cannot pay it debts, there would be panic. So my guess is that everyone in the media has gone along with the government warnings not to say anything that would create a panic and a run on the banks, which would create worldwide chaos. Unfortunately, there is no way out of the buying and spending that cannot be repaid. The money has been committed or spent.

You cannot pay off an 18-25 trillion dollar debt (soon to be) with 3 trillion dollars in tax revenue, much of which is already committed to entitlement programs. In simple terms, that is like having $3 to...

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Recently, I had a conversation with my colleague Dr. Zrinzo, who you will remember conversed with me on the subject of "America's gun culture." The conversation in fact continued, and the subject of "female genital mutilation" (FGM) came up. This time Dr. Z blamed the three monotheistic religions, particularly the Catholic faith. I thought this edited portion of the conversation would also be of interest and instructive.

Dr. Zrinzo: "Under various guises, the three monotheistic religions promote genital mutilation and other immoral behaviors."

Dr. Faria: I presume you refer to both male circumcision (MC) and FGM. The latter is a barbaric practice with the external female genitalia excised in part or in toto. (Photo, left: FGM ceremony in Sudan. Courtesy: Wikipedia) It deserves severe condemnation, but it has nothing to do with any of the monotheistic religions. FGM began in the Sudan (c. 800 B.C.), way before the advent of either Christianity or Islam, and the practice is not a requirement of Jewish, Christian, or Moslem women. It is practiced mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal to Somalia, as well as Egypt, Iraq and Yemen. It is a brutal and barbaric...

Keyword(s): Catholics, culture, Islam, religion

Monday, March 30, 2015

Abstract — The search for longevity, if not for immortality itself, has been as old as recorded history. The great strides made in the standard of living and the advances in scientific medicine, have resulted in unprecedented increases in longevity, concomitant with improved quality of life. Thanks to medical progress senior citizens, particularly octogenarians, have become the fastest growing segment of the population and the number of centenarians is increasing, even though in the last two decades, spurred by the bioethics movement, the priority assigned to the prolongation of lifespan has taken a back seat to the containment of health care costs. This article describes what individuals can do to lead healthy lifestyles and increase longevity, concomitant with preservation of quality of life until the very end of life—as postulated by Dr. James F. Fries’ hypothesis of the compression of morbidity. This review article investigates the contention of bioethicist Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel that Fries’ theory is a “fantasy” and not a realistic possibility. In this context recent advances in neurobiology, epigenetics, and aging are described, and the hypothesis of the compression of...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

An interesting conversation with a European neurosurgical colleague, who decries the "gun culture" of America, took place that may be of interest to readers of GOPUSA. The dialogue began with a difference of opinion on an unrelated topic, but in the course of that exchange, I happened to innocently use a figure of speech that offended the other party, and the conversation below ensued.

What I wrote was: "Although only three paragraphs long, Dr. Z's letter is a loaded gun of criticism with serious implications that require considerable historic and philosophic discussion and cannot possibly be answered fully in a few paragraphs.

Dr Z:  "Dr Faria's comment tries to rewrite my letter but does not succeed. Certainly, my letter was no “loaded gun” — it caused none of the physical injuries, death and human misery inflicted by the 'loaded gun' culture that some choose to celebrate."

And with that retort, one may say, therein lies the rub. It happens that I had written a two-part comprehensive editorial entitled, "America, Guns, and Freedom," which had upset not only Dr. Z but also his mentor Dr. H at a prestigious institution in Europe. Both of...

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Story of Medicine by Victor Robinson, M.D. The New Home Library, New York; 1943. Bibliographical Notes, Indexed, 564 pages.

Dr. Victor Robinson was Professor of History of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia.[1] Because the history of medicine has been neglected for decades, this specialty will no longer be found listed among the faculty or the subject of any medical school curriculum. This is a deficiency that the late scholar Plinio Prioreschi, M.D., PhD, lamented in the first three volumes of his monumental A History of Medicine, and I cannot help mentioning it too.[2,3,4] Medical history is medicine and medical ethics and should continue to be a subject of study and research for future physicians. If they don't know where they come from, how do the young doctors know where they are going or are being led by others?

As it happens, Robinson quotes the historian Thucydides in the subject of general history. Thucydides is quoted as saying:

So adverse to taking pains are most men in the search for the truth and so prone are they to turn to what lies ready at hand. And it may well be that the absence of the fabulous from my...

Friday, March 20, 2015

When I was in training, we used to hear horror stories about the coming “cook-book” medicine in which doctors would be given a list of preordained methods for diagnosing and treating various diseases handed down by medical elites. This relegates the physician to little more than a cog in the wheel of the State, obediently following orders handed down from the bureaucrats above.

Again, we come to the question of — Whose evidence? As physicians, we were taught the art of observation, use of intuitive sense, drawing on our experiences, and most importantly, personal interaction with patients on an individual basis. The collectivists see patients, as they see all humanity, as a collective of human beings with no one individual being really that important.

While many elitists in medicine will find that statement an affront, a closer examination finds this to be true. Based on present thinking, a treatment should not be implemented until there is accepted proof that the treatment works and that it is reasonably safe. Despite this laudable goal, we see that when alternative treatments have shown extreme safety, sound scientific justification and considerable rational...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

In its ongoing effort to examine controversial subjects, Surgical Neurology International (SNI) explores a recent paper on limiting life to the age of 75 by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel. Dr. Miguel Faria, an Associate Editor in Chief of SNI, in his Editorial, "Bioethics and why I hope to live beyond age 75 attaining wisdom!: A rebuttal to Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's 75 age limit," provides a response to "the government planners, supported by the ever-accommodating bioethicists, who posit that with increasing longevity and augmentation of the population of American elderly, more drastic actions will be required to prevent the bankruptcy of the public financing of medical care. They believe, therefore, that outright government-imposed euthanasia, not only for the terminally ill but also for the inconvenient infirm and the superfluous elderly, will become necessary."

This subject is a very important one for physicians and neurosurgeons to understand, as it has major implications for the practice of medicine. Recently, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, whose paper was quoted by Faria, proposed this idea. Emanuel stated that people should not be allowed to live beyond the age of 75, as they...

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Until quite recently, the practice of medicine was considered an art, which incorporated a significant modicum of science, yet was itself not a pure and applied science, such as physics, astronomy, biology, and chemistry. Sir William Osler (1849-1919), one of the greatest medical minds, not only in the science of medicine, but more so the art of medicine, has written:

What, after all, is education but a subtle, slowly-affected change, due to the action upon us of Externals; of the written record of the great minds of all ages, of the beautiful and harmonious surroundings of nature and of art, and of the lives, good or ill, of our fellows—these alone educate us, these alone mould the developing minds.[1] 

It used to be accepted that the aim of medical education was to produce physicians that would be well rounded, not only in the particulars of their specialty, but also as members of a cultured and intellectually engaged society of men—men who could think critically and with a depth that brings wisdom. Dr. Osler (photo, left: Courtesy Wellcome Library) recognized that medical education was a complex insertion of “varied influences of...

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Prelude to Medical History (1961) by Dr. Félix Martí-Ibáñez (1911-1972) is a short but interesting book on medical history based on a series of lectures to an entering class of medical students, who the author welcomes with excitement and jubilation. Martí-Ibáñez emphasizes such traits as greatness with humility and compassion with learning in medical ethics and the history of medicine. As foundations upon which to build the profession, he lists clinical practice, teaching, and research.

To understand the focus and direction of this book, though, it is necessary to know a bit about the life of Dr. Martí-Ibáñez. He was a Spanish psychiatrist who immigrated to the United States in 1939 after the victory of Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He had been a minister in the government overthrown by Franco, and his politics seem to lie just under the surface. For example, he vastly overestimates the casualties of the Spanish Inquisition and seems to underestimate the Spanish culture as opposed to Eastern cultures. He praises the Greeks but seems reluctant to give the Romans their due in the advancement of science and civilization. After giving the Romans credit for...