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Medicine is not colour-blind

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Medicine is not colour-blind

Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 21 Aug 2008 8:11 pm

Apparently there are 'genetic' (read 'racial') differences in the way people react to Warfarin, a blood-thinning drug. Indians tend to need higher than the recommended dose, while Chinese and Malays seem to need only half the recommended dose. (See today's Newspapers.) Which leaves me wondering who the 'recommended' dose is suitable for? Caucasians presumably.

So let's have some fun with this can of worms. If there are differences in the way different races react to medicine, could there also be differences in the way we react psychologically and emotionally to the same stimuli? And instead of trying to treat everyone equally, should we therefore adopt different behaviours, incentives, policies etc with different races?

The PC squad need not participate in this thread. :wink:

Let all hell break loose! :devil:

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Postby durain » Thu, 21 Aug 2008 8:59 pm

the only warfarin i know is in rat poison. :)

difference race react to difference condition. for example, ang mo (no, we are not discussing if using ang mo is OK) skin will burn faster than a dark skin person in the sun. i mean, you see any african putting on suntan lotion (factor 50 with UV protection) before they go hunting out in the sun? or someone of a difference race get bitten by mozzies more than others. mozzies are racial motivated? guessed we are all unique.

still interesting read on the warfarin. no need to goto the doctor if someone got thick blood. just call pest control.

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Postby banana » Fri, 22 Aug 2008 2:59 pm

Some people are predisposed to certain substances. They're utterly boring and unproductive when sober, creative geniuses when on {insert drug of choice}. Like Peter Lloyd maybe? Should we revise our drug laws?
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 23 Aug 2008 6:24 pm

First of all, apologies to the Mods. I knew we couldn't cut and paste and wasn't sure if we could post a link, but I didn't realise we couldn't even mention the name of the publication we're referring to. Thanks Plavt for the alert and sorry to anyone inconvenienced by my OP.

durain wrote:difference race react to difference condition. for example, ang mo (no, we are not discussing if using ang mo is OK) skin will burn faster than a dark skin person in the sun. i mean, you see any african putting on suntan lotion (factor 50 with UV protection) before they go hunting out in the sun?

You're right. It's the white-skinned who need sun protection most, and ironically these very people who will deliberately lie in the sun baking. I cringe whenever I go to a resort and see rows of them decked out, because it's like issuing an invitation card to skin cancer. But it's their life.

banana wrote:Some people are predisposed to certain substances. They're utterly boring and unproductive when sober, creative geniuses when on {insert drug of choice}. Like Peter Lloyd maybe? Should we revise our drug laws?

Perhaps, and even vary the alcohol limit for people with different tolerance levels. Some shouldn't be allowed even a drop, while others can drive safely after more than one glass.


I just spoke to a friend who is one of the most objective, humble, and smart people I know, who gets along with everybody and whom people like as a friend and a boss. And he said that he was very wary when dealing with Indians (sorry to SMS, it's not personal) especially when it came to business. So my question is this, just as it makes sense to increase the Warfarin dose for Indians, is it fair to increase the caution dose when dealing that that race too? And if the former is legitimate to discuss, then why so much stigma on discussing the latter?

Similarly, when dealing with Chinese, it might make sense to increase the monetary incentives rather than the intangibles, as we tend to be driven by materialistic concerns more than others, I think.

Of course these are generalisations and there are always exceptions. Just as some Malays and Chinese may need the recommended dose of Warfarin rather than a half-dose. But it makes sense to start from the general and test for exceptions, than refuse to generalise and then get the dose wrong most of the time. Sigh, not sure if I'm making sense anymore. Maybe I need some drug myself... :)

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Postby banana » Sat, 23 Aug 2008 7:15 pm

When dealing with drugs, and I include doctor prescribed medication in this category, you are talking about biochemical reaction in an individual. If a doctor simply dispenses something solely based on the writing on the side of the box, why do we even need doctors? A vending machine could do the job.

Actually, a vending machine could probably do a better job. Put your finger into a little hole, let it draw some blood and spit out exactly what you need in the exact dosage.

Policies and incentives, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether. Who decided that a Chinese needs more money to survive? Or a Caucasian for the matter. Yet instead of rewarding someone for being able to stretch a dollar, we penalise them by saying they can do with less and thus get less.

No, I am of the opinion that social engineering on such a grand scale is nothing more than an egotistical exercise at playing god. A Government, an employer, an administrative body are just that - administrators. Making decisions and enforcing them across the board should be restricted to what is necessary and within an agreed jurisdiction.

Of course if anyone were to nominate me for godhood, I won't say no.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Sat, 23 Aug 2008 7:53 pm

banana wrote:Actually, a vending machine could probably do a better job. Put your finger into a little hole, let it draw some blood and spit out exactly what you need in the exact dosage.

Exactly. Customised treatment. But in the absence of this machine, to err on the side of common sense and give the generally correct dose rather than the politically correct one.

banana wrote:Policies and incentives, on the other hand, is a different beast altogether. Who decided that a Chinese needs more money to survive? Or a Caucasian for the matter. Yet instead of rewarding someone for being able to stretch a dollar, we penalise them by saying they can do with less and thus get less.

I'm imagining a buffet style compensation plan which offers options. Or perhaps a set lunch menu is a more appropriate analogy. Simplistically put, you can have $5000 and 14 days leave, or $4800 and 21 days leave. Take your pick. I'll bet the Chinese employee chooses $5000 and the Caucasian 21 days leave. If actual data proves this,wouldn't it make sense to offer different packages to different races in the event that it's not practical to offer each individual a choice?

banana wrote:No, I am of the opinion that social engineering on such a grand scale is nothing more than an egotistical exercise at playing god. A Government, an employer, an administrative body are just that - administrators. Making decisions and enforcing them across the board should be restricted to what is necessary and within an agreed jurisdiction.

The government, ours at least, is already playing God. Who decides that a baby is worth between $4,000 and $10,000? Oh look, our government just did, because that's the amount a couple gets per child, taking into account tax reliefs, cash bonuses, and depending on the parents' tax rate.

Is this policy necessary? Yes if you accept that we are in a populatin squeeze. Is the an agreed jurisdiction? Yes because no one is challenging their right to do this so we agree by default.

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Postby banana » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 1:42 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Is this policy necessary? Yes if you accept that we are in a populatin squeeze. Is the an agreed jurisdiction? Yes because no one is challenging their right to do this so we agree by default.


Both premise are just silly. Population squeeze? Have you noticed how much personal space one has these days? Even if you were to consider only the local population, it's a problem created by them in the first place.

As for the jurisdiction being agreed by default, that's like saying it's ok to rape a mute girl or a child since they can't object.
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Postby QRM » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 3:42 pm

The choice and amount of medicine that is dispensed is very much dependent on the type of incentives the manufactures offer the doctors.

Interesting how all these manufactures have fully paid conferences in Vegas, Bahamas etc. and the moment you tell them you are on company medical insurance, you end up with a suitcase full of pills and lotions.

Recently my daughter was given lactobacilli pills by the doc, which I pointed out was the same stuff in Yakault which is a lot cheaper and easy to take.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 4:00 pm

QRM wrote:Recently my daughter was given lactobacilli pills by the doc, which I pointed out was the same stuff in Yakault which is a lot cheaper and easy to take.

Yep, just like some doctors sell you vitamin C and iron supplements. Not exactly prescription medicine either. :wink:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 4:02 pm

banana wrote:Both premise are just silly.

Luckily for you, I am indeed feeling silly today so I won't be rebutting. Brain dead from struggling with FTP clients, tags, widgets, puts etc. I wish IT was a bit more idiot friendly.

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Postby banana » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 5:23 pm

must've done something good to deserve this! :lol:
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 5:59 pm

Nah, you just got lucky that I decided I should be more idiot friendly. :cool:

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Postby banana » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 6:08 pm

ahhhh....the double X chromosome induced genetic disposition to have the last word regardless of how it makes one look. indeed indeed.

*strokes chin*
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 11:22 pm

banana wrote:ahhhh....the double X chromosome induced genetic disposition to have the last word

I could sue you for that sexist remark.

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Postby banana » Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:36 am

:lol: no you can't, for various reasons.

and you won't, cos you love me. :cool:
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