Thursday, August 20, 2009

For all the good this does...

I was thinking about medical research today.

Not in the usual way that people think about medical research - as in "I sure hope they cure Cancer and Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis soon" (I do think about that, but not this time). I was thinking about the medical leaps of faith, the paradigm shifts (I know, I hate that overused office politicos term, but it fits).

Picture it - in a lab, way back when:

"Hey, Dr Carter, you know, I was just sitting there staring into my coffee and started thinking."

"Oh? About what?"

"Well, we know that the very sensitive tissues within the nose and mouth and eyes - the 'mucous membranes' absorb things at a much faster rate than the tougher dermal layers in other areas of the body?"

"uh huhhhh. What about it"

"Wouldn't it stand to reason that ALL mucous membranes act in this way?"

"Sure, I suppose"

"So, what if we take a medication we need to administer and apply it rectally."

"Um... what?"

"Physically place the medication within the patient's rectum for quick dissolution"

"Are you saying we should shove pills up his ass?"

"Well, that's pretty crude, but yes, I suppose"


"--- ga!"

"No, really. Don't you think that we'd be able to get quick absorption of pain relief medication or .."

"Well maybe, but STOP! Eww! Just eww! Come on, dude. What is wrong with you?"

"Well, can't we at least do a clinical trial?"

"Awww, come on... You're not going to make me put this before the medical ethics board, are you?"

"Yes. Here, I've already drawn up the proposal."

"Awww, duuuude."

"Just find out what they think"

Two weeks later

"So? What did they say?"

"Well, I presented it to them and most of them started out with a revulsion (although two of them had kind of a creepy grin). They listened intently and then dismissed me to discuss amongst themselves..."

"And what was their conclusion?"

"They said we could go ahead with the trial on one condition..."

"Which is?"

"The one who came up with the idea must NOT be involved in the study in any way."

[in case you were wondering WHY my mind went there - don't. But if you still are, I overheard someone alluding to the joke that ends "for all the good this does, I may as well be shoving them up my ass" That's my story and I'm sticking to it.]

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  1. Funny thing, I often wonder how they get to these conclusions, but mostly it has to do with medicines. Even way back in the day did someone say, "i have a headache. i will pick random plants and eat them until i hit on something good." or, "ohh, i am soooooo backed up. i will tryyyy.. prunes! yes, desiccated plums are it for me!"

    i also wonder whose idea it was to crack open a dead person. and how did they get the skull open before they had bone saws?

  2. LMAO! I, too, often wonder where some of the weird stuff like this comes from. Or when you hear about some bizarre ingredient used in medicine and it's like, um, ewwwwwww, someone had to have the bizarre idea to use THAT.