Should Epicureans approve of cannabis?

Brendan O’Neill is perhaps one of my least favourite British columnists. I disagree with him on almost everything, from Brexit to student politics and the populist right. But his article this week is really interesting. O’Neill laments the effect of legalised cannabis on the culture of Los Angeles. He decries how it has become all …

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The nerve gas sprayed on our fruit

Look up chlorpyrifos and judge for yourself what it might be doing to you! “The fruit and vegetables eaten by American families may be contaminated with a nerve gas originally developed by Nazi Germany. It’s a pesticide called chlorpyrifos, made by Dow Chemical.  Studies have found that it damages the brain, reduces IQ, and has …

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The right to die

The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland are the three European countries that permit assisted suicide for non-terminal illnesses that cause unbearable suffering, taken to include mental suffering. A 2007 independent survey found that 80 per cent of people supported assisted dying for the terminally ill, but only 43 per cent did for those who are not …

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Death by medical error

The statistics on deaths caused by medical error in the United States are very troublesome: Heart disease: 614,348 Cancer: 591,699 Medical error: 251,454 Respiratory disease: 147,101 Accidents: 136,053 Strokes: 133,103 Alzheimers: 93,541 Flu/pneumonia: 55,227 Kidney disease: 48,146 Suicide: 42,773 (Figures from John Hopkins University, National Center for Health Statistics amd BMJ, published in the Washington …

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Drugs, part 1: can we trust Big Pharma?

Seeking to replace Warfarin as a blood thinner, Duke Clinical Research Institute ran a trial that ended with approval of the drug Xarelto. However, later the blood testing device malfunctioned. Duke did further tests and published a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine saying that the problems with the machine did not affect …

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