Health

The Silk Road: should drugs be legalised?

Please excuse the brief nature of this blog, the subject definitely merits a longer discussion at some point, but I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the recent closure of The Silk Road drugs bazaar and the arrest of the person whom the FBI believe to be its founder, Ross Ulbricht, and more generally on…

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The pet food multinationals that almost killed our cat

As a student in Moscow in the late 90’s, my wife Sonja decided it was time to own a cat. As a kid, her parents had always refused to allow a cat into their apartment. Now that she was 18, those rules dissolved and nothing could stop her. It was time. She hopped onto that…

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Six observations about penises

“My friend told me about a man with a large penis,” said one of the other students. “She said his technique was terrible. He just rammed and rammed. It was actually painful.” Her eyes widened. So did mine. These were the sort of conversations that make an impact on a rather sheltered 22-year-old from the…

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Looking for the perfect doctor?

There’s been a lot said by me in this and by others in other forums about what modern medical doctors should and shouldn’t do or be — and this is an essential debate — one that needs to be held as the medical profession adapts to rapidly changing technologies, demands and expectations. So I thought…

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How is alcohol good for you?

I recently tweeted my views on the proposed ban on alcohol advertising. The ban, which I fully support, would see to it that alcohol no longer makes its regular appearance across multiple media channels. That means no more beer ads during a sports game. No more of those cider ads featuring hip-looking youth traversing the…

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The dashed dreams of medical quackery

White South Africans harbour numerous carefully nurtured prejudices about their fellow citizens and delusions about themselves. One is that blacks are uneducated and backward, eschewing reason for superstition. Whites, in contrast, are masters of reason, hacking a scientific path through thickets of ignorance. Such assumptions are particularly glaring in health matters. Although the term “witchdoctor”…

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Beware the angry ordinary man!

I took an unusual step two days ago. I started a petition against Discovery Health, the administrators of Discovery Medical Aid. I have good reason to be angry, but it seems being angry, as I and so many other doctors, dentists and other health professionals are, is not enough. I am fighting for the right…

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Living in constant fear

ON Thursday 19 September, South Africans heard why this remains a country where its people are still living in constant fear. Two decades of African National Congress self-interest and bungling have failed to curb crime, despite the asinine claptrap with which SA’s minister of police Nathi Mthethwa insulted the country. Millions of ordinary South Africans…

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A beginner’s guide to dealing with smartphone addiction

Well done on having the courage to read this! Don’t be afraid. Think of why you need to abstain from (or at least minimise) using smartphones and other devices. Make a list of reasons. This will require a lot of honesty. But by being honest you are being kind to yourself and others. These reasons…

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A little known history of cocaine (Part 6)

For part five of the series, please click here. History has a number of valuable lessons to teach us not only about drugs, but also about ourselves. Problematically however, we still have yet to learn many of those lessons. While the “war on drugs” has begun to fade from view, at least in official rhetoric,…

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