“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

How doctors don't think.

Hilary Butler - Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In his book, "How Doctor's Think", Dr Jerome Groopman describes an ultrasound doctor, who detects in a baby, inside a woman 5 weeks from giving birth, a strange shaped space inside the baby's brain which should look like a tear-drop with sharp edges, but just doesn't look quite right.  Not badly wrong, but just not quite right. Because the shape is pretty near normal, she almost doesn't tell the mother.  Two things change her mind. She wants to protect any obstetrician from being charged with causing damage to a baby, should it turn into something significant... and she also thinks parents should know in advance in case they need to consider the realities of bringing up a damaged child. The mother has an MRI, and a brain haemorrhage in the baby is discovered, so the birth is attended by paediatric neurologists.  Continue Reading


How Doctors Think.

Hilary Butler - Sunday, October 24, 2010

You don't think you need to know?  Well, according to Dr Jerome Groopman, you do.  Dr Groopman belongs to a rare species in medicine who tell it as it is - perhaps because he's been at the butt end of a few medical bum deals in his day. He knows what it feels like to be run over by his own medical system, and has the clout to write about it.  His writing is vitally important, and utterly frustrating in the same breath.  It's vitally important, because everyone who ever walks into a doctor's surgery needs to read this book, but most never will. It's frustrating, because  Groopman misses a very important issue - which is what the next blog will be about. But first, the book itself. Continue Reading


When will they ever learn?

Hilary Butler - Friday, October 22, 2010

Mannnnny years ago (1984 - 86), I wrote an article on obstetricians dogmas on cord cutting in hospital ,which landed up in various incarnations in several journals worldwide, finally landing up in Mothering Magazine.  The thrust of this article was that obstetricians had their heads firmly located in the pavement, and that babies of any age, and condition are not born with a scissor deficiency and do not need their cords immediately clamped and cut.  Can you imagine any other mammalian species, like cats, dogs or sheep, frantically asking their peers for a cord clamp and scissors? Wouldn't you think it would occur to medical people that our bodies might have been designed correctly, to do a job efficiently and correctly?  Wouldn't you think they'd wonder what might go wrong if they "interfere"?  Of course not.  But then, I also know mothers who believe that if a clamp isn't used, all the blood will leak back out of their baby, who will then die.  Sigh.  Today, a group of fossilised medical non-thinkers, enraptured their world with the news that delaying cord clamping for babies born before 28 weeks is a good thing.  Perhaps they will get the Nobel Price for this priceless discovery?  Interestingly, they have no questions or shame about their "findings".  Indeed, they say they don't even understand the "mechanism" [choke], when it's blindingly obvious.  By their enthusiasm, you'd think they were telling the world about a new, previously un-thought-of miracle!  But note this... before they implement this, they will require many more multicenter studies to be done....!!!! - kaching.... which might take how long???? : Continue Reading


Corrupt process results in corrupt practice.

Hilary Butler - Thursday, October 21, 2010

In a brilliant article called Lies, Damned Lies and Medical Science (pdf) a bright light was shone upon the reality of medical practice across the board, .... by what I thought was an almost extinct species - honest scientists.  Thank goodness that some actually exist. It gives me hope for the future!  The fact that medicine is often damned lies, is something we've been talking about for decades. But the question is, Why do people believe that medical practice is automatically the truth with halos? Continue Reading


Twenty-five years plus is quite a long time....

Hilary Butler - Saturday, October 02, 2010

(By Peter Butler) Especially when it's been spent dealing with issues and systems governed by engrained mindsets, and heavily influenced by huge vested interests more interested in profits, than making available all of the facts ...without restriction; or providing customized care to unique individuals, rather than trying to fit everyone into their "one-size-fits-all" moulds.

 Continue Reading

Voices and choices

by Peter Butler

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When I wrote our home education curriculum it incorporated what I consider an essential foundation stone. A lifestyle must surely include the integration of every aspect of daily living. You cannot put different issues into little boxes with an appropriate label, and then apply differing standards and values to their implementation. To do so will produce inconsistencies, double standards and hypocrisy. The societal attitudes of the present day however, would suggest that this need not be too much of a concern. After all, absolutes seem to have little impact on many people’s lives because the “Absolute” Himself has been dethroned, relegated to a back seat, completely ignored or completely forgotten, leaving the “marvels” of secular humanism to solve the world’s problems. I believe that all of life issues have their answers in the one and only Creator and Saviour God. I respect anyone’s right to disagree with this, but if so, with what will it be replaced? Continue Reading


The hidebound Ostrich that is Auckland District Health Board.

Hilary Butler - Thursday, September 16, 2010

Further to the superb piece in today's Otago Daily Times paper written by Otago Medical Schools Professor of Medical Ethics (and neurologist) Professor Grant Gillett, calling into question the ostrich attitudes of medical practitioners, Continue Reading


Sciblogs: more blind leading the blind

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In another piece of cherrypicking nonsense called “Clash of the anecdotes”, Peter Griffin seems to think no-one else reads newspapers. He says:  Continue Reading


Facts many people prefer to ignore.

Hilary Butler - Tuesday, September 07, 2010

(Written by Peter) How easy it is to fail to heed the significance of essential facts. The seriousness of this causes me to return once against to a statement I have made on many occasions especially when I have been talking to people.  Continue Reading


Never bite the hand that feeds you.

Hilary Butler - Monday, September 06, 2010

Watching TNVZ SUNDAY’s programme about the oral contraceptive pill, called “Wonder Drug”, my mind kept flitting back to the fair grounds of old. Merry go round horses, ever rising, and lowering and the ceaseless crackly potted music;  metal clown heads, swinging wide open mouths, and the croaky voiced candy floss man intoning his automated speil. This was how I perceived the surreal presentation which characterised Janet McIntyre's uncritical canonization of a British Medical Journal article published on 11 March 2010. She followed the rest of the media who described this study as “titanic”.... forgetting that the unsinkable Titanic,...  sank.   Janet was unblinkingly content to present people who thought that the Pill should be available over-the-counter, with no controls, to anyone of any age.  Caution and monitorring be damned. Let’s get with it, full speed ahead. Titanic, indeed. Which will of course, fix global warming!  Hurray.... Continue Reading