Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Quote of the Day: Thomas Szasz on Drugs

I favor free trade in drugs for the same reason the Founding Fathers favored free trade in ideas: in a free society it is none of the government’s business what ideas a man puts into his mind; likewise, it should be none of its business what drugs he puts into his body. – Thomas Szasz


  1. It really does depend on the drug. Crack, heroin, meth... who gives a fuck, but I don't want people fucking around with antibiotics without a doctor's instruction. It's just a matter of public safety.

  2. but I don't want people fucking around with antibiotics without a doctor's instruction.

    That's pretty hilarious, because it's the doctors who have caused much of bacterial antibiotic resistance by their over-prescribing of antibiotics!

  3. No, what's hilarious is that you don't understand that antibiotic-resistance is cause by people not taking antibiotics as prescribed (usually by stopping after symptoms stop, and not finishing the regimen).

  4. No, Bret. Doctors do over prescribe because people demand it. Yes, not following instructions to use all of the drug is part of it, but not all. Resistance can develop regardless. Doctors too often do prescribe antibiotics when it is not necessary and when it won't do any real good.

    Common cold symptoms are often "treated" with antibiotics, for example. Whose fault is that? The doctor doing the prscribing! And, doctors are aware that many patients won't use as prescribed, so they should therefore limit the harm by reducing the number of prescriptions to those that are absolutely necessary.

    Wrong again, Bret, as usual!

  5. The only way drugs like MRSA can exist is if someone with a bacterial infection takes antibiotics and quits before completion.

    I'm sure you can find exceptions, but doctors don't prescribe antibiotics for colds or flu. They are viral infections. Even if there are incompetent doctors (which I’m sure there are), that is largely due to a failing by government and private medical licensing boards to properly regulate the medical industry for quality.

    What’s more, it’s not a doctor’s fault when a patient disregards instructions. Failing to take an antibiotic regimen from start to finish (whether you have a bacterial infection or not) prevents the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

    What’s more, you want the barrier of having to get a prescription taken away so that everyone can take antibiotics if they so much as cough.

    Skeptical of science, as usual. I'm surprised you're not arguing me on the fact that bacteria can't "evolve" to be resistant.

  6. can exist is if someone with a bacterial infection takes antibiotics and quits before completion.

    Again, resistance can develop even if all of the drug is taken by everyone prescribed it, if it is being over used and over prescribed. Yes, a big part of the problem is from people not following instructions, but that's not the whole story.

    We have farm animals (that are not sick) being given doses of antibiotics constantly for growth, and this also can lead to resistant bacteria. Any over use of an antibotic (EVEN IF USED ACCORDING TO DIRECTIONS BY EVERY PERSON USING IT) can lead to resistance, so it's best to limit the use of these drugs (something doctors are not doing) to delay bacteria becoming resistant.

  7. I literally don't understand what you're arguing... that people shouldn't take antibiotics at all? That people should be free to tak antibiotics daily and in an unregulated fashion like cattle?

    You do realize that farmers are not doling out antibiotics as prescribed by a doctor, right? The doses are not measured, it is based on how much food the animal eats, and that no one is suggesting that a constant use of antibiotics is what a doctor would recommend a patient ever take.

    I don't understand why you would bring up instances were unregulated antibiotic use has failed as a defense for your stance. I'm confused... and wonder if you even read what you're writing.

  8. and wonder if you even read what you're writing.

    I'm not surprised you would say that, since you never seem to read (or at least, comprehend) what you comment on.

    It's very simple. Antibiotics are being over used. Where did I say people shouldn't take them at all?

    Your comment on animal feed is just silly. Naturally doctors are not prescribing those, but that wasn't my point. It's just another example of unnecessary antibiotic use.

  9. Bacteria can evolve to be resistant to conditions, once the resistance is developed and the culture is completely established -it exists.

    Both the incomplete regimens (typically by the poor, ignorant, and stubborn) of bio-eradication type medications. Sadly a trend among patients, doctors, and the medical industry increased the distribution of antibiotics in frivolous ways, and most patients are trusting. The worst offenses were prescriptions to children. Now of course the worst “monster germs” exist in health facilities. Illogical choices, concentration in urban health facilities, ignorance and even profit over good choices all are to blame.


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