Is Your Mum on Drugs?

After rescuing her elderly mother from a case of over-drugging, Johanna Trimble decided enough was enough, and she’s since become an influential patient advocate in Canada where she lives.

“I really wanted to do something about the epidemic of overmedication of our elders” says Johanna Trimble, in Ray’s latest column for the British Medical Journal.

You can read Johanna’s compelling story here

The seductive, dangerous magic of numbers

In Ray’s latest feature article for the British Medical Journal he explores medicine’s obsession with relying on “proxy” measures of health – things like cholesterol or bone mineral density numbers.

As the article explains, “…the grand assumption that helping a person’s numbers will automatically improve their health, is a delusion as dangerous as it is seductive.”

Yale University Professor Harlan Krumholz says we’re all being far too “cavalier” in our reliance on numbers, and evidence-based medicine architect Professor Gordon Guyatt calls for a new approach that focuses on improving people’s health, not their numbers.

You can read the BMJ feature for free here

We need to be wary about new disease definitions – BMJ editor

The editor of the British Medical Journal, Dr Fiona Godlee warns of the need to be wary of new definitions of disease, and calls on doctors to make their patients more aware of debates around where we draw the line between health and illness.

Dr Godlee’s editorial  ‘Who should define disease?‘ is well worth a read [ReferenceBMJ 2011; 342:d2974]

And you can see here the fantasic BMJ cover May 14 2011 which is based on Ray’s latest BMJ article, detailed below