The film “The Kingâ€™s Speech” won the Academy Award for Best PictureÂ [on Sunday night.] The movieÂ has come in for some criticism for its depiction of the political machinations surroundingÂ the abdication of Edward VIIIÂ andÂ Britainâ€™sÂ appeasement of Hitler.Â The British-born writer Christopher Hitchens, unsparingÂ and deliciously eloquent as always, puts the politics ofÂ Â George VIÂ in a far less favorable light than theÂ movie does.Â Â Â Â Â Â
ButÂ ”The Kingâ€™s Speech” hasÂ won almost universal praiseÂ for itsÂ portrayal ofÂ the reluctant monarchâ€™s stuttering, a speech pattern that includes involuntary repetition of sounds and syllables and â€śspeech blocksâ€ť that cause prolonged pauses. Many youngÂ children who stutter grow out of the problem, but perhaps as manyÂ as one in every 100 adults are affected by the condition,Â 80 percentÂ of whom are men. Stuttering clusters in families, so researchers have been searching forÂ inherited genes that might cause the condition.Â Last year,Â in The New England Journal of Medicine,Â NIH researchers reported some successÂ withÂ results showing an association betweenÂ three mutated genes andÂ stuttering,Â althoughÂ those mutations are probably responsible for a very small minority of cases.Â
Itâ€™s been said thatÂ ”The Kingâ€™s Speech” will doÂ for stuttering what “Rain Man” did for autism: PlantÂ a sympathetic view ofÂ a disability in the public consciousness. OneÂ danger ofÂ suchÂ a quick infusionÂ ofÂ awareness, however,Â is thatÂ it can hardenÂ into aÂ fixed, if largely favorable,Â stereotype.Â We are finding out — or are being reminded — about all the famous people whoÂ have stutteredÂ (many of them writers).Â First-person accounts are popping up all over the place because of the film.Â TheÂ best Iâ€™ve come across isÂ byÂ Philip French, a British film critic, whoÂ describes vividly what it was like toÂ listen to theÂ radio broadcasts of the real King George VI, wondering ifÂ he wouldÂ make it to the end â€ślike a drunken waiter crossing a polished floor bearing a tray laden with wine glasses.â€ť Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Harvard Health Blog*
The top vote-getting answer on my poll about what people feel about the election: Different lunatics, same asylum. We are getting jaded by our system. Being the â€śflaming moderateâ€ť that I am, I find it hard to hear the substance of the rhetoric on either side, just the shrillness and rancor of the voices.
From the physicianâ€™s perspective, it is very hard to know who to favor in this election.Â The democrats seem to love lawyers and hate tort reform, and they also favor an expansion of government. The republicans love big businesses and â€śfree market,â€ť accepting the bad behavior of insurance and drug companies as â€śthe market working itself out.â€ť They both seem hell-bent on sticking it to the other party at the expense of getting anything done — and this in a time of crisis for our industry.
The results of this playground brawl between the two gangs of bullies is that all of us wimpy kids (the ones without power) end up lying bloody in the dirt. Here are the facts as I see them about healthcare in our country:
1. It costs far too much. The top item on the agenda needs to be cost control. The only way to control cost is to stop paying for things that are unnecessary or for which there is a cheaper alternative. I know thatâ€™s not simple as it sounds, but so much of the discussion is about coverage and how things are paid, while the real issue is not who pays, itâ€™s what and how much gets paid. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*
All eyes are on today’s mid-term elections and how they’ll play out across the country. The results are likely to affect the recently enacted healthcare reform legislation, Politico reports. Although repealing the legislation would be difficult, Republicans may be able to challenge its implementation if they gain control of the House. Attempts to modify the law could require a delicate balance since, as noted by the Washington Post‘s Ezra Klein, some of its provisions, such as coverage for dependents age 26 and younger, are individually popular.
Reuters has published a Q&A on what the election results could mean for the healthcare reform law. The Wall Street Journal is asking readers to weigh in on whether the legislation is affecting their votes. (Politico, Washington Post, Reuters, Wall Street Journal)
*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*
CAIRO â€” A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a manâ€™s spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.
Every time I think my country is screwed up, I read this sort of thing and feel better about it.Â And kudos to the hospital that (apparently) just said, “No.”
SOURCE: “Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment” â€“ World News â€“ Mideast/N. Africa â€“ MSNBC.com
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*