Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

The Main Stream Media and Superstition

Tomb of Lazarus image credit.

This sad story is resulting in a lot of promotion of superstition.

A girl went in for a routine operation and died.

My condolences go out to the family.

The mother of a 13-year-old Northern California girl declared brain dead after a routine tonsillectomy says her daughter had expressed fears she wouldn’t wake up after the surgery.[1]


This is the kind of comment that people will use to promote the superstition of precognition and other psychic powers.

Did she know what was going to happen?


Did she worry about what was going to happen?

Yes, it is what people do. We worry.

Is there any connection between that worry and the outcome?

There is no reason to believe that there is any connection.

The family claim to need time for a miracle.

“The medicine has not worked. It’s time to let God work,” said Omari Sealy, McMath’s uncle. “We are calling on God and calling on our faith.”[2]


How much time does it take for a miracle?

Since miracles defy the laws of nature, no time would be needed.

Why is life support needed for a miracle?

Since miracles defy the laws of nature, no life support would be needed.

No time or equipment is needed for a miracle.

Only a suspension of the laws of nature is needed for a miracle, so depriving other children of the care that could be provided by the staff and equipment devoted to this brain dead child is not necessary.

What is the history of miraculous recovery from death?

Lazarus and Jesus.

What kind of life support did they have?


Take a look at the picture. A morgue is more high tech than that tomb.

What kind of legal injunction did they require?


Both were buried in tombs.

The family could make an arrangement with a mortuary to wait for a miracle, but they should not interfere with the care of other patients who are not dead.

Is that cold?

Does the belief in miracles depend on the use of medicine?

Medicine cannot do anything for brain death, so requiring the use of medicine is of no benefit to the child.

Being cold allows other children to receive the care that could be provided by the staff and equipment devoted to this brain dead child.

This family is going through something no family should go through, but they are increasing the likelihood of another family having a bad outcome by depriving other patients of care.

Miracles are not a part of medicine.


[1] California girl had fears before tonsil surgery
By Associated Press,
Updated: Friday, December 20, 12:01 PM
Washington Post
Health & Science

[2] Family of Comatose Teen Battles Hospital for ‘Time to Let God Work’
Dec. 18, 2013
By Colleen Curry
Good Morning America


Does CNN have Any Credibility Left?

Apparently, Jon Stewart is now writing material for CNN. The network that I have criticized for their incompetent reporting of medical topics, has decided to branch out into comedy.

Wolf Blitzer, who either has a great poker face, or really believes what he is saying, claims that SNL (Saturday Night Live) has not been completely accurate in their portayal of President Obama. Wait! Let me check my calendar. Maybe I had a Rip van Winkle episode, here. No, I did not sleep until April Fool’s Day, nor is it mischief night. This is just CNN demonstrating that the future of journalism is definitely not on their network.

Next, CNN investigates professional wrestling to see if WWE is as scripted as reality TV.

Jon Stewart did a great job of reporting on the way CNBC covered financial news during the financial crash of a year ago. Jon Stewart had me laughing and had me impressed with his understanding of finance. CNN? Not so much.

This just in – CNN has unearthed an incredible story. Amos ‘n’ Andy were white. They were wearing makeup. Stop the presses!

I should send in a resume. Their hiring standards are incredibly low. I, Hildy Johnson, have experience covering executions. Nah, too obvious.

Just kidding. This is CNN. Nothing is obvious to them.

In the video, there is a guy assessing the accuracy of the facts presented in the comedy skit. He makes a big deal of claiming, that even though everything else is accurate, you can’t tell the difference between Afghanistan and Maybery. I guess, I just misunderstood why George Will was writing that it is Time to Get Out of Afghanistan. I thought that George Will was saying that things are really bad – that we do not have any more chance of winning than the Soviets did a couple of decades ago, or the British over a century ago. Silly me – I was reading. CNN does not appear to be competing for an audience that reads.

Maybe we should ship CNN over to Afghanistan. The jihadists will be laughing so hard at these journalists that they won’t be able to shoot straight.

I wrote about CNN’s medical coverage of a brain dead baby. This was a year and a half ago. They still have not changed the video. I wrote to the station and I wrote to Dr. Sanjay Gupta. You know Ask Dr. Gupta, their medical expert. He is somebody who should be able to look at this and say, That is completely wrong. Change it. After all, Dr. Gupta is a neurosurgeon. For those of you who get your medical information from CNN and might not understand the big word, a neurosurgeon is a brain surgeon.

I am still waiting. The video is still there with the same completely wrong information. Maybe Dr. Gupta is still looking for his medical dictionary.

I almost feel guilty for picking on such obvious idiots. Then I rememeber that they are getting paid for their incompetence. I guess Wolf Blitzer got into journalism, because the basket weaving class was too difficult. If Dr. Gupta is your surgeon, don’t bother writing, Other Side on the part of your head he is not supposed to operate on. That may be too complex. Maybe draw a skull and crossbones. Better yet just run away.

Maybe he did his residency with Mitchell and Webb.

CNN is Selling Snake Oil – All You Have to Do is Believe.

Atomic Nerds take some shots at CNN, as well. LOOK OUT, MR. PRESIDENT! MOCKERY! H/T The Smallest Minority – CNN Fact-Checks SNL.


CNN is Selling Snake Oil – All You Have to Do is Believe.

CNN has recently run two stories that seem to have nothing to do with journalism. Rather, they mock journalism.

Brain-dead baby recovers trumpets the news that a baby who was brain-dead really recovered. In the story, not that anyone reads details any more, they only mention that the baby was pulseless. Nowhere in the story is there any mention that he was brain dead.

Should CNN change the misleading and unethical title?

No, this brings viewers and CNN can do anything to make more money.

In the more recent story, Man declared dead, says he feels ‘pretty good, in the article CNN claims that the man was brain-dead, but no medical staff are quoted. No mention of attempting to obtain comments from the doctor in charge of this man’s care.

His father, Doug, said he saw the results of the brain scan.

“There was no activity at all, no blood flow at all.”

Maybe I am a cynic, but I’m guessing that this is the first “brain scan” that he has claimed to have seen. We might want a second opinion, maybe from someone trained to interpret them.

Not if you are CNN or Associated Press – the attributed source of the story.

What happened to at least two sources?

What happened to common sense?

What happened to medicine?

It seems that CNN has become jealous of the ratings of reality TV shows and want to join in.

Well, reality TV is as much about reality as homeopathy is about patient care.

Maybe I will vary my patient pseudonym between CNN and Dr. Deborah Peel – two peas in a pod.