January 3, 2011


Medicine in the US: Weiner on first responders + medical experiments


  "Enjoy and give pleasure, without doing harm to yourself or to anyone else - that, I think, is the whole of morality."
   -- Chamfort
  "If mankind had wished for what is right, they might have had it long ago. The theory is plain enough; but they are prone to mischief, 'to every good work reprobate.'"
   -- Hazlitt + Heidelberger Katechismus

Earlier in the day there was Why I like Chamfort - 1 and while you may foresee part 2 here are some interesting bitter data about the practice of medicine in the US.

By the way... the practice of medicine in the US is anyway in the eyes of this civilized European in quite a few ways unfamiliar, backward and unfair, in particular as regards health-insurance and costs:

Somehow the richest country in the world - until the US bankers in Wallstreet undid that, I suppose - managed to deny the largest part of its population good and payable health insurance, for generations, and thus it is to this day.

But this I do not want to write about now, though it bears mentioning, simply because it is neither civilized nor fair, and it will pop up below in a video I link to.

What I want to write about now are two items that the last days came to my attention:


1. On US health care for 9-11 first responders
2. On US medical experiments

And I mention these items both because they are interesting in themselves, and because they illustrate something about health policy in the US.

1. On US health care for 9-11 first responders

One way to see that much is wrong and hypocritical in the government of the United States is as regards health care: A rich and prosperous nation where the largest part of its population lacks good and payable health insurance, is a nation where something has gone badly wrong.

How much is wrong, for example because nearly all decent legislation gets obstructed by procedural manipulation can be seen from the following item - where it should remembered what the following short speech is all about:

The helping of the group of so called first responders to 9-11, mostly policemen, firemen and health personnel, who went into the rubble and ruins of 9-11 to try to save people and to clear the mess.

To this day, the costs for their health care has not been properly taken care of - in the United States, "home of the brave", where 9-11 was the key event of the last decade.

The comedian Jon Stewart, in his The Daily Show - only comedians get to speak most of the truth these days: we live in interesting times - succeeded in getting the thing on the public agenda of the media, snowed under as it was in procedural manipulations, double talk, and lies.

Here is the first item, a video of nearly 2 minutes, that I give with its original title and comment:

That is passion and indignation put to good use!

And here is the same piece put in context by Cenk Uygur of TYT on MSNBC:

In any case: What it illustrates is that a great part of those who exercised power in the US in the last decades, and especially since 2001, have been very hypocritical e.g. about the health of their own civilian heroes, who risked their lives on 9/11, and then were not cared for.

Here is Anthony Weiner earlier in the year, also illustrating procedural intermissions:

Refreshing: A representative who is genuinely indignified, and rightly so, for it seems he talks about something very relevant for American policy in general, and health in particular: The fact that many representatives, also Democrats, by the way, vote on the leash of lobbyists.

The following item makes a similar point about US medicine and morals as this item:

2. On US medical experiments

I think I picked this up by way of the Niceguidelines Blog of Dr. Speedy, that is very useful to check out regularly when you have ME, and I give the link as I found it:

It does not fill one with trust in the US health system, and one important reason must be that it has been very ill controlled by Congress and the Senate, and that mostly because the people's representatives represent the interests of big corporations rather than of the people who elected them and/or simply don't care.

See the motto at the top: "The theory is plain enough...".

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon
     insufficient evidence
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz

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