A recent study linked by DB's Medical Rants seems to confirm the health benefits of drinking alcohol and specifically red wine:
"Compared with non-drinkers, men who consumed wine, beer, or spirits had a 36% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 34% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality."
Why don't we prescribe a glass of wine per day to all patients without contraindications then? The answer is simple: because we do not know which one will overdo it.
It is not known if the ER physician Dr. Vavrick was a also patient but he was certainly going beyond the "recommended dose" by drinking a bottle of wine daily. Finally, he showed up at his ER after drinking 2 bottles and was fired:
"Officials say a nurse reported smelling alcohol on Vavrick's breath, and he was confronted by a supervisor and another physician. He did not appear to be impaired, but was asked to take an alcohol test, then allowed to continue seeing patients. The test showed his blood-alcohol level was 0.11 percent, above the state's standard of 0.08 percent for drunken driving. Then, Dr. Vavrick was asked to leave the ER immediately."
He was reprimanded by the state medical board, placed on probation for 5 years, and ordered to participate in a drug and alcohol treatment program for physicians.
Doctor reprimanded for drinking. AZCentral.com.
A Half Glass of Wine Daily May Add Years to Life. MedPageToday.
Alcohol literally kills: Gary Moore had 380mg/dL in his blood, Winehouse 416mg/dL when she died surrounded by 3 empty vodka bottles. Telegraph UK, 2012.
Red Wine Can Prevent Stroke (in Mice)
Health Blog Interview: CEO, Red Wine in a Pill, Inc. WSJ Health Blog, 11/2007.
Rethinking Drinking - NIH interactive website
Image source: Wikipedia.