Home
In this issue
December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 6, 2012/ 13 Shevat, 5772

It's funny how scary side effects can be

By Reg Henry




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One thing that television is good for is making you feel better about yourself -- not the TV programs so much, but the ads, particularly the ones advertising pharmaceutical drugs.

In other countries I have lived in -- Australia, Britain -- I do not remember prescription drugs being advertised in this way. Apparently they were such primitive societies that the cure to what might ail you was left chiefly to doctors.

Can you imagine it? Doctors who went to medical school for years, learning many skills, including the ability to write illegibly, never got the benefit of advice from patients whose only medical qualification was sitting in front of their TVs like great blobs.

All I can conclude is that American doctors must have extraordinary patience when forced to answer TV-inspired drug requests -- or else they are driven to inner fury, which may explain why so many do write illegibly, as it's hard to have good penmanship when you are gritting your teeth.

Whatever the reaction of the doctors, the idea that patients recommend their own medication to trained professionals on the basis of some ads they have seen on TV featuring colorful butterflies -- or perhaps cute puppy dogs -- is quite bizarre when you stop to think about it. Which, of course, nobody does, even as the cost of medical care soars ever upward.

Also bizarre is the practice of drug reps visiting doctors in offices to persuade them to prescribe the latest from their pharmaceutical cornucopia. These reps are famously friendly and some, it is rumored, are quite cute.

Thank goodness our docs are made of sterner professional stuff and never accept any free lunches or other freebies and are in no way influenced by friendly, attractive drug reps after a tough morning spent looking at patients who are naked, particularly those patients who might be asked to leave nudist camps because they are giving nudism a bad name. (Frankly, that was always my fear.) This bizarre way of doing things is nevertheless a natural consequence of our American way of life, where everything is for sale and just about everything can be advertised on television.

But you will note I did say at the beginning that drug ads can also improve a viewer's morale. That is true, because the system is also infested with swarms of lawyers, leading companies to include side-effect warnings in their ads in case they are sued. If you don't feel better after listening to some of the side effects of these advertised drugs, you may already be dead, but I would suggest getting a second opinion.

The other night I was sitting on the sofa, in typical couch-potato mode, when an ad came on for some malady or other. What made a greater impression on me was the disclaimer at the end.

It went on forever -- diarrhea, high fever, bad breath, blurred vision -- and I think I could have gone out to the kitchen for a sandwich and come back to still hear the disclaimer going on: constipation, perspiring feet, rashes and, in rare cases, the risk of stroke and death.

No matter how bad the condition, there's no way I am going to ask my doctor to prescribe that drug for me. Unless, of course, I am feeling suicidal.

However, if drug companies see the benefit of side-effect warnings, I am thinking that it might be time to attach such a label to this column, which is sometimes read by people for whom it should not be prescribed. So here goes in the spirit of consumer information:

-- The Reg Henry column is to be taken by eye once weekly after breakfast or before reality has set in. It is only for the use of patients who like to scratch and laugh.

Patients suffering from Humor Dysfunction Syndrome -- defined as the inability to get a joke even if clowns parachute into your yard to deliver it -- should not take the Reg Henry column. Nor is it advised for the literal-minded or the irony- and metaphor-impaired.

Some patients report snorting coffee through their noses or crying hysterically to the point of being fired by their bosses. Others report falling asleep, which is why heavy machinery should not be operated while reading this column.

If the expressions "many a true word is spoken in jest" and "pull my other leg, it's got a bell on it" mean nothing to you, avoid exposure to this column. Nobody has died laughing from this column but the author lives in hope.

If merriment or depression last for more than four hours, see your newspaper vendor or local circulation manager.

(Reg Henry is a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Email rhenry(at)post-gazette.com.)

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


Must we meet so much? It's transparent

Why America needs a proper curmudgeon

A new grandfather's coming-of-age story

America still shows the power of the individual



© 2011, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles