Category Archives: healthcare

The GOP Doesn’t Think My Son’s Life Is Worth Living | Dame Magazine

We don’t say this in polite society, but our society isn’t polite anymore, so I will spell it out: Our culture has long been riven with the idea that people with disabilities lead such miserable lives that their lives aren’t worth living. You hear this when people say, “If that happened to me, I’d kill myself.” The notion springs from being afraid of what you don’t know. If you happen to be young and able-bodied, for instance, the idea of being old and crippled frightens you and you can’t imagine that you could possibly be happy in that state. Conversely, if you happen to be able-bodied and healthy now, but are not particularly enjoying the experience, you may comfort yourself by thinking that at least you’re better off than the disabled.But perhaps you aren’t. Perhaps you and the disabled have more in common than you think. I cannot speak for everyone officially classified as disabled, for they constitute 20 percent of the population, and are as heterogeneous and complicated a group as you could wish for. But I can speak for my son: There are times when his misery is agonizing and explosive, and there are times when his joy lights up the whole neighborhood. The power of his emotions is such that he seems to be both happier and more miserable than most people I know. Surely, he is as complex and vast.This fear we have, of losing what we have now—our memory, our ease of movement, our health—can make us push the inevitable away to such an extent that we start believing that misfortune or simple decay only happens to other people, people who have not said their prayers, or exercised daily, or popped the right multivitamin. We “other” the sick, the disabled, the old. In so doing, we divide ourselves into us and them, “us” being the somewhat fit, “them” being all of those people with oppressive medical bills and annoying demands.The most recent example of this sort of thinking pops up in Alabama Representative Mo Brooks’s defense of the AHCA. In a comment to CNN, the Congressman commends Trump’s proposed bill for allowing “insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”In other words: “We,” the virtuous diet-abiders and Fitbitters, are unfairly saddled with the costs of “them”—those slobs who didn’t take care of their health. I’d love to see our nation’s fast-food chains go up in a purple cloud of smoke and for fresh nutritious lunches to be given out freely at schools, to every child, including those whose parents do not have decent jobs and cannot pay. I’d love to see more jogging and jump-roping and dancing in the streets. I believe that movement is good for the body and soul, as is stillness. But to imagine that we wield ultimate control over our health is a form of modern madness.

Source: The GOP Doesn’t Think My Son’s Life Is Worth Living | Dame Magazine

Inoreader – Privilege or Right? A segregating question

Certainly, there are varying degrees of privilege but they all have one thing in common – privilege acts as a prejudicial filter to how a person perceives the world.

  • A person with privilege may not understand, or forgotten, what it’s like living paycheck to paycheck.
  • A person with privilege may not understand why the Civil Rights Act is still needed.
  • A person with privilege may not understand why, for some, Obamacare was a godsend.
  • A person with privilege may not understand why in some communities law enforcement is feared rather than seen as an agency of help.
  • A person with privilege may not understand why or how life is so bad somewhere that people are willing to risk their lives and personal safety to reach the US side of the border.
  • A person with privilege may not understand how some parents choose to pay rent over buying food for their children.
  • A person with privilege may not understand someone working 18-hour days, at two jobs, still doesn’t have healthcare but will have a smartphone.
  • A person with privilege may not understand why can’t everyone just get along.

Source: Inoreader – Privilege or Right? A segregating question

A Shocking Diagnosis: Breast Implants ‘Gave Me Cancer’ – The New York Times

Late last year, an alliance of cancer centers, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, issued treatment guidelines. Experts agree that the essential first step is to remove the implant and the entire capsule of scar tissue around it. Otherwise, the disease is likely to recur, and the prognosis to worsen.Not all women have been able to get the recommended treatment. Kimra Rogers, 50, a nursing assistant in Caldwell, Idaho, learned last May that she had lymphoma, from textured implants she had for more than 10 years. But instead of removing the implants and capsules immediately, her doctor prescribed six rounds of chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation. A year later, she still has the implants.“Unfortunately, my doctor didn’t know the first line of defense,” Ms. Rogers said.She learned about the importance of having the implants removed only from other women in a Facebook group for those with the disease.Her health insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana, covered the chemotherapy and radiation but has refused to pay for removal of the implants, and told her that her appeal rights were “exhausted.” (Translation: health insurance companies don’t care if you die!)

New Ohio House GOP efforts emerge to toss otherwise eligible Ohioans off Medicaid: Thomas Suddes | cleveland.com

House Medicaid amendments were less about Medicaid than about lassoing Republican “yes” votes on the budget rewrite, and, two, that the Ohio House Republican caucus is shifting. To the right.

Source: New Ohio House GOP efforts emerge to toss otherwise eligible Ohioans off Medicaid: Thomas Suddes | cleveland.com

Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable community | Ars Technica Dr. Death strikes again!

The activists held community meetings and invited Wakefield {Dr. Death} to visit with scared families. Vaccination rates dropped from 92 percent in 2004 to 42 percent in 2014.Wakefield, a former British doctor who now lives in Texas, is considered the founder of the modern anti-vaccination movement. In 2010, around the time he was visiting the Somali community, he was stripped of his British medical license for falsifying a 1998 study he was paid to produce to aid a money-making legal scheme, which ultimately failed. The study falsely alleged that the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism. The study was retracted, and Wakefield was also found guilty of dozens of other counts of professional misconduct, including abusing autistic children.Despite the shocking misconduct and retraction, the harmful belief that life-saving vaccines cause autism lives on.

Source: Measles outbreak rages after anti-vaccine groups target vulnerable community | Ars Technica

Breast Milk is Exported to the US | Inter Press Service

In a shed made of boards and tarps, one-year old Nune is in deep sleep as his mother Check Srey-Toy gently rocks his hammock. Then she tells me that she sells her breast milk to the US. They have no front door. Privacy is a sheet of cloth drawn across an opening. A gas burner on the ground. A saucepan with leftover porridge. “It’s been three months. Since I started”, Check Srey-Toy tells Arbetet Global.

Source: Breast Milk is Exported to the US | Inter Press Service

 

The demand for breast milk has increased and is now a commodity on international markets. The US company Ambrosia Lab have donators in several different countries. They target US mothers who pay close to 25 dollars for a bag of just under 150 millilitres of milk.

Women Around the World are being Screwed Over by the US Decision to Cut Support for the UN Population Fund – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

Unsurprisingly, public health experts like the International Women’s Health Coalition’s Director of Advocacy and Policy Shannon Kowalsi declared that this decision would have ‘devastating consequences’ for women, particularly those in crisis situations, as for instance in Syria or Jordan, where apparently the US funded maternity wards for women in refugee camps. If the UNFPA’s representation of figures is accurate, the decision means that at least 48000 women seeking support for safe childbirth in Syria will not be assisted this year.

Source: Women Around the World are being Screwed Over by the US Decision to Cut Support for the UN Population Fund – The Ladies FingerThe Ladies Finger

Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP

Growing drug resistance

According to the report, approximately 20% of TB cases globally are estimated to be resistant to at least one of the first- or second-line anti-TB drugs, and 5% are resistant to both isoniazid and rifampicin, the most powerful and commonly used antibiotics in first-line treatment. Of the estimated 480,000 cases of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, approximately 10% are either extensively drug-resistant (XDR)—with additional resistance to second-line drugs—or totally drug resistant.While TB is curable when patients adhere to the treatment regimen, MDR- and XDR-TB are more problematic. Treatment options are limited, expensive, and often toxic, and drug therapy can last up to 2 years. The report estimates mortality rates of around 40% for MDR-TB and 60% for XDR-TB. And while China, India, Russia, and South Africa have the highest burden of MDR- and XDR-TB, widespread international travel and migration means drug-resistant TB has no borders.Although shorter treatment regimens and new drugs are providing hope for some MDR- and XDR-TB patients, the authors of the report say the fight against drug-resistant TB has to be fought on several fronts.  “Addressing drug-resistant tuberculosis requires an urgent and concerted effort to manage the disease and prevent onward transmission with sustained research to develop and assess new tools,” the authors write.

Source: Report warns of rise in drug-resistant tuberculosis | CIDRAP