Rage. Probably political rage. Maybe just personal rage. Lots of sarcasm and cynicism. Also pretty pictures.
Jonathan Kay: The Suzanne Somers effect — How Internet-fuelled medical conspiracy theories are making us sicker
In the realm of public health, distrust and the need to explain human suffering, have combined to produce stubbornly popular conspiracy theories that inhibit life-saving medical therapies: Ironically, an irrational fear of government schemes to engineer human suffering have caused many citizens to forsake therapies that have been engineered to save their lives. This month, for instance, Britain’s Guardian newspaper published a heart-rending tale of Pakistanis who refuse to eat salt containing iodine — a necessary chemical that helps prevent goiters, mental retardation, birth defects and other problems — because they believe the ingredient is part of a government conspiracy to render them infertile.
Here in the West, we like our iodine just fine. Yet many of us still give the time of day to other conspiracy theorists, such as anti-vaccine activists who falsely claim a linkage between the widely administered MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine and autism spectrum disorder.
Much of the blame goes to celebrity laypersons such as former Playboy model Jenny McCarthy. Since 1998, when the vaccine/autism theory first was put forward in a study published in the Lancet medical journal (subsequently retracted in 2010), untold millions of parents across the Western world have avoided vaccinating their children, leaving them exposed to deadly, and entirely preventable, diseases such as measles, whooping cough and Hib influenza.
The myth that vaccines cause autism permits emotionally vulnerable parents to blame politically accountable, human evildoers — the big pharmaceutical companies and their apologists at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada — for a trauma that might otherwise be seen as a mere act of God. The myth thereby allows them to substitute their frustration and disappointment with the more psychologically manageable emotion of anger. (Three Rivers Press)
And it’s shit like this that I don’t really think people understand. While you’re supporting the gutting of food stamps, medicaid, and other social programs, you’re legitimately committing people to die.
One of the men I’ve known my entire life passed away this year because he had to choose between care for his heart issues and putting food on the table for his kids.
This isn’t a joke.
UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE, PLEASE?
It is simply disgusting that the US STILL doesn’t have universal health care. Wake up… :|
when rick santorum claims that nobody in the united states dies because of a lack of health insurance…
My sister had cancer and died this July just before her 20th birthday. I always say she was one of the lucky ones. Why? If we were not so well off we would not have been able to pay for her treatment. They couldn’t save her anyway, but I’m crying thinking of the pain she would have been in if we wouldn’t have been able to afford it. I also would have lost about two years with her. Without healthcare, she would have died around her 18th birthday. Most of those two years were healthy and happy for her, thanks to the healthcare we were able to afford. I’m floored at how privileged I am—and how much you have to be to afford cancer treatment. A simple CAT scan, which had to be done every couple months, was in the five-figure range. And that’s not even treatment. I don’t know exactly how much that cost, but it put a financial strain on us even though our family income is upwards of $150k. Please, people: the current healthcare system is discriminatory, family-destroying, and worst of all, places a price on human life.
if you don’t support government supported healthcare and welfare i hate you
This week: we are back in Sudan to carry out the second round of our life-saving Little Hearts project. With our international team of expert surgeons, we will be carrying out more than 80 heart operations for children born with heart defects. Sayid Ali of newsflick will be in Sudan to cover the project.
Hey everyone! I’m heading out to Sudan to oversea this amazing project of ours for a week. I’ll be blogging about this over at Al Muntada’s tumblr so if you’re not following, please do.
Flesh-eating disease can be caused by illegal ‘bath salts’ drug
A 34-year-old woman in New Orleans recently lost her arm and one of her breasts to necrotizing fasciitis — sometimes known as ‘flesh-eating disease’ — after injecting herself with the dangerous new drug known ‘bath salts.as’
HPV vaccine should be given to boys, experts say: The panel that advises the CDC on vaccines recommends that the shot be given to boys ages 11 and 12 in addition to girls, noting that the virus is linked to many other cancers besides cervical.
Photo: University of Miami pediatrician Judith L. Schaechter, M.D. gives an HPV vaccination to a 13-year-old girl in her office at the Miller School of Medicine. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images
Indonesia’s rail sitters seek a cure for ailments: Advocates of “electric therapy” lie on tracks so they can get a jolt from trains. The practice caught on after a suicidal stroke victim changed his mind upon feeling rejuvenated by the electric current.
Photo: Abdul Rachman waits on a track outside Jakarta for the electric current that comes with the passing of an adjacent train. Credit: Kate Lamb / For The Times
Friday, 69-year-old Gary Burton was sentenced to 60 days in jail, 30 days house arrest and two years probation, with credit for time served.
Burton was arrested in January for cultivating marijuana in excess of 1,000 grams, which is a third degree felony.
“He was just trying to take care of me, the best way he knew how,” says a tearful Sherri Burton, Gary’s wife of 44 years.
Sherri suffers from depression and anxiety, and was diagnosed with breast cancer that has now spread to her lymph nodes. Read more