Profitability, AIG Style

The AIG retirement and life insurance division explains profitability:

The company said that if not for those investment losses, the operations would have been profitable.


Dog Zen

This Monday morning let two sleeping beauties put a smile on your face at Rule of Dog.

Dr. George Tiller Is Not Guilty; Phill Kline Offers Legal Advice

Dr. George Tiller was found not guilty yesterday of all 19 misdemeanor charges stemming from some abortions he performed at his Wichita clinic in 2003.

Phill Kline, the former Kansas attorney general who started the investigation into Dr. Tiller's clinic more than four years ago, expressed frustration at the office of the current attorney general and the prosecutors who tried the case, noting that they simply aren't criminal and zealot-y enough to get the job done:

"You do not win cases nor achieve justice by calling one witness and ordering your staff not to initiate any additional effort to gather evidence," Kline said in a written statement.

Truer words have simply never been spoken (hence, the large print)! To win cases for Teh Cause you must follow Phill Kline's example to the letter and initiate any and all additional efforts that serve Teh Cause.

Like so:

2005 -- As Kansas Attorney General on a fishing expedition, when obtaining redacted patient medical records (no name; identifying numbers), cross-reference patient file numbers with abortion records at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, then subpoena records from Wichita’s La Quinta Inn, where patients are staying, to match dates with names.

2007 -- When you lose your re-election bid for Kansas attorney general (November 2006) and accept an appointment as Johnson County District Attorney, prior to leaving the Kansas AG office (January 2007), steal patients' medical records and ship the records to your new Johnson County office.

2008 -- While in possession of the stolen medical records, store the records in a garage, store them in an investigator's dining room, and instruct your staff to make copies of medical records at a retail store.

2009 -- When you lose the Republican primary election to retain your current position as Johnson County DA and get a visiting law professor job (bwahahahaha) at Liberty University Law School in Virginia, have your staff mail patients' medical records to Virgina.

One more important piece of information you should know about.

The article on Dr. Tiller's acquittal reports that moments after the verdict was announced the state's medical board announced it was investigating similar allegations against him. What the article omits to mention is that the medical board's petition* against Dr. Tiller is based on a 2006 complaint (amended in 2007) filled by Operation Rescue spokesperson Cheryl Sullenger**.



Brazilian Bishops: Not All Abortions Are Bad, But All Women Are Child-Like

In an article on the widespread problem of sexual abuse of under-age girls in Brazil, the The New York Times has an interesting update on the case of the 9 yo who was raped by her stepfather.

The Brazilian archbishop who promptly excommunicated everyone involved with rendering proper medical care to the girl -- her mother and the medical personnel -- but not the rapist, has been overruled by a conference of Brazilian bishops:

The storm intensified when a high-ranking Vatican official supported the excommunications. But then a conference of Brazilian bishops overruled Archbishop Sobrinho, saying that the child’s mother had acted “under pressure” from doctors who said the girl would die if she carried the babies to term, and that only doctors who “systematically” performed abortions should be thrown out of the church.

Got that? The girl's mother is not to be held responsible for her actions since women, by definition, are not capable of making their own decisions. [Great news for all female Catholic Ob/Gyns who perform abortions.] Also, it looks like not all abortions are created equal (heh, I said "created"). As long as an abortion here and there helps shield the church from criticism, performing abortions isn't an excommunicable offense.

Who says the Catholic hierarchy isn't firmly grounded in reality and, dare I say it, quite progressive?

Gingi Edmonds Supports Forced Second Trimester Abortions

Upon hearing of the enormous tragedy of a plane crash that killed 7 adults and 7 children, Gingi Edmonds scurries to write an article telling us all about her and her beliefs (you know, how you do when tragedy befalls your fellow citizens) and answers emails.

Gingi Edmonds ends her article telling us some more about herself:

I pray that God will use this unfortunate catastrophe to soften the hearts of [surviving relatives] and that they will draw close to the Lord....

Good to know that Gingi Edmonds' god forcibly terminated a 5 months pregnancy and Gingi Edmonds is all for it.

ETA: Also, what he said.

Fet[al] Life

You know you have a one track mind when you see in your referral logs and the only source you can think of is a fetus site.

Judge Requires FDA to Reconsider Restricted OTC Plan B Sales

I told you so, there's no medical reason to restrict OTC Plan B sales to those 18 and older:

NEW YORK – The Food and Drug Administration let politics cloud its judgment when it denied teenage girls over-the-counter access to the Plan B morning-after pill, a federal judge said Monday as he ordered the FDA to let 17-year-olds obtain the medication.

In a thorough denunciation of the Bush administration, U.S. District Judge Edward Korman blasted the FDA's handling of the issue, saying it had "repeatedly and unreasonably" delayed issuing a decision on the medication.

The morning-after pill is a source of tension for social conservatives who held great sway in the Bush administration and who believe the pill is tantamount to abortion.

The ruling said the FDA in several instances had delayed issuing a ruling for suspect reasons and on two occasions only took action to facilitate the confirmation of acting FDA commissioners whose confirmations had been held up by the repeated delays.

"These political considerations, delays, and implausible justifications for decision-making are not the only evidence of a lack of good faith and reasoned decision-making," Korman said. "Indeed, the record is clear that the FDA's course of conduct regarding Plan B departed in significant ways from the agency's normal procedures regarding similar applications to switch a drug product from prescription to non-prescription use."

The drug is marketed by Montvale, N.J.-based Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc. as Plan B. Korman ordered the FDA to permit Barr Pharmaceuticals to make Plan B available to 17-year-olds without a prescription under the same conditions as Plan B is now available to women over the age of 18. He said his order must be complied with within 30 days.

The FDA said it is reviewing the judge's decision. Women's groups said it's unlikely that the Obama administration would appeal.


In February 2001, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and 65 other organizations petitioned the FDA to make Plan B available over the counter to all, regardless of age. The FDA did not respond for five years, announcing in 2006 that the petition was denied.

As part of his order, Korman vacated the petition's denial and required the FDA to reconsider its decisions regarding the Plan B switch to over-the-counter use.

There are three things in the linked AP article I find puzzling.

First, the continued use of the zombie mistake -- [Plan B] contains a high dose of of birth control drugs. There's only one drug in Plan B, a progesting. While progestin is one of the drugs found in combination birth control pills, Plan B is not a combination drug. This distinction is important for two reasons. One, there are dedicated combination ECP brands and regimens. Conflating Plan B, a progestin-only brand, with combination brands is inaccurate and can be confusing for patients. Two, a combination pill or regimen has a different side effects profile than a progestin-only one like Plan B. For example, nausea and vomiting are more common after taking a combination ECP brand.

And speaking of MSM articles on Plan B and mistakes, here's one more correction. From this Washington Post article (via):

A federal court today ordered the Food and Drug Administration to reconsider the agency's controversial decision limiting non-prescription access to the morning-after pill Plan B to women age 18 and older.

Can you spot the sloppy reporting misinformation? OTC access to Plan B isn't limited to women. *Men* and women can purchase Plan B, as long as they're 18 and older.

Second, the insistence on passing off the Family Research Council's propaganda skilz as relevant to a discussion of scientific/medical matters:

The conservative Family Research Council said the judge's decision bowed to ideological pressure from the left.

"Judge Korman has accepted lock, stock, and barrel all of the claims of a political ideology promoting sexual license for teens," said Chris Gacek, a regulation expert with the group.

"There is a real danger that Plan B may be given to women, especially sexually abused women and minors, under coercion or without their consent," Gacek added in a statement.

It's misleading to present silly accusations (incompetent legal decision based on ideology rather than medical evidence), scientific ignorance (promoting sexual license for teens), and bizarre claims about the FDA's regulatory process (Plan B may be given to women under coercion) as informed commentary.

Last, but not least, what exactly is the thinking behind the Obama administration defending the arbitrary restriction on OTC sales of Plan B: "It was enacted during the previous administration, now we're in the White House so, what the heck, let's just go with the flow?" Clearly, as a federal agency, the FDA has to be represented by an administration lawyer. But why does the government have to persist in defending the indefensible?

Bottom line: The decision to require the FDA to allow 17-year-olds to obtain Plan B OTC is a step in the right direction, but we still have to wait and see if the current administration will allow science to govern reproductive health matters.

Dog Zen

Monday morning, time to let Rule of Dog put a smile on your face.

Legal Consensual Incest

In an effort to be more like France, Spain, and Portugal, Romania is considering decriminalizing consensual incest.

It's good to be a EU member, no?

Swimming In a Sea of Viruses

Did you know that [e]ach milliliter of ocean water contains several million virus particles - a global total of 10^30 virions!

Pope Benedict XVI Mocks Women's Reproductive Health

"Particularly disturbing is the crushing yoke of discrimination that women and girls so often endure, not to mention the unspeakable practice of sexual violence and exploitation which causes such humiliation and trauma," Benedict told an audience of government leaders and foreign diplomats in the late afternoon.

He also criticized what he called the "irony of those who promote abortion as a form of 'maternal' health care." The pope was referring to an African Union agreement signed by Angola and 44 other countries that abortion should be legal in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is endangered.

"How disconcerting the claim that the termination of life is a matter of reproductive health," Benedict said.

You know what's actually ironic? That the earthly representative of one of the many Sky Fairies and/or ETs people believe in is unable to grasp the concept that the uterine container is in fact a ZOMG!! human life.

And you know what's disconcerting? Permitting your Supreme Leader, the Pope (PBUH), to mock and belittle women's reproductive health care without condemnation.

Catholic Priests and Sex

Remember how the Catholic church considers rendering proper medical care to a kid an excommunicable sin, but the rape of a child not so much? Come to find out that, in addition to pedophilia, there's another type of, you know, rascally behavior not worthy of excommunication, namely priests having affairs with their parishioners:

"Parishioners blame women, say we seduce the priests, but we are brought up to respect and honor men, and women can't say no to a priest who is held up to us as a fount of knowledge in daily communication with God," she said.

Co-founder [of Women Ordination South Africa] Dina Cormick said priests who are caught having affairs are sent on retreats or moved to other parishes while nuns caught in sexual liaisons with priests are forced to leave their orders.

Dog Zen

It's Monday morning again, time for you-know-what.

Universal HPV Vaccination for Boys?

Photo by NathanF

The case for and against immunizing boys against HPV:


Widespread immunization of girls and boys against the human papillomavirus could fully eradicate types 16 and 18 of the virus. If we miss half the equation by leaving the boys out of our vaccination strategy, that type of public health success will not be possible.

The benefits of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in boys are numerous. While protecting women from HPV and the morbidity and mortality associated with cervical cancer is a significant motivation for male vaccination, males would also accrue their own health benefits through vaccination. For example, approximately 12% of oral pharyngeal cancers are caused by HPV types 16 and 18, which also cause some penile and anal cancers. Also, 90% of genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11, which can occur in boys as well as in girls; while not life-threatening, genital warts are certainly anxiety provoking. In addition, one out of four girls and one out of six boys is the victim of sexual abuse by age 20. That's a high number of young people for whom prevention would be relevant.

If we want to achieve herd immunity with HPV, we really need to vaccinate both sexes. There's also a larger message from society in how we choose to formulate our vaccination strategy. If we don't vaccinate boys, we are saying as a society that females alone have the responsibility for society's sexual health.

Men also have a stake in the health of their future sexual partners. While boys may be only 11 or 12 years old when their parents consent to HPV vaccination on their behalf, these boys and their parents will not want their future partners or offspring to be exposed to life-threatening HPV.

The cost-effectiveness estimates for vaccinating boys are not compelling at this point. However, the public health benefit is clear and the medical risks associated with vaccination are extremely low. In fact, the experience with girls in the United States has been excellent, with fewer adverse events reported for the HPV vaccine than for most other common vaccines.


The issue of immunizing males against HPV often comes down to whether they should receive the vaccine to protect females. Doing so is honorable and even reasonable, but at this point there is little evidence suggesting that this is cost effective.

Early cost-benefit analyses of this idea showed that a large number of males would need to be immunized to achieve even a minimal increase in protection for females. At the same time, adding males to the equation would significantly increase the cost of the immunization program. So, until there are more compelling data to show that immunizing males will protect large numbers of females, the right thing to do is to immunize the people we are trying to protect—girls and women themselves.

This said, there are other compelling reasons to consider vaccinating males. Newer data are beginning to show that HPV does more in men than might have been appreciated just a decade ago. A significant portion of head and neck cancers, anal cancers, and cancer of the larynx are caused by HPV. When you start adding up the number of cases of cancers in males attributable to HPV, you end up with roughly the same number as that of cervical cancer cases in the United States. Not to be forgotten is the significant morbidity associated with genital warts. So the reasons to immunize males will likely have more to do with protecting males against the diseases they get, rather than protecting women from cancer.

The catch with male immunization is that the studies showing that HPV vaccines prevent these cancers in men do not yet merit changing our vaccination strategy. When the data are available, I expect we will have sound reasons to immunize males against HPV. But studies showing that these vaccines prevent genital warts have not yet been published, and it will be perhaps 3–5 years before we see strong evidence related to cancer prevention benefits.

Ovarian Cyst Dissection

Ever wondered what is going on during a laparoscopic surgery? Here's a nice clip of a laparoscopic dissection of an ovarian cyst.

U - uterus

FT - fallopian tube

O - ovary

C - cyst

Digital Health Records, Wal-Mart Style

Your medical record coming soon to a Sam's Club near you.

Dog Zen

It's Monday morning, time for some Rule of Dog cuteness.

Yearn for Theocracy Trumps Tiny Uterus

What happens when Philip Frederick Anschutz, a Christian militant and Discovery Institute founder, employs a model and aspiring actress freelance journalist?

This, from Katrina-Kasey Wheeler:

9 year old Brazilian girl pregnant with twins is forced to have an abortion

According to, a division of the Clarity Media Group, owned by the Anschutz Company: Our content is contributed by passionate, informed people known as Examiners. Examiners are people in your community with a common desire to share their knowledge and expertise with others.

Unfortunately for theocracy advocates and supporters, Ms. Katrina-Kasey Wheeler is neither a knowledgeable nor an expert propagandist.


Paging Bill Donohue & Company

Behold, the Catholic religion in all of its munificent glory:

RIO DE JANEIRO - A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl's mother and her doctors.


"The law of God is higher than any human laws," he said. "When a human law — that is, a law enacted by human legislators — is against the law of God, that law has no value. The adults who approved, who carried out this abortion have incurred excommunication."

(What is it with the law of God and pedophilia?)

The good news is that our human legislators are far superior to their provincial Brazilian counterparts. Our legislators have already enacted the law of God[s] as the standard of medical practice in this country.


A Month in the Life of a Cervix

Very nice pictures of a cervix throughout a 33-day cycle.

A word of advice. Because the speculum insertion angle varies from day to day, the best way to orient yourself is to start with Day 29 and use that as your point of reference:


You are looking more or less straight down the vaginal canal. The speculum blades are on top (anterior) and bottom (posterior). On both sides (lateral) you have the somewhat collapsed vaginal wall. Now, notice how the cervix is pointing upward. That's because the uterus is most likely on a downward axis (retroverted). This is just a normal anatomical variant; something like this:

/cervical os

----------------------------- (vaginal axis) <--- camera
/ body of uterus


I also want you to notice the nice pics of the cervical mucus. [Your word for today is: Spinnbarkeit.]


EDA: Pic problem corrected.

Combat Medicine

Before we go on, a strong word of caution: Very Graphic! Do Not View if you're not a medical person or if you're squeamish. The first clip, in particular -- a live firefight with casualties [skip 5:30 to 6:00].

My question: Do you think these are isolated incidents (nobody's using gloves), or is this common practice in the military? Because if it is, it's very surprising, not to mention disturbing.

Dog Zen

Something to warm your heart on a snowy Monday morning: Rule of Dog.