Category Archives: Health Care

California Medical Association drops opposition to doctor-assisted suicide

Hippocratic Oath

According to a report from California Catholic Daily, May 22, 2015, the state of California has added a new first to its dubious list of achievements.

Formerly opposed to physician-assisted suicide — euthanasia in non-PC parlance — last Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the California Medical Association (CMA) removed its opposition to a controversial bill in the state legislature that would allow terminally ill Californians to end their lives with doctor-prescribed drugs.

In so doing, CMA became America’s first state medical association to drop its opposition to euthanasia.

Although CMA has long opposed doctor-assisted suicide on grounds that it violates doctors’ ethical and moral obligations to provide the best treatment possible, the medical association recently changed its bylaws so that it is now neutral on the issue by deleting the term “physician-assisted suicide” and replacing it with “aid in dying.” Its rationale is that it is simply acknowledging a shift in doctor and patient attitudes about end-of-life and aid-in-dying options. Dr. Luther Cobb, president of the California Medical Association and a Humboldt County general surgeon, said, “I’ve always felt that way, but I was surprised the membership of the organization had changed.”

Luther Cobb, MD

In January of this year, Sacramento lawmakers introduced SB128: End of Life Option Act, three months after Brittany Maynard, 29, set off a worldwide movement in support of “aid in dying” by sharing her own decision to die with the help of her doctor. Maynard, who had terminal brain cancer, moved to Oregon to access the state’s Death with Dignity law, which the California legislation uses as a model. Maynard claimed her final months were made more difficult by not being able to access life-ending drugs in her home state. She died Nov. 1, 2015, after using the lethal prescription. Her husband and mother have continued to share her story in the state Capitol to encourage lawmakers to change California’s laws so that others don’t have to move for similar end-of-life options.

SB128 would require two California physicians to agree that a mentally competent patient has six months or less to live before prescribing life-ending drugs. A terminal patient seeking the lethal prescription would then be required to make a written request and two oral requests at least 15 days apart.

Opponents of the bill argue that vulnerable people can be coerced into seeking the deadly prescription by heirs looking to profit or by health insurers who find it cheaper to offer aid in dying rather than chemotherapy to live. “It’s a bad bill because it has the possibility of impacting the most vulnerable in California who don’t have access to health insurance or the best of care and whose options are limited,” said Tim Rosales, spokesman for Californians Against Assisted Suicide.

SB128 passed along strictly party lines (Democrats for; Republicans opposed) in two Senate committees — health and judiciary. But since California voters persist in electing Democrats to a majority to the state legislature, the euthanasia bill is likely to become law.

Certainly, CMA’s move paves the way for passage of the bill, although opposition remains in the Catholic Church and among some disability rights groups. 

In removing its opposition to SB128, California Medical Association had sought an amendment to the bill to ensure that doctors who did not want to participate would also not be required to provide information on assisted-dying or refer a patient to a medical provider willing to offer such services, although there will still be other sources and opportunities for patients to learn about aid in dying.

The amendments are expected to be finalized and made public this week.

~Éowyn

Find out if your car is recalled for dangerous defective air bag

Takata defective air bags

A few days ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a major recall of defective airbags made by Japanese company Takata for 11 car manufacturers.

About 33.8 million vehicles are being recalled to replace frontal airbags on the driver’s side or passenger’s side, or both. The airbags, made by major parts supplier Takata, were installed in cars from model year 2002 through 2008. Some of those airbags could deploy explosively, and have caused at least 6 deaths and more than 100 injuries.

Nissan explains: “The [air bag] propellant could potentially deteriorate over time due to environmental factors [many years in high humidity conditions], which could lead to over-aggressive combustion in the event of an airbag deployment. This could create excessive internal pressure within the inflator and could cause the inflator housing to rupture.”

If the airbag housing ruptures in a crash, metal shards from the airbag can be sprayed throughout the passenger cabin—a potentially disastrous outcome from a supposedly life-saving device.

Cars affected include automakers Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Saab, Subaru and Toyota dating back to the 2001 model year.

Automakers are required to send you a recall notice if your vehicle is under recall. But a quick way to find out, without waiting for your automaker’s recall notice, is go to the Transportation Department’s safety recall website https://vinrcl.safercar.gov/vin/vinLookup or click here.

By entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can find out if your vehicle is subject to the Takata air bag recall or any other safety recalls.

Source: Consumer Reports

~Éowyn

Greek hospitals run out of supplies, turn patients away due to budget cuts

Greece bankrupt

Ben Tufft for the UK’s Independent, May 23, 2015, that Greece’s insolvency and indebtedness that left millions unemployed and 2.5 million without medical insurance (out of a total population in 2o13 of 11.03 million), have also led to huge cuts to the healthcare budget.

The result is that Greek hospitals now find themselves unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures because they have run out of supplies as simple and essential as painkillers, scissors and bed sheets.

Despite the new Syriza government’s reducing the €5 fee for attending state hospitals and pledging to hire 4,500 more health workers, healthcare spending has fallen by 25% since 2009, creating shortages of the most basic surgical equipment and leaving too little money to pay nurses’ salaries.

Reports have surfaced of patients being turned away from hospitals because there was no meter to measure their high blood pressure, while others have had to do without painkillers during medical procedures. One patient was even asked to bring their own sheets to hospital.

A trainee surgeon at KAT, a respected state hospital in Athens, said the situation was at “breaking point”: “There is no money to repair medical equipment, no money for ambulances to use for petrol, no money to hire nurses and no money to buy modern surgical supplies.

The news comes as the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, warned the country would run out of money in a matter of weeks. By June 5, Athens must repay the IMF €300m ($330.075 million), but should Eurozone creditors not agree to release a €7.2bn loan it is likely Greece will default. A further €820m ($902.205 million) is due just days later.

It is unclear what this would mean for Greece’s position in the euro club.

A report by Reuters just 3 hours ago says that Greece’s interior minister said today that the government cannot make debt repayments to the IMF next month unless it achieves a deal with creditors. This is the most explicit remarks yet from Athens about the likelihood of default if talks fail.

In 2013, Greece’s government or national debt is 175.1% of the country’s GDP.

~Éowyn

Bill Gates’ foundation funds permanent contraception for Third World

Bill Gates is the multi-billionaire founder of Microsoft, whose net worth is estimated to be a mind-boggling $79.1 billion.

Via his eponymous foundation, Gates is also famous for his philanthropy, a word that the dictionary defines as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” Gates’ idea of “good causes” is the reduction of the population of the world, in particular of the Third World, by hook or by crook.

In 2014, news came that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the development of a contraceptive microchip that can be remotely controlled to release hormones that can act as abortifacients — drugs that induce abortion — into a woman’s body for up to 16 years.

Not content with that, the Gates Foundation is now funding the development of a permanent contraception.

Bill Gates (l) and Jens "666"Stoltenberg (r)

Bill Gates (l) and Jens “666”Stoltenberg (r)

Note: Jens Stoltenberg is secretary general of NATO. For the “666” allusion, see “Another Candidate for the Beast.”

Lisa Bourne reports for LifeSiteNews, May 15, 2015, that a new sterilization drug for women will likely be developed and promoted worldwide thanks to a large donation from Bill and Melinda Gates.

Last October, the Gates Foundation gave Oregon gynecologist Jeffrey Jensen $5 million in grant money to develop nonsurgical “permanent contraception.”

Jeffrey Jensen

Jeffrey Jensen

Jensen, a gynecologist who’s also a professor at Oregon Health & Science University, said it’s all about putting a stop to unplanned and unwanted pregnancies. “My goal is very simple: to make every pregnancy planned and highly desired,” Jensen said in a report from the Portland Business Journal. He cited a study that he said showed 50 percent of Ugandan women no longer wish to become pregnant, but only two percent have access to “permanent contraception.”

Jensen and his associates have been researching an approach on rhesus monkeys and baboons which uses polidocanol foam, an FDA-approved treatment for varicose veins, which bypasses the cumbersome and lengthy regulatory process. If they are successful the next step will be human trials.

Jensen is working in partnership with Dr. Ov Slayden and Slayden’s team at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC), and they have established the Oregon Permanent Contraception Research Center (OPERM).

OPERM will supply grant funding, scientific expertise, a “nonhuman primate animal resource,” lab and procedural infrastructure, and administrative support to chosen investigators for assessing new nonsurgical contraceptive techniques, according to the Oregon University Health and Science website.

This latest multi-million-dollar Gates grant to prevent women from bearing children is just one in a lengthy list. Support for population control from Bill and Melinda Gates, under the guise of philanthropy, goes back year.

The news of the Gates Foundation’s funding for a permanent contraception has drawn condemnation from pro-lifers who warn of eugenics concerns.

Human Life International’s Stephen Phelan said the Gates Foundation’s obsessive focus on promoting contraception in the third world is based upon a faulty notion of what constitutes authentic ‘development,’ as well as highly suspect data about the actual desire for such contraception. “It is difficult to determine what is more outrageous,” Phelan told LifeSiteNews, “the uncritical and fawning ‘news’ reporting on every new Gates Foundation sterilization development grant even as coercive sterilization campaigns continue around the world, or the fact that the Gates Foundation continues to act as if every problem in the developing world can be solved by sterilizing women.”

Phelan also disputed the oft-cited claims that hundreds of millions of women in developing countries desire artificial birth control: “To simply repeat the claims of population control organizations, including the absolutely baseless claim that what 200 million poor women of color want most is the ability to stop becoming pregnant (where exactly did this statistic originate – let’s see the data) is reckless and irresponsible.”

Phelan also questions why foundations like Bill Gates’ focus their philanthropic efforts on population control when “what these women always say they want most when asked is better basic healthcare, education, opportunity, and just governance.”

See also “Warren Buffet gives $millions for abortions.”

~Éowyn

Every pet-owner’s nightmare: Cat brought in for grooming dies; cremated without telling owner

Sandy the cat

Kurtis Ming reports for CBS Sacramento, May 15, 2015, that just hours after Vanessa Rodriguez-McQuade had dropped off her cat Sandy at VIP Pets in Marysville, CA, the groomer told her Sandy had died.

Even worse, VIP Pets already had Sandy cremated, which means there’ll be no necropsy (autopsy for an animal), which means Vanessa will never know what caused her cat’s death.

The groomer Emma Chen told Vanessa her cat simply became unresponsive and died. But Vanessa is dubious because Sandy “was a perfectly healthy two-year old cat” –“so hyper, so happy.”

To top it off, VIP Pets would not give her Sandy’s ashes. So Vanessa asked for CBS Sacramento’s help.

The TV station learned the State of California does not license groomers. It is up to each business to decide what kind of certifications and experience they require from their employees.

Emma Chen, owner of VIP Pets, insists “I feel like I do my best.” She said Sandy was taken to a vet, who told VIP Pets the cat had died of a heart attack, stroke or blood clot. But the vet’s office told CBS Sacramento they never saw the cat.

Chen also said her staff had asked Vanessa if she wanted the necropsy, but “They did not want it.” However, Vanessa said she and her husband specifically told them they did want one. After CBS Sacramento’s intervention, Chen did inform Vanessa where her cat was taken for cremation. Now, Sandy’s ashes are home, with VIP Pets paying for the cremation and urn.

CBS Sacramento also took the case to vet Dr. Jyl Rubin, who has cared for exotic and domestic animals for decades. Dr. Rubin said, “How would we ever know the cause of death [when] they just cremate them without any evidence?”

The vet says grooming can be stressful for pets and could lead to potentially deadly health conditions. She recommends staying with your pet throughout the process. If you can’t stay to see your pet being groomed, ask for a tour and have them explain how they are groomed and where they’ll be keeping your pet.

Vanessa said still misses Sandy and is not sure why she died, but at least she has her beloved cat’s ashes: “I’m sure she’s probably happy to be home.”

VIP Pets

Given Emma Chen had lied just about everything, if I were Vanessa Rodriguez, I wouldn’t be so sure that the urn actually contains Sandy’s ashes. I would also sue Emma Chen and VIP Pets.

VIP Pets is located in Marysville, Yuba City, and Lincoln City, California.

Emma Chen’s grooming service is available only at the Marysville store. Avoid “the service” at all cost.

~Éowyn

It pays to work for UK government: Number of NHS fat cats retiring on six-figure pensions soars 700% in just five years

mafia

Daily Mail: The number of health service fat cats retiring on millionaire pensions has soared 700 per cent in the past five years. Despite the worst NHS funding crisis in a generation, six-figure payouts were made to 143 executives last year, compared with just 18 in the year 2009/2010.

The number of employees given bumper pension pots of more than £75,000 ($118,023 US) also quadrupled in the same time frame. Meanwhile, the number of £50,000-plus retirement deals has more than doubled, despite a £30billion ($47,209,500,000 US) funding blackhole. The extraordinary packages, mainly being handed out to boardroom big hitters, would pay for nearly 23,000 frontline nurses.

The revelations, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, come after it emerged that NHS bosses were given pay rises worth £35million last year. Some executives earned more than £1million. Even at hospitals with the worst standards of care directors enjoyed pay packages worth up to £5,000 a day. The average chief executive in England now takes home £185,255 in salary alone, far higher than the Prime Minister’s £142,500 pay.

Taxpayers are also being shafted by a wave of NHS bosses who are exploiting a pension loophole to cash in their retirement pots early. Some are ‘retiring’ for just 24 hours to maximise their entitlement – before returning to their posts full-time on the same huge salary as before. The provision was originally put in place to help lower-paid nurses who should be allowed to continue working part-time, in case they struggle on just their pension. But it has now become a lucrative loophole exploited by highly-paid executives. Others are being paid through personal service companies – a common tax avoidance tactic.

After the information was published by the NHS Pension Scheme, Unite’s Barrie Brown said health visitors, paramedics and school nurses could only dream of such a high sum, with the average NHS pension is just £6,000 for men – and even less for women.

‘Our members are now expected to work longer, pay more and receive less pension with the new NHS pension scheme the Government implemented on April 1,’ he said. ‘Senior staff who receive these very high pensions can opt to retire early with reduced but very good pensions. The majority of staff who prop up the NHS wouldn’t have that option.’

Hospital campaigner Sam Zair, whose 89-year-old mother Bernice was failed by the NHS, last night hit out at the huge payments. Mrs. Zair, a dementia sufferer, had been admitted to hospital with a water infection but died of pneumonia after allegedly being left on a mattress on the hospital floor.

County Councillor Mr. Zair, of Bishop Auckland, County Durham, said: ‘It is an absolutely obscene amount of money being paid out to people at the top of the NHS. It just goes to show that the money going into the NHS is not going where it is needed most. I wonder whether patient care is secondary to these people.

Chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance campaigner Jonathan Isaby said the money could have paid for an army of nursing staff. ‘Pensions of this extraordinary size are a thing of the past in the private sector because they’re totally unaffordable,’ he said. ‘Taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up the tab for lucrative pensions at a time when we’re trying to reduce a £90 billion deficit. Every single penny of taxpayers’ money spent on the NHS needs to go into front-line services and patient care, not lining the pockets of retirees.Clearly the NHS needs to wake up and smell the coffee.’

Liz Emerson, co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation think-tank, said the new Tory Government needs to cap ‘unsustainable’ pensions. She said the increase in six-figure sums ‘dispels the myth that we are all in it together’. ‘The current public sector pension liability is almost £1.7 trillion in the red,’ she said. ‘Young private sector workers, overburdened by student debt, high rents and poor pay, may well start to question why they should have to shoulder the burden of these over-generous fat-cat pensions.’

Labour shadow health minister Jamie Reed said a probe is needed ‘to ensure fairness from bottom to top in the NHS’. A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘It is vital that every penny of taxpayers’ money is spent to achieve the best outcomes for patients. The Government has already made significant reforms to the NHS pension scheme to save £800m a year. This includes linking pensions to career average earnings, rather than final salary and a higher retirement age.

nhs

Now we know why NHS has been doing this (gotta pay for these fat-cat pensions some how):

DCG

Medical Expert Confirms Unborn Children Feel Excruciating Pain During Abortions

20_week_fetus

LifeNews.com: On May 12, 2015, David A. Prentice, Ph.D., Vice President and Research Director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, was invited to speak on the science of fetal pain on Point of View radio talk show. On May 13, 2015 the United States House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.

Ms. Penna Dexter: We want to talk about fetal pain […] because this bill is so much stronger. It actually bans abortions after twenty weeks, and that’s because – I don’t think there’s a doubt now that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks?

Dr. David Prentice: The science is pretty conclusive at this point. And there are always going to be people, especially those in favor of abortion, who will say, “Oh that really doesn’t happen, and they’ll throw up a smokescreen. And what they usually do is they refer to an old study back in 2005 that was published actually by people who had associations with Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

But the real science – and there’s some new things in fact, that have come out in the last few months – but the science pretty conclusively demonstrates: Young babies still in the womb at 20 weeks after conception, and probably even earlier, do indeed feel pain, and in fact, may feel more intense pain than a newborn or an adult

Ms. Dexter:  And that is because [of] their development?

Dr. Prentice: Exactly, they have a higher density of nerve receptors. Like you said, your skin is not very thick at that point, but there is another aspect.

There are certain pathways that sort of tone down pain. If I hit my thumb with a hammer, I’m going to feel it because the pain sensation goes up to my brain, but there is also a return path to try and tone that down. That doesn’t even start to develop until about the time that you’re born, so you don’t get this dampening of the pain.

In fact, there was a study done, reported just a couple weeks ago, where they were looking at pain experience of newborns – just between one and six or seven days old and adults, and the headlines were, “Babies feel pain like adults and they feel it more intensely.”

The study actually looked at regions of the brain associated with pain using very sophisticated technology and comparing not really pain, just sort of like you’d take the end of a pencil and press it against the bottom of this baby’s foot, a little bit of pressure, a little sensation there.

A lot of the babies even slept through this whole procedure, but they were in this functional MRI machine, very sophisticated technology, and then they would do the same thing to adults to see how they responded.

Eighteen of the twenty pain regions lit up in babies, eighteen of the twenty that are the same as adults, and at four times as sensitive. So again, you don’t develop this feedback loop to shut down pain until right about that time, and it takes even several months after birth for it to start to mature.

Now, wind back the clock to five months after conception, you’re a little past halfway through development in moms womb. You don’t even have that feedback loop at all; it’s not starting until months later in your life – and now the pain is very intense. We don’t know exactly how much, but much more intense for the small amount that you might feel as an adult.

Ms. Dexter: So one of the arguments that’s made is that at twenty weeks the baby doesn’t have a mature cerebral cortex. What do you say to that argument?

Dr. Prentice: Well, if your listeners aren’t up to speed on brain anatomy, the cortex is sort of the outermost part that is, in terms of your conscious thoughts and so on, it’s the last part of the brain to develop.

There is indication that some of that neuronal material in your brain is already present, starting to be formed certainly by twenty weeks after conception, but it also turns out that that’s not the most important part of your brain for pain perception.

There’s another deeper layer that forms early in your brain called the thalamus, deep inside your brain. It forms even earlier in development – probably about 8 to 12 weeks is when you start to see it forming, and those nerve tracks already connect to the thalamus by the time you are 20 weeks after conception, or after fertilization.

In fact, there are individuals who are born without the cerebral cortex, and they feel pain. We know that for a fact.

So, you don’t need that cortical layer to actually feel pain. What you need are these deeper parts of the brain and simply the neural tracks for sensation. And those are definitely formed, intact, and responding by twenty weeks after conception.

Ms. Dexter: That argument that no mature cerebral cortex, and that’s necessary for perception of pain, that’s one of your smokescreen arguments that you’ve been talking about?

Dr. Prentice: It is definitely a smokescreen.

abortion-rights

Read the rest here. To listen to the audio: http://pointofview.net/show/tuesday-may-12-2015/?listen_now=1

DCG