The American Medical Association; Not Exactly Progressive

June 19, 2013 in Health Policy by RangelMD

The American Medical Association wants to remind us that as an organization it has never been accused of being cutting edge or ahead of it’s time and to epitomize this fact during their annual convention this week they voted to finally oppose the FDA’s blanket ban on blood donation by gay men and recognize obesity as a disease.

Not sticking their necks out since 1847

The opposition to the FDA ban on blood donation by gay males came only decades after the identification of HIV as the causative agent of AIDs and the development of an effective laboratory screen that has almost completely eliminated the transfusion of blood products as a source of new infections. The AMA apparently no longer feels that simply being a homosexual male should be considered an infection risk and that a more common sense approach should be undertaken to identify at risk donors with questionnaires and individualized histories. The AMA stressed that it is no longer necessary to wear latex gloves while shaking the hand of a gay male patient.

The AMA’s recognition of obesity as a disease comes only 176 years after Charles Dickens first described the telltale signs of hypersomnia due to untreated obstructive sleep apnea in a morbidly obese boy and 57 years after Dr. Burwell and colleagues published a medical case report titled “Extreme Obesity Associated With Alveolar Hypoventilation” that hey termed “Pickwickian Syndrome” after the original account in the book by Dickens.

[The patient] entered the hospital because of obesity, fatigue and somnolence…The patient was accustomed to eating well but did not gain weight progressively until about one year before admission…As the patient gained weight his symptoms appeared and became worse..he had often fallen asleep while carrying on his daily routine…on several occasions he suffered brief episodes of syncope (fainting) Persistent edema of the ankles developed . .

Outstanding work as usual AMA. Doctors may now OFFICIALLY advise their patients to lose weight even before symptoms and associated conditions develop after having done so for decades in an “off label” role.

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