Monday, February 23, 2009

Google Lies

Well, probably not intentionally. But don't trust Google Maps implicitly, for you might end up with something like this:

View Larger Map

Note the portion of Dalhousie University located at right, and you'll notice something called the Halifax Infirmary. Sounds like a hospital, right? Well, it was, until it was replaced and later demolished... in 2005. In fact, the original building has been vacant since 1998, as the "New" Halifax Infirmary opened in 1996. What's notable about this? Well, Google didn't exist until Sept. 1998, and Google Maps didn't appear until Feb. 2005, admittedly a few months before the old Infirmary was torn down. Though it had been vacant for some seven years before that.

The question remains - why is the HI still appearing on Google Maps in a location which for three-and-half years has existed as a vacant patch of gravel next to a pay parking lot?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Naturopathy in BC?

I'm not surprised this is happening in British Columbia:

Naturopathic doctors in B.C. could soon be allowed to prescribe medications if the provincial government goes ahead with plans to change its health profession regulations.

The changes would make B.C. the first province in Canada to grant naturopathic doctors the authority to prescribe drugs such as antibiotics, painkillers, and antidepressants.

But the B.C. Medical Association is concerned about the potential move, arguing patient safety will be put at risk if the changes are allowed.

In a letter written last month to the province's medical doctors, BCMA president Bill Mackie said the association "is significantly concerned with the expansion of scope proposed for naturopaths... "
Thoughts on this? The College of Physicans and Surgeons of BC is very opposed, mainly on the grounds of patient safety (which are quite well founded - to start with, naturopaths don't have remotely equivalent training to physicians of any kind, much less nurses or pharmacists, when it comes to prescribing drugs, ordering diagnostic tests, or, well, making diagnoses of any kind.

And isn't it kinda ironic that naturopaths - who disdain pharmaceuticals as part of their MO - want to be able to prescribe them? (I'm not into the whole "holistic" versus "reductionist" argument either. There is a way based on evidence and science and another based on an odd mix of traditional/folk techniques (some with actual benefits) and wonky homeopathy.)

Plus, when I think of naturopathic "medicine", I am always reminded of this:

TOR: No. You know, I am not a business man. I'm a holistic healer. It's a calling, it's a gift. You see, it's in the best interest of the medical profession that you remain sick. You see, that insures good business. You're not a patient. You're a customer.

JERRY: (He thinks this, the audience can hear his thoughts) And you're not a doctor, but you play one in real life.
Just because naturopaths call themselves doctors and stick "ND" after their name like it's a university degree (it isn't, at least not in Canada) doesn't make them such or qualified to pretend that they are.