Sunday, June 14, 2009

Doctors Being Dumb #1: 06-14-2009

Summary: I like to complain a lot about the different hoops that medical schools put their students through, mostly because the entirety of the process to get trained as a physician (both medical school and residency) is so long and painful. No other time in my life have I been so completely surrounded by people who have such little regard for actually doing an adequate job of teaching their pupils, and are instead entirely focused on protecting their own fragile egos. However, I'll be the first to admit that these hoops that they make us jump through do contain a few worthwhile lessons that can serve to make us better doctors than we'd be otherwise. "Don't inject your sister with an experimental serum that hasn't been properly tested or evaluated by it's manufacturers for fear of causing a life-threatening adverse drug reaction" is one such lesson, and is usually imparted to medical students during their first 24 hours of their medical school careers.

Apparently, Dr. Yvonne Pambakian was asleep when that lesson was being taught, as she injected an experimental drug into herself, her sister, their mother, and just for kicks, a random terminally ill woman. Researchers were developing the drug to treat diabetes and cancer, but were also hoping that the drug would have anti-aging properties as well. Both Dr. Pambakian and her sister (Mrs. Yolanda Cox) worked for the pharmaceutical company that was developing the drug, which had been set up by the only person stupid enough to think that these women were qualified to have access to experimental medications - their mother, one of the abovementioned women who allowed herself to be injected with the serum.

While Dr. Pambakian, her mother, and the random terminally ill woman did not have any adverse reactions from the medication, Mrs. Cox was not so lucky. She went into some kind of cardiopulmonary arrest after receiving the injection, and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where she was put on mechanical ventilation. However, neurological testing showed that her brain was irreversibly damaged, and her family elected to have her life support machine turned off.

Now, I might be able to understand your willingness to inject your sister with such a drug if she was 75 and had a whole host of age-related health issues. Heck, I might even understand if your sister was 50 and a few age-related health issues. But, I'm going to have to question your sanity when you decide that it's a good idea to give such a drug to your 24 year old sister - which is exactly how old Mrs. Cox was. I'm not sure what age Mrs. Cox was hoping to achieve, but I'd have to guess that it falls somewhere squarely in the prepubescent range, since clearly that's the level of maturity that she reached in her 24 years on earth.

Hopefully, the negative press from this event will cause the company to self-implode and bankrupt this family, so that they can't breed any more children to further bring down the fitness of the human race.

Best Quotation: "Both sisters worked for a pharmaceutical company, Amro Biotech, set up by their mother, Dr Arpi Matossian-Rogers."