Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The AMA - More Diverse Than You Thought

Well, here's a headline you don't see everyday (thank God).

"AMA acts against trans fats, texting while driving"

Um, what? Trans fats and texting while driving? Weren't we already aware of the 'trans fats are bad' message? I think that we were. Were we bad? Why are we being told again? Oh, wait, they're just supporting the bans on trans fats that are already in existence. Good Lord, they need to hold a meeting and vote on this crap? They weren't supporting the ban before? Is there some movement afoot that has set out to overturn the trans-fat bans and they need doctors to support it? Aren't they supposed to be working with the sick, the dying, the weak? I'm pretty sure at least one of those groups needs a doctor.

Now, as far as the texting while driving "warning"? I'm pretty sure that I can figure out on my own that it is not safe to basically, operate a typewriter while simultaneously operating my motor vehicle at a high rate of speed. Yeah, I think I can grasp that concept without the AMA's help, thank you very much. There's even a little link on the side of that article which reads "Texting while driving is bad, doctors agree." Is that supposed to mean something to me? That doctors agree that texting while driving is bad? Not race car drivers or bus drivers, but doctors. Hey, you know what? Anyone with half a working brain could agree with that statement. I'll bet you that electricians agree that texting while driving is bad. I'll bet you that scuba divers agree that texting while driving is bad. Bakers, butchers, candlestick makers, all of them will agree that texting while driving is bad! (Baristas at Starbucks might be a different story. They've got those made-up names for the sizes of coffees, not to mention the made-up names for the coffees themselves. What the heck is a Carmel Macchiato anyway? =) But everyone else is in agreement.)

According to a story from the folks over there at the AP, the American Medical Association "...took a stand against two unhealthy habits — eating foods made with artificial trans fats and text-messaging while driving." An unhealthy habit? Texting while driving is an "unhealthy habit"? No it isn't! It's not "unhealthy"! It's unsafe!! I don't hear the folks over at MADD saying that driving drunk is "an unhealthy habit"!

And really, I wouldn't care if the AMA thought that texting whilst driving was an "unhealthy habit" or if they thought that it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. (Which, might I point out, is also not a medical issue that should be of concern to the AMA!) But I do care because at their semi-annual powwow that they held in Chicago on Monday, they "agreed to lobby for more state legislation banning text-messaging while driving or operating machinery." Are you kidding me?!

There already IS legislation against texting while driving or operating machinery. It's called "distracted driving"!! It's basic premise is to not do things that are not going to distract you while you are driving! Hence the name! Are they going to propose legislation for each and EVERY INDIVIDUAL action that can distract someone while driving? A no putting on make-up law! A no eating nachos law! A no playing with the radio law! A no shaving law! A no reading law! A no yelling at your kids who just won't shut up law! Are they going to have all of those?! NO! Because they're covered under the term "distracted driving"! WE DON'T NEED MORE LAWS THAT WILL DO NOTHING EXCEPT FOR COST THE TAXPAYERS MORE MONEY!! Sorry I was shouting. I realize that there's no need holler. I apologize. But I'm still torqued.

According to a one Dr. Peter Carmel, an AMA board member, "Texting while driving takes the driver's attention away from the road, which can lead to accidents." It does?! For reals? No S, Sherlock. In other news: Water? Still wet! The sun? Still hot! Back to you.

"Under the new policy, the AMA also will encourage doctors to educate patients about the risks of texting while driving." I'll tell you what, if I go into see my doctor and he tells me, "Good news! Your leg isn't broken, it's just sprained. But if you were texting while driving you could have lost your entire leg and maybe more!" I'm going to have to hurt someone. Why is it that doctors are educating people about the texting while driving thing? Has the DMV not taken the reins on this one for some reason? Are the doctors also going to remind me to change my oil AND the filter every 3,000 miles, making sure I don't forget about the filter?! They better not.

If the docs want to roll out a public service announcement, I'm good with that. I have zero problem with that and think that it's a fine idea to educate the public in a way that will not cost the public money AND in a way that might actually do some good. We really don't need an individual law for every little thing out there. We don't. I swear. Trust me. Just once. Please?

One more thing on their list of things the doctors are going to do that has very little to do with being a doctor? Go on. Guess. If you guessed "Global warming" you're correct!! If you said, "Global warming? WTF?" you're ME!

The AMA adopted a policy that will "Encourage doctors to take a stronger role in promoting "green" polices to fight global warming. The policy acknowledges that extreme weather and temperature changes could lead to heat-related illnesses and increases in infectious diseases and respiratory problems." No word on what those "green policies" are that they want to promote. And I can't even fathom a guess, it's so bizarre! So, what, they all got together and said, "Yep, when it gets really hot, people might get sick and they might get infectious diseases and they might have problems breathing. Yep." Is that what they're telling me? (Don't answer that. I know it is. I just can't stand it.)

Have they found a cure for cancer? Did I miss that announcement? Why are they talking about this? How long was I asleep? What is going oooonnnnnn?????? (My head...my head......)

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