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Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Italian war on science continues

As we learned in the reaction to the L'Aquila verdicts, holding scientists accountable for actions that lead directly to the deaths of innocent people is a direct attack on science:
Italian police say they have arrested nine cardiologists accused of performing unauthorized experimental treatments on patients.  Carabinieri Col. Giovanni Capasso says the investigation began over a year ago after consumer groups raised alarm about some suspicious deaths at the Polyclinic hospital in the northern city of Modena.

Capasso said nine doctors were arrested Friday on accusations of corruption, criminal association, embezzlement, defrauding the national health system and performing unauthorized experimental treatments. One was jailed while the others were given house arrest.  In addition, he said, a dozen medical equipment companies have been barred from working with the national health system for their alleged involvement in the scheme.
What an outrage!  Obviously these heroes of science must be released at once!  How dare the Italian authorities put such fine, reputable scientists on trial for the "crime" of adding to the the body of scientific knowledge?

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30 Comments:

Anonymous Shild November 10, 2012 11:34 AM  

Dude, they're not scientists, they're doctors. Medicine long predates the scientific method.

Anonymous VryeDenker November 10, 2012 11:55 AM  

...So does engineering. But you DO NOT want to get into that topic with a science-fetishist.

Anonymous Paradisum November 10, 2012 12:00 PM  

There isn't much else to this article. But I'm honestly conflicted.

Maybe this isn't an example of rogue doctors satisfying their nefarious curiosities.

Considering the tyrannical medical monopoly of the AMA, et. al., and their efforts to strictly limit the freedom of choice, maybe this is an example of doctors providing experimental alternatives to people who willingly volunteered, bucking the bureaucracy's attempts to suppress modalities that haven't been approved by their committees and panels?

Anonymous Gx1080 November 10, 2012 12:31 PM  

@Paradisum
You know, I think that my freedom is limited for not being able to get a computer virus that drains bank accounts.

Human experimentation of this degree is reckless and irresponsible. And, unless they show evidence of the willingness of the patients, then it's fitting for them to rot in jail.

If they do show said evidence, then is a discussion about euthanasia.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 10, 2012 12:40 PM  

What do you mean that as an elected official I am not allowed to enrich myself using insider knowledge? I resent the implication ...

Hey, look over there. Evil doctors performing Nazi-style experiments and plotting another holocaust.

Anonymous Jake November 10, 2012 1:14 PM  

I'm with Paradisum here, the doctors could very well be the good guys here, providing patients with high-risk procedures they WANT against the wishes of the local medical mafia (who have probably already told these patients to go home and die.) The article doesn't give enough information to form any hard opinion, but the mention of a "consumer group" and a lot of charges that have nothing to do with harming patients suggest to me this is the case.

Blogger IM2L844 November 10, 2012 1:28 PM  

Considering the tyrannical medical monopoly of the AMA, et. al., and their efforts to strictly limit the freedom of choice, maybe this is an example of doctors providing experimental alternatives to people who willingly volunteered, bucking the bureaucracy's attempts to suppress modalities that haven't been approved by their committees and panels?

unapproved stem cell therapy requested by otherwise terminally ill cardiology patients, perhaps?

Anonymous MendoScot November 10, 2012 1:57 PM  

Meh, it's hard to do experimental cardiac surgery on yourself. The mirror keeps fogging up.

Fogging mirrors.

Anonymous Koanic November 10, 2012 2:03 PM  

It's Tunisia versus Mussulini all over again!

The Italian army is the only one in the world that invades your personal space with its hands pre-emptively raised.

Anonymous daddynichol November 10, 2012 2:21 PM  

Shid said:
Dude, they're not scientists, they're doctors. Medicine long predates the scientific method.


The article states they were accused of unauthorized experiments. That would indicate implementation of the scientific method, therefore it's SCIENCE!!

Anonymous Godfrey November 10, 2012 2:25 PM  

LMAO

Anonymous The other skeptic November 10, 2012 2:31 PM  

Thank heavens they were not victims of microaggressions otherwise we would have to conduct a witch hunt.

Anonymous Igor November 10, 2012 2:33 PM  

You need another fresh corpse for your experiments, Master? Let me see what I can dig up.

Anonymous Anonymous November 10, 2012 2:41 PM  

Im with jake on this one. All those charges stem from " not doing as you are told" by administrators. If the families of patients are not bitching then there is something afoot.

Consider that a treatment that is perfectly acceptable and safe to perform in the US is generally thrown through multiple years of further testing and nonsense, eventually killed for cost reasons in socialist medical systems ( btw, look forward to that in your near future americans, if you can still find surgeons to do surgery in your future)

I would love to see the "scientists" give up in italy and just leave. Let Italy face a shortage of engineers, doctors, pharmacologists, etc( scientists that actually work for a living do actually provide useful services) on account of this new "blame someone for not being psychic" policy they have been developing worldwide.

John VI

Anonymous ManAboutTown November 10, 2012 2:55 PM  

This blog post's title is obviously a reference to the case won against the Italian seismologists which VD and his science-hating ilk likewise consider a win for their side.

Great precedent set, yep. Now seismologists, at least in Italy, will want to play it safe and suggest massive evacuations based on their slightest hunches. After all, don't want to get sued!

And if the earthquake doesn’t happen on the day, week, month, or whenever morons like VD expect them to be able to narrow it down to and everyone has to come back to keep their job and feed their pets and whatnot, the VD-type science-hating dipsh*ts will want to sue the seismologists then, too. Of course. Why wouldn't they? So effing stupid.

Anonymous Godfrey November 10, 2012 3:14 PM  

Hate science? That’s a canard. Most here simply hate the subservience of “science” to politics (which by the way isn’t science at all, but is politics). Most here hate politics and want to see science freed from politics.

Anonymous Sloan Lee November 10, 2012 3:34 PM  

Vox,

"...adding to the the body of scientific knowledge?"

I think you could have said: "...adding to the body-count of scientific knowledge?"

Anonymous Stickwick November 10, 2012 3:44 PM  

This blog post's title is obviously a reference to the case won against the Italian seismologists which VD and his science-hating ilk likewise consider a win for their side.

You're either new here or your reading comprehension needs some work. It's not considered a "win" for anyone, except maybe for those who enjoy seeing the hypocrisy of science-fetishists exposed.

Speaking as a professional scientist, myself, the scientific community has largely brought this on themselves. Science is a wonderful tool, but as a human endeavor it's limited and fallible. However, agenda-driven scientists and their fetishist enablers are like little Platos who see the future belonging to the scientist-kings, the guardians of all that is Good and True. All that's being pointed out here is that this is neither the purpose nor the purview of science, which these same scientists and fetishists will readily admit only when the responsibility that goes along with rulership makes them accountable.

Anonymous OASF says Ronaldo Rodrigues for Prez! November 10, 2012 4:14 PM  

"Speaking as a professional scientist, myself, the scientific community has largely brought this on themselves. Science is a wonderful tool, but as a human endeavor it's limited and fallible."

I hear ya, having a science degree myself. But science is actually just another failed, crackpot religion designed to divorce people from their ancient traditions which actually, ya know, worked. The Father-son and master-apprentice relationship and the mystical ability of the young to improve upon their forefather's techniques is a far superior method of learning and doing then any bastion of largely useless knowledge, textbooks, or instruction manuals.

The same thing could be said of Industrialization, in a way.

The book A Shopkeeper's Millennium: Society and Revivals in Rochester, New York, 1815-1837 is a great read on the topic. It's amusing as well, as we see the introduction of America's first truly con artist "Christian" leaders

Anonymous TLM November 10, 2012 5:14 PM  

After 15 years in med/surg device sales, equipment gets used off-label every day across every specialty. This is mostly due the enormous costs a company must fork over for an IDE to receive on label usage (20 million & 5 yr minimum). Its just not worth it, especially if the docs are already using it off label with positive results. I've never worked in the cath lab side of device sales, but have friends who do. I'm told the cardiologists and IRs use stents and caths off label as well. This may just be an overzealous admin or nosy beaurecrat on a witch hunt. I wouldnt be ready to hang em just yet.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 10, 2012 8:13 PM  


I think you could have said: "...adding to the body-count of scientific knowledge?"


Well, he could have, but the body count for engineering disciplines exists too. Eg, experimental planes etc ... not to mention those who died getting gun powder under control.

That is why Engineering is a men's field. Women are generally not willing to take the risk if one of the outcomes is you could die horribly (although usually quickly.)

Anonymous jack November 10, 2012 8:43 PM  

Vox: since the post subject might beg the question. Could you tell us how you and your family handle health care in Italy? Not looking for overly personal info., of course, just interested how ex-patriots would do their health needs in a country like Italy. Or, anywhere else in the EU far as that goes.

Thanks....

Anonymous The other skeptic November 10, 2012 10:37 PM  

Now we know who the Crier in chief is.

Anonymous zen0 November 10, 2012 10:45 PM  

That is a pretty thin article to troll from. In one short time from Post America to post libertarianism.

The State is no longer a prime suspect.

Maybe that Mayan calendar boogie man be trippin'.

All of a sudden a lot of people I know are dying off, and companies too.

Anonymous Mr. Smee November 10, 2012 11:52 PM  

I think the popular sentiment that those who claim to be alpha are not alpha is problematic. However, I think one can stand by the axiom that one who cares enough to write about who is/isn't alpha is not alpha.

Anonymous JI November 10, 2012 11:52 PM  

A lot of scientists look down upon doctors as not being "real" scientists, so I doubt there will be much of an outcry in their defense.

Blogger Crude November 11, 2012 7:32 AM  

A lot of scientists look down upon doctors as not being "real" scientists, so I doubt there will be much of an outcry in their defense.

I rather wonder if a lot of scientists also look down on engineers as well.

I wonder what scientists generally think of this XKCD comic. (Sociologists really shouldn't be on there I think. ... Or psychologists. I'll leave the argument about biologists to someone else.)

Anonymous Stickwick November 11, 2012 12:01 PM  

A lot of scientists look down upon doctors as not being "real" scientists, so I doubt there will be much of an outcry in their defense.

I rather wonder if a lot of scientists also look down on engineers as well.


Scientists look down on the medical profession in general, because many doctors practice what is essentially a modern form of alchemy. There are some fantastic surgeons out there, but they are more like the engineers of the medical world. Most doctors have little understanding of functional disorders, which is why they often make conditions worse. Consider the number of patients who die unnecessarily while under a doctor's care, or the number of people addicted to prescription pain killers. Engineers, on the other hand, have a proven track record, and their structures generally aren't responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people every year.

I don't get the sense that the majority of my colleagues look down on engineers. Most of what we do would not be possible without them. That being said, there is probably a subset of scientists who regard engineers much the same way Sheldon Cooper does.

I wonder what scientists generally think of this XKCD comic. (Sociologists really shouldn't be on there I think. ... Or psychologists. I'll leave the argument about biologists to someone else.)

It's accurate, at least from the perspective of those at the higher end of the purity scale. Biology certainly belongs on there. There is some very interesting and revealing research going on in biology, it's just that many biologists are too blinded by ideology to make sense of their own results. Sociology and psychology aren't yet true sciences.

Anonymous GmbH November 11, 2012 9:51 PM  

Forecasters miss tide flooding by 0.5m, Venice floods unawares.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/11/venice-floods-high-water-italy

Blogger James Higham November 12, 2012 9:49 AM  

And while we're there, let's exonerate Mengele.

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