Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Judge tries to save little girl’s eye….from her parents

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 15, 2010

Yes, you read it right. The 7-month old daughter of  members of the Followers of Christ church, risks loosing eyesight in her left eye due to blatant medical neglect on the part of her parents.

The Wylands’ daughter, Alayna, had a small discoloration over her left eye when she was born.

The area started swelling and the fast-growing mass of blood vessels, known as a hemangioma, eventually caused her eye to shut, pushed the eyeball down and outward, and affected the eye socket, said Dr. Thomas Valvano, a pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital at Oregon Health & Science University.

“This was medical neglect,” said Valvano, who testified at the hearing. Alayna could lose vision in her left eye and probably will need surgery, he said.

I’ve read versions of this sad story countless times, yet I still cannot get over them. How can a parent play dice with their child’s health because of their imaginary god? At what point do your parental instincts kick in and make you say “to hell with the church, I’m saving my child”? I guess never for these people; something’s wrong in their head!

The Wylands said they never considered getting medical attention for the growth and would not have if DHS had not intervened.

Attorneys for the Wylands said the couple weren’t given a chance to obtain medical care after DHS got involved in the case late last month and have been largely excluded from medical appointments.

So let me get it straight dear attorneys: the people who concede that they would not have taken their daughter to the doctor were impeded from doing what they weren’t thinking of doing by the DHS? That’s like saying : “The good Samaritan’s intervention prevented the rapist from stopping the raping of the victim”! Are you sure that’s the argument you want to make in defense of your client?

Gilmartin asked Rebecca Wyland why she didn’t take Alayna to a doctor.

“Because I believe in God and put my faith in him,” she replied.

And he let you down Rebecca; he let you down considerably. At what point will you consider dumping him?

Alternative therapies don’t help kids’ cancer stress

Posted in News by Skepdude on July 13, 2010


(Reuters Health) – Massage, humor therapy and relaxation don’t seem to make life much easier for children with cancer who go through stressful bone marrow transplants, disappointed researchers said Monday.

Earlier studies, while not clear-cut, had suggested alternative treatment might benefit some adult cancer survivors. Doing yoga, for instance, helped women sleep better and have more energy after breast cancer treatment. (See Reuters Health story of May 21, 2010)

“We believed that we had a therapy that was helpful,” said psychologist Sean Phipps, of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, who led the government- and foundation-funded study.

But, he said, even state-of-the-art alternative treatment didn’t trump standard supportive care, which includes drugs for nausea and pain as well as psychosocial support for both child and parent.

Phipps said stem cell transplants, from the bone marrow or blood, are some of the toughest treatments for children with cancer. He said they often experience pain, have restricted diets, and are kept largely isolated due to a high risk of infections. “It’s not a picnic,” he said.

To test whether alternative treatment could take the edge off the stress, Phipps and colleagues randomly assigned 178 children to one of three groups. One group received only standard care; another also had massages and humor therapy; in the third group, parents also got massages and were taught how to be more relaxed around their kids.

Using a common measure of quality of life in patients undergoing aggressive treatments, the researchers then tested how the kids fared in each group.

“We failed to demonstrate that our interventions changed those outcomes,” said Phipps. One possible explanation is that standard care was already doing a good job of helping the children, he added, stressing that more research is needed.


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TAM8 Update

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 9, 2010

The TAM8 news is :

  1. I’m not there
  2. It’s year-end (Our year ends in june) at work. I’m an accountant. It’s kinda f$%king crazy.
  3. My subordinate just gave birth. I have to cover for her.
  4. Everybody’s showing off on Twitter about being at TAM8
  5. I have no time to do what I love, blogging here and at Vaccine Central
  6. ….did I mention I’M NOT @ TAM8?

There; you happy?

Que She: The miracle diet pill that wasn’t

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 8, 2010

This Pill Will Revolutionize Weight Loss!” gushed a supporter about a year ago! This is revoutionary, it’s miraculous, it’s all natural, has no side effects blah blah blah, here read for yourself:

It is a combination of 11 Chinese herbs that can help you lose weight. These herbs work together to help increase your metabolism and increase energy. This revolutionary supplement is not a stimulant or an appetite suppressant, and it does not leave you feeling wired or hungry. It simply helps your body perform at an optimized digesting level. This product is all natural and made from common Chinese herbs; it will not cause you to lose your appetite it will only allow your body to use the food you intake more efficiently.

I have read many testimonials about this product and it gets rave reviews. Everyone I have spoken to that has tried this product has gotten great results from it. I have not heard reports of nasty side effects. Some weight loss pills leave you feeling jittery, or they may have a serious crash if you stop taking them, but Que She does not have these effects. This weight loss pill actually helps you control thoughts of eating, and users report that they still get hungry, but it is not in a compulsive manner; they get hungry when they actually are hungry. Que She may be the herbal supplement dieters have been looking for all these years.

It may…except that it isn’t. A recent FDA report warns users to stop using it immediately.

FDA Public Health Alert: Que She Weight Loss Capsules Contain Potentially Harmful Ingredients

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned that Que She, marketed as an herbal weight loss supplement, contains active pharmaceutical ingredients not listed on the product label that could harm consumers, especially those with cardiovascular conditions.

People who have purchased Que She should stop taking the product immediately and consult a health care professional.

Wait a minute, this is all natural! There’s no way it contains anything “chemical”!

An FDA analysis of Que She found that it contains:

  • fenfluraminea stimulant drug withdrawn from the U.S. market in 1997 after studies demonstrated that it caused serious heart valve damage
  • propranolol – a prescription beta blocker drug that can pose a risk to people with bronchial asthma and certain heart conditions
  • sibutramine – a controlled substance and prescription weight loss drug, sibutramine was the subject of a recent study whose preliminary findings showed an association between sibutramine use and increased risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have a history of heart disease
  • ephedrinea stimulant drug that is legally marketed over-the-counter for temporary relief of asthma but can pose a risk to people with certain cardiovascular conditions.

These active pharmaceutical ingredients also may interact with other medications and result in a serious adverse event.


Alleging blasphemy, fanatics hack lecturer’s hand

Posted in News by Skepdude on July 6, 2010


In a horrific instance of Talibanism, Muslim fanatics in Kerala on Sunday chopped off the right hand of a college lecturer, accusing him of setting a question paper with a derogatory reference to the Prophet.

Lecturer T J Joseph was returning home from church with his mother and sister around 8.30 am in Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district when he was accosted by the attackers. “We had just got into our car when a van pulled up in front. Around eight people armed with swords and knives emerged and pulled out Joseph after smashing the windscreen.
They then chopped off his right hand and stabbed him in the left thigh,” said Joseph’s sister, Mary Stella, a nun.

“When we tried to prevent them, they attacked me and and our mother before exploding bombs and fleeing.”

A police team recovered the severed hand from the compound of a house about 200m away. The 52-year-old lecturer was rushed to a private hospital where his condition is serious.


Fear the ghosts, there’s gonna be a million of them!

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on July 5, 2010

At TAM8, or more precisely, in protest against TAM8.

Clairvoyants, mediums and psychics worldwide are invited to contact spirits in a major nonviolent protest of an annual convention of skeptics taking place at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas July 8-11, 2010.

Now I’m not sure what “contacting spirits in a major nonviolent protest” means exactly: will the psychics gather in a protest of their own and nonviolently contact the spirits or do they mean to contact the ghosts and ask them to gather in a nonviolent protest? Wonder what that would look like? You can read the rest for yourself, sounds like a joke to me (the event’s main organizer is called Doc Paranormal!!), but you never know with these mediums and psychics everything is possible. I mean get a hold of this:

“The beauty of this event is that it will be held at multiple locations. So even during the height of the march, traffic will not be interrupted and police will not have to restrain crowds. The spirits and ghosts will be invisible, although their presence will be sensed by psychically-sensitive pedestrians and autograph hounds.

Edgar Allan Poe Community College? POE? I sense a joke, but then I’m not psychic!