• A logical mind dealing with an illogical world.

    A logical mind dealing with an illogical world.

I hope you will read and sign my petition for reinstatement of my rightful privileges in the ACS.

I have been a Fellow in good standing in the American College of Surgeons (ACS) for over thirty years. Founded in 1913, the ACS is the oldest and largest organization representing surgeons in the world. Its mission used to be to further excellence in surgery and support surgeons and our patients. This is no longer the case.

In 2020, the ACS leadership declared war on surgeons and surgery. It claimed that the ACS is structurally racist, that surgeons- especially white surgeons are racists, and that surgery itself is racist. No evidence to support any of these shocking claims has ever been provided. This messaging by the ACS leadership goes so far as to support the unbelievably toxic claim that patients do better when operated on by a surgeon of their own race. You cannot find any claim more poisonous to the relationship between surgeons and their patients. Imagine meeting your surgeon who is of a different race than yours and worrying whether their implicit racism will prevent them from giving you the best care. This is an insult and a slap in the face to all surgeons who go to work every day committed to the best care of the patient before them, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or any other irrelevant characteristic. We all take the same oath to serve every patient to the best of our ability.

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So create something that doesn’t exist in nature and see if you can kill it. Steven Quay, MD, PhD

Until well into the Covid pandemic most people had never heard of “gain of function” research in viruses. Now, it seems everyone has at least a vague understanding of the term. The public knows it has something to do with making a natural virus more dangerous to humans in some way and that this may have played a role in the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid or, as I personally prefer to call it, the Wuhan virus, for its origin in Wuhan, China. Since that seems offensive to some people, I will use the politically acceptable Covid.

Gain of function involves several things. It may involve one, several, or all of these. These include the following:

  1. Creation of a virus that does not exist in nature.
  2. Taking an existing virus and modifying it in several ways:
  3. Make it more transmissible to  humans, especially if from an animal source.
  4. Make it more infectious, i.e. easier to spread.
  5. Make it more virulent, i.e. deadly.
  6. Make it able to evade detection by our immune system.
  7. Make it able to spread without prelimimary symptoms, i.e. asymptomatic spread.

No’s. 6 and 7, are regarded by many countries, including the US as impermissable. Oddly, the others are not. I have seen this mentioned with references in the past, but my search for these sources has been a failure. I cannot but wonder if they were not taken down.

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Jay Battacharya, MD is Professor of Medicine at Stanford University where he received his MD and a PhD in Economics. He is a senior Fellow of the Hoover Institute at Stanford. He has published peer-reviewed papers on public health policy since long before Covid. Dr. Battacharya carried out the first population serologic studies of Covid to determine its penetration in the community. The results of this, which were available as early as April 2020, showed that the virus would not be, could not be, stopped by lockdowns, a conclusion that the next few years confirmed unequivocally.

Martin Kulldorff, PhD is a biostatistician, epidemiologist, and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a member of the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, and a former member of the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Subgoup of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. He developed the software used by the FDA and CDC to monitor drug and vaccine safety.

Sunetra Gupta, PhD is an epidemiologist in the Department of Zoology at Oxford University and heads a team of infectious disease epidemiologists. She has published multiple papers on the transmission of infectious diseases and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of Collateral Global, an organization that studies the global impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

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Kansas recently became the first state in the US to pass a bill that defines gender as the biological sex at birth. That this was necessary and, in any way controversial, speaks to the lunacy of the times in which we live. It would be one thing if the push to redefine the sexes only came from fringe ideologues with an agenda to radically disrupt traditional mores and established norms, including one of the most basic and universally accepted, which goes back to the dawn of man: the reality of two biological sexes- male and female.

It is entirely another thing when physicians begin to question biological reality to advance a narrative that has nothing to do with science and everything to do with ideology. In this case, it is the relatively recent movement to abolish sex and gender as anything other than social constructs that are fluid and infinitely variable. This has given us an ever expanding number of genders, including the best one, which is non-gendered (does anyone have a clue what that means, including the people who claim this?). Basically, you are whatever you say you are, or feel you are, or think you are. Emotion rules the day. Your gender can change as often as you wish and, what’s more, everyone around you is required to accept and approve of whatever gender you are at any particular moment. No dissent is allowed unless you want to be labeled a “hater”, “transphobe”, or other pejorative.

Beth Oller, MD is a family physician in Kansas who testified against this bill. Dr. Oller’s objection to this bill boils down to two provable falsehoods. One is alleged agreement among doctors about the inability to define what a woman is. The other is the frequency with which individuals are born where sex assignment is not absolutely clear.

She claims that there is some general consensus on the part of doctors regarding definitions of biological sex or, should I say, lack thereof. “For decades scientists and physicians have agreed that there is no sufficient way to define what makes someone a woman, and that there is a myriad of variation. No true physician or scientist would claim to be able to distill the intricacies of this into a simple binary.” I love how, to be true, you have to accept her premise. This is typical progressive wokeism in medicine. Either believe as I do or you are delegitimized and have no place in the discussion.

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This e-mail exchange with the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons took place in May 2022. Nothing has changed. If anything, things are worse. Below is the original e-mail and responses that followed.

Dear FSPS Member,

I know many may have strong feelings about the AMA but when politicians consider legislation impacting medicine, they look to what they consider a trusted source, the AMA.

The Aesthetic Society is approximately 52 members shy of regaining our seat at the AMA House of Delegates. If we are not represented, we cannot advocate for our patients, our specialty and the safe practice of medicine.

To regain our seat, at least 20% of Aesthetic Society members must also be members of the AMA . Membership also counts for our other societies as well.

The American Board of Cosmetic Surgery has delegates and is certainly voicing their opinions to the AMA.

Please join the AMA today so we may keep a seat and a voice at the table and can provide important input regarding decisions that impact us and our patients. The deadline is May 31st so the sooner the better!

Best Regards,

David Halpern, MD

FSPS President

Below is my reply:

This presents me with a dilemma. I do not believe the AMA any longer represents the interests of physicians if, indeed, it ever did. I dropped my membership in the wake of the failure of the AMA to voice the concerns of physicians in the passage of the ACA in a quid pro quo to eliminating the SGR. Now, the AMA has gone fully woke, adopting critical race theory and race essentialism, as well as other progressive, unscientific positions vis a vis gender dysphoria. I simply cannot, and will not, join this organization, the demise of which cannot come soon enough for me. R. T. Bosshardt, MD, FACS

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The media’s new narrative that a lab leak scenario has only recently become more likely, because of the emergence of new information, is false. The information on a lab origin was always readily available and shows that, from the very beginning, the lab leak theory was the only viable theory.

                                                          Hans Mahnke and Jeff Carlson

Real fatigue at the end of a long day of surgery in the West Bank in 2005.

If you are like me, you are tired of hearing about Covid. I get it, truly I do. I wish we could go back to before the pandemic when all we had to deal with was Trump derangement, hyper-partisan politics, impeachment hoaxes, systemic racism in America, and impending climate doom. Happy days for sure.

Unfortunately, we can’t just forget Covid and shouldn’t. Why? We owe it to the millions who died directly from the virus and to the even more millions who died indirectly from the catastrophic mismanagement of Covid by our public health authorities. We owe it to children and young adults who may never make up the loss in education from school closures that went on long after science showed they were unnecessary and harmful. We owe it to those who lost jobs and businesses that some of them had spent a lifetime building. We owe it to all who suffered in some way and need to hold to account those who were responsible in some way for the devastation of our country and the world by their actions and inactions.

Despite the seemingly back-to-normal appearance of life around us, we are still dealing with Covid related issues and probably will for the next generation. A major health system still has social distancing signs and floor stickers telling patients where to stand. Signs in the lobby request those who are unvaccinated to wear masks despite the fact that science, real science, shows these measures to be essentially worthless.

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I have a friend and medical colleague who is, I daresay, smarter than me but shares my ethics and attitude toward medicine and the practice thereof. To us, medicine is about the patient in front of us and doing our utmost to provide competent, compassionate care on the same level as we would wish for ourselves and our loved ones.

Our major area of disagreement has been the past three years of the Covid pandemic, more specifically how it has been managed. Unlike me, he bought into many of the policies of the bureaucratic medical establishment exemplified by Drs. Fauci, Birx, Redfield, and Collins. In our friendly debates and discussions about how the pandemic has been managed/mismanaged he answers my opinions and references to multiple sources that I happen to consider credible (see below) with a single response, which is whatever the CDC is recommending. This pertains to wearing masks, social distancing, and, especially the role, effectiveness, and potential dangers of the new mRNA vaccines. He is vaccinated; I am not.

There is room for debate on many fronts related to these vaccines. Never an anti-vaxxer, I approached them with a cautious skepticism. I was skeptical of the rapid rollout, the glowing promises made for them, and concerned regarding the absence of long-term data for something so novel and universally recommended. There is little question that vaccination of the elderly and other high risk persons saved lives by mitigating serious disease, especially during the more virulent Delta variant surge of Covid. I caught Delta and as a healthy, adult over 65, I can say it was no picnic, although I was never hospitalized and recovered, I feel, fully.

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This is still up on the Mayo Clinic website and continues to perpetuate misinformation regarding Covid, information that is factually false or misleading.

Mayo says this about Ivermectin: “The drug ivermectin, used to treat or prevent parasites in animals and in humans, isn’t a drug used to treat viruses. The FDA hasn’t approved use of this drug to treat or prevent COVID-19. Taking large doses of this drug can cause serious harm. Don’t use medications intended for animals on yourself to treat or prevent COVID-19.”

The statement is misleading in that, while it states the FDA does not approve use of Ivermection for Covid, it makes no mention of off-label use. The FDA has approved Ivermectin as an anti-parasitic drug for people and physicians are thereby within perfectly legal and ethical rights to use it for other purposes if they feel, in their medical opinion, that it might be beneficial. Off-label use of FDA-approved drugs is a standard practice that has been part of mainstream medicine for decades.

The FDA has claimed that it never prohibited use of Ivermectin for Covid. This is disingenuous given the power of the FDA to regulate drugs. As a result of the FDA “recommendation” against the use of Covid, pharmacies refused to honor prescriptions by physicians in contrast to other off label drug usage. Some physicians were threatened with loss of their license for prescribing Ivermectin  for Covid, some have had their licenses suspended, and laws were passed in California to this effect.

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“This is the way the world end. No with a bang, but a whimper” T.S. Eliot

This should terrify everyone and prompt an avalanche of letters to our elected representatives to stop the insanity:

Boston University has announced in a pre-print publication, that has not yet been peer-reviewed, that its researchers combined the genetic material from the original SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid with that from an Omicron variant. The resulting chimeric virus is thousands of times more infectious than the original and has a mortality rate of 80% in mice genetically engineered to mimic human response to viruses. Why are we doing this after an almost certainly laboratory-engineered viral pandemic that has killed an estimated 18 million people worldwide? Do these scientists have a death wish? Are they clueless? Are they completely morally bankrupt? Do they really have such hubris that they believe they are immune to the possibility of a laboratory containment failure such almost certainly occurred in Wuhan?

It is frightening that the National Institutes of Health was in the dark about this and is now investigating whether it should have been informed about this very incredibly dangerous research. The Boston University scientists, in response have essentially said, “F—k off”, albeit a bit more professionally, claiming they have no obligation to seek approval or inform anyone including the NIH, further claiming they took no NIH money for this research.

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You can’t make this stuff up. I recently received an email from a website for cosmetic gynecology. Yes. You read that right- cosmetic gynecology. It featured a video by a “urogynecologist” on his technique for performing a “Barbie labiaplasty”. I have performed labiaplasties, but I confess I had never heard of this so, out of professional curiosity, I viewed the video.

The operation involved a complete amputation of the labia minora at the vaginal introitus (opening), along with removal of skin on either side of the clitoris and clitoral hood. The surgeon, who I will not name and, of course, practices in California, extols how nicely the surgery produces the “clamshell” look, which is the goal. His website lists his stellar credentials and features a gallery of before and after crotch shots showing the beautiful results of these surgeries.

The intent of the Barbie labiaplasty is to produce a look to the external female genitalia that matches that on the iconic Barbie doll by Mattel. Barbie, by the way, has never been crafted to be anatomically correct. If she were a real person, her measurements would be 39-18-33. She would be 5 foot 9 inches tall and weigh about 110 lbs. How’s that for realistic? Check under the skirt and you will find…..nothing.

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