Archives for September 17, 2004

Underage Drinking. And MADD-Bashing Underage Drinking. And MADD-Bashing.: Comments

Middlebury College President John M. McCardell, Jr., in yesterday’s New York Times

To lawmakers: the 21-year-old drinking age is bad social policy and terrible law. It is astonishing that college students have thus far acquiesced in so egregious an abridgment of the age of majority. Unfortunately, this acquiescence has taken the form of binge drinking. Campuses have become, depending on the enthusiasm of local law enforcement, either arms of the law or havens from…

This is a very well put together rant, and expresses my feelings fairly closely.

This fits in with another rant that has always bothered me, that of the 21 drinking age with the troops. It makes little sense to me that an 18 year old can drive a tank, fire artillery, kill for his country and possibly lose his own life, but demon rum must not pass his lips until he’s 21. That’s just absurd paternalism. (The one good thing that came about from it, ‘it cuts down on fights in the barracks’, is not a good enough reason to abridge rights).

Do not write and lecture about drunk driving. I’m an ER doc, and I see more drunk drivers than any other group, excepting maybe bartenders. I guarantee I see more injured people after drunk driving accidents that any other group, and drunk drivers really piss me off. However, nanny-statism, taking away rights “for your own good” makes me much more angry, and IMHO adds to the cynicism of youngsters towards the hypocritical elders who passed this law.

This federal 21 y/o temperance act makes absolutely certain that when kids drink (they will) they’ll just have worse outcomes because they’re compelled to hide it. Read the above article for what happens when parents try to keep their kids from driving drunk: the prohibitionists come out of the woodwork and are now trying to figure out how to make it a jailable offense.

MADD started out with the right idea (stop drunk driving), but like most do-gooder organizations has become more and more extremist, with a widening agenda. Always be suspicious of those who take away freedoms for your own good. You, and I, should decide for ourselves what is good for us.

via code:theWebSocket;

Update: Dr. Centor is on the same tear.

My wife got the wrong meds at the pharmacy today

…and everything’s OK. But, herein lies a cautionary tale for all of us.

The pharmacy called her about 20 minutes after she picked up her prescription, and said “we think we may have overcharged you” which was, frankly, an untruth. This was followed by a request to check out the meds in the bag.

The stapled prescriptions on the outside were correct, but the meds inside weren’t the ones on the outside. In fact, the bottle had the wrong name and the wrong medications. This was reported, and “we’d be glad to exchange them” was the basic reply. (I will NOT entertain queries about what was supposed to be prescribed, or what was in the bag. That would, actually, be a good way to get yourself banned from my site for life).

So, she took the wrong meds back, got a bottle of the right meds, compliments of the house, and all’s well that ends well.

This did engender a bit of ‘lawsuit lottery’ fever in the house, with questions about ‘what if you’d taken it’, etc., bandied about. Unsurprisingly, I was having none of it, pointing out that mistakes happen everywhere, and ultimately it’s up to the patient to make sure they’re taking the right medication.

Moral? Look in the bag before you leave, and realize that mistakes happen everywhere. Caveat emptor, and all that.