Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
A Doctor’s Will
Some of our unlettered, but wise, villagers live up to 100 years without any medical check-up 
 
Doctors and their patients are alike in all respects: except their attitude towards modern medical interventions. While 90%of dying patients in America get their last rites while still alive in the intensive care units (ICUs), a meagre 5% doctors ask for those futile terminal rites. Why this wide variation? Doctors don’t want to die: they want to live. But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits. And they know enough about death to know what all people fear most: dying in pain and dying alone. They’ve talked of this with their families. And they want to be sure, when the time comes, that no ‘heroic’ measures will happen; that they will never experience—during their last moments on earth—someone breaking their ribs in an attempt to revive them with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (that’s what happens if CPR is done right), writes Ken Murray, a retired family physician, who himself has written his ‘living will’.
 
The hapless patients and their relatives are told that without ICU admission they have very little hope to live. Patients believe that doctors are capable of pulling out the dying even from the ‘jaws of death’. The relatives feel guilty if they do not agree. So the business goes on; over 90% of hospitals’ profits come from keeping dying patients in the ICUs. Time was when most patients who went to the hospital went to the grave. Have we not come back to the same state again with all our hi-tech stuff?
 
The other area where doctors and their patients are treated differently is in the area of regular check-ups. A few decades ago, there was a study in the US of doctors’ families and the general public’s incidence of screening. While everyone was asked to have these check-ups for their good, doctors and their near and dear ones were hardly screened! The screening industry is another big money spinner for the good of the profession but certainly not for patients. Some doctors had not had a check-up all their lives!
 
What surprised me is the story of a doctor who went to a cardiologist and asked for an angiogram as he had reached 60 years and would have coronary blocks; and, if they were there, they need to be bypassed. Of course, even children will have those intra-luminal blocks which are just band-aid processes. This brilliant doctor got his bypass done, thinking that it will cure coronary artery disease. And he also thinks that bypass surgery is the best preventive. Both beliefs are not based on scientific facts. The reality is that some of our unlettered, but wise, villagers live to be hundred without having had any check-up. 
 
When doctors fall ill, they want the best and compassionate physician to look after them. Patients feel the pinch of the enormous cost of medicines and investigations while the sick doctor gets away with free consultation, free medicines and even free laboratory tests! Therefore, doctors do not realise the pharmaco-economic burden on their patients while prescribing drugs and surgery for their own benefit and that of their benefactors—the drug and device lobbies. In conclusion, one soon realises that doctors are on a different pedestal when it comes illnesses. Dr Ken Murray, referred to earlier, had done a survey that showed that most doctors do not want to die in a hospital’s hostile ICU while they send every patient in an emergency to the ICU with some silly excuse. Do these ICUs save extra lives? That is a million dollar question—million dollar benefit for the hospitals and doctors. 
 
God save mankind! 
 
(Professor Dr BM Hegde, a Padma Bhushan awardee in 2010, is an MD, PhD, FRCP (London, Edinburgh, Glasgow & Dublin), FACC and FAMS.)

User

COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

2 years ago

As usual, so true.

Computing with a Stick!
You can carry the PC hardware and software in your pocket. But is it worth it?
 
Computing is becoming truly mobile. Intel, the world’s largest chipmaker, has come up with a device so small that it fits in your pocket, but can turn any monitor or TV with high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) port into a smart computing device. Intel’s Compute Stick with Windows 8.1 is available in India on Flipkart at Rs9,999. Another version may cost a little less (it was not available in India when I was writing this piece). While, as a concept, the Compute Stick definitely looks promising, the question is: Can it be a game-changer, especially for a country like India? Remember, India is a country obsessed with low-cost mobiles and hungry for more power (processor with higher speeds and big random access memory or RAMs).
 
The Intel Stick is powered by Intel Atom processor with integrated graphics, 2GB of RAM, 32GB inbuilt storage and micro secure digital (SD) slot for expandable memory. It has a universal serial bus (USB) 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0 and connects to a TV or monitor through an HDMI port. The device also has a mini USB that is used for power. The Stick with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory. Since the Stick does not have a battery, you need to keep it powered either through the charger or through a power bank. Don’t worry, it consumes very little power. 
 
According to Intel, the Compute Stick can transform any HDMI TV, or a monitor, into a full computer, allowing you to search the web, share your vacation photos, keep up on your email or do any of the tasks that you do on your computer today. All you need is a wireless keyboard and mouse, and you are set. As per reviews from major tech portals, this device is only good for basic computing. “You can run a real browser, install plug-ins, and stream 1080p video from any source. You can run Office just fine and even Photoshop at a pinch. Generally, you won’t notice its limitations, but with 2GB of RAM, you won’t want to multi-task too heavily or at all,” a review in PC World says. 
 
One hurdle is requirement of a wireless keyboard and mouse, combo preferred. At best, the Stick can be used to turn your old TV or monitor into a ‘smart’ device, the reviews say.
 
In India, most of us still use wired keyboards and mouse. Therefore, you have no option but to carry your wireless keyboards and mouse combo. Since the Stick has just one USB port, you must have a combo for keyboard and mouse, else you can use only either of them. 
 
Another issue specific to India is the availability of HDMI port in old TV or monitors. Some of the old TVs have RCA connectors, while old monitors came with digital video interface (DVI) or video graphics array (VGA) ports. This means that you need to buy an adaptor with HDMI port and then use the Compute Stick. Most users are not that adventurous and, thus, would turn away from using old TV or monitor with the Stick. On the other hand, the majority of the latest TVs (read LCDs/LEDs) are being sold as ‘smart TVs’ do have some other basic functionality to browse the web and watch videos or view images. 
 
Apart from Intel, there are several others who are selling similar devices. Unfortunately, not many are available in India. There are a few devices—either available or upcoming—like iView Cyber PC Compute Stick, Tronsmart Mk908II, Lenovo Ideacentre Stick 300, Archos Stock PC, iBall Splendo PC-on-a-stick (Rs8,999) and Asus Chromebit. All of them can be bought for less than Rs10,000. Additionally, since most manufacturers take advantage of Windows with Bling from Microsoft, you will find this OS on many of the Sticks. Very few feature Android and Linux, though.

User

Reliance Industries net up 4.4 percent but on lower turnover
In line with analysts' expectations, Reliance Industries on Friday said its consolidated net profit for the first quarter of this financial year was up 4.4 percent at Rs.6,222 crore (around $1 billion) from Rs.5,957 crore in the like quarter of last year.
 
On a stand-alone basis, where the entities held by the company are treated separately for accounting purposes and reflect more on the actual financial health of a parent company, the net profit for the period under review was up 11.8 percent at Rs.6,318 crore from Rs.5,649 in the year before.
 
But the company's turnover on a consolidated basis, which includes the accounting numbers of subsidiaries held by the company, declined 23 percent to Rs.83,064 crore from Rs.107,905 crore during the periods under review, the company said in a regulatory filing with the exchanges.
 
"Our financial performance reflects the benefits of integrated hydrocarbon chain activities in a benign oil price environment," chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
 
"The sharp increase in demand for transportation fuels helped us realize strong refining margins. Oil product demand globally is estimated to have grown at over 1.6 million units year-on-year, resulting in high refinery runs across all regions," he said in the statement.
 
"Our petrochemicals business recorded a strong quarterly performance supported by high operating rates and margin strength in the ethylene chain. In retail business, we have reached significant milestones over the past couple of years and continue the high growth trajectory."
 
Ahead of the announcement of the results, which came afte the closing bell at stock exchanges, the shares of Reliance Industries ended lower at Rs.1,025.05, despite having touched Rs.1,050, intra-day.
 
The company attributed the decline in revenue to a 43.3 percent year-on-year decline in benchmark (Brent) oil price.
 
Exports from its Indian operations were also lower by 44.9 percent at Rs.36,717 crore, as against Rs.66,600 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year due to lower product prices in line with lower crude oil prices.
 
Highlights of the results (stand-alone):
 
• Revenue decreased by 28.1 percent to Rs.71,412 crore ($11.2 billion)
 
• Exports decreased by 44.9 percent to Rs.36,717 crore ($5.8 billion)
 
• Profits before income tax increased by 16.2 percent to Rs.11,125 crore ($1.7 billion)
 
• Profit before tax increased by 14.3 percent to Rs.8,263 crore ($ 1.3 billion)
 
• Cash Profit increased by 13.7 percent to Rs.8,806 crore ($1.4 billion)
 
• Net Profit increased by 11.8 percent to record Rs.6,318 crore ($1.0 billion)
 
• Gross Refining Margin of $10.4/bbl for the quarter, highest in past six years 

User

We are listening!

Solve the equation and enter in the Captcha field.
  Loading...
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email
Close

To continue


Please
Sign Up or Sign In
with

Email

BUY NOW

The Scam
24 Year Of The Scam: The Perennial Bestseller, reads like a Thriller!
Moneylife Magazine
Fiercely independent and pro-consumer information on personal finance
Stockletters in 3 Flavours
Outstanding research that beats mutual funds year after year
MAS: Complete Online Financial Advisory
(Includes Moneylife Magazine and Lion Stockletter)