Archive for doctors

Damn, It's Tough To Be A Pregnant Woman In Tennessee

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Tennessee

Soon it's going to be a crime in Tennessee for a pregnant woman to take medications of any kind while pregnant.  In seeking to curb illicit use of drugs and alcohol by pregnant women, the Hog and Hominy State threw out the baby with the bathwater (pardon the pun) .

The bill will criminalize pregnant women from using all medications including those for nausea, flu, mental health, pain, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart rate, or even alcohol or drug dependency meds. Sound crazy? Not so much in the eyes of Governor Bill Haslam who just signed the bill into law.

The Tennessean:

Tennessee women who use drugs while pregnant can be criminally charged for harm done to their infants beginning July 1.

Gov. Bill Haslam signed the legislation Tuesday after “extensive conversations with experts including substance abuse, mental health, health and law enforcement officials,” he wrote in a statement. “The intent of this bill is to give law enforcement and district attorneys a tool to address illicit drug use among pregnant women through treatment programs.”

The governor’s decision comes after a week of mounting nationwide opposition from civil and reproductive rights groups. They argued that criminalization would drive vulnerable women away from drug addiction treatment.

In targeting illicit drugs Governor Haslam cast the net openly and now all medications, even those written and monitored by licensed physicians could result in an expectant mother being fined or even doing time in jail. And forcing women into costly state-run drug rehabilitation programs may cause women to even avoid revealing their dependency problems to their obstetricians for fear they may get reported.

bite the bullet

So bite the bullet and suck in the pain, ladies of Tennessee. Your Republican-run state moves to the forefront of the anti-woman's movement with outrageous and outlandish laws. I guess the lesson in Tennessee is if you're a woman, don't get sick and go to a doctor when you're preggers, because there's nothing they can do for you other than say, tough it out.

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Senators Trying To Practice Medicine Without A License

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senators

Here is part of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) mission statement from their website:

FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation's food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

Who makes up the FDA? Scientists, doctors and experts in related fields.

Who does NOT make up the FDA? Corporate sponsors, Big Pharma, groups or organizations which benefit from rulings AND elected officials.

The last one is why this post exists. It seems there are some in Congress who feel they, despite lack of any scientific facts, research or background education and training in medicine, know more about pharmacology than the experts do. Being elected for office requires no educational background and we've certainly seen way too much proof of that. So why should they be telling the FDA what's safe and what isn't? When they're sworn in, do they get a diploma from Dufus U. School of Medicine?

Dunderheads like Todd Akin, Steve King and others just don't get it. Now we can add a few more names to this list of non-doctors telling licensed medical practitioners what medications they can and cannot be prescribing.

This, from The Hill:

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) plans to introduce legislation in the coming days that would push back against the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving a controversial prescription drug, his office confirmed Wednesday.

Manchin is working with several other senators on a bill that would target the FDA's approval process, after the agency gave the green light in October to Zohydro, which critics say is a highly-addictive and easily-abused painkiller.

Those several other senators include the Madam's boy,  David Vitter (R-Louisiana) and the ever increasingly neurotic Charles Schumer (D-New York). Each of them sent letters to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this month, demanding she step in and force the FDA to reverse its decision. She has jurisdiction over the agency.

What is this horrible drug that needs to be halted before it can be sold?  Zohydro. It's the first FDA-approved drug that uses pure hydrocodone to treat chronic pain. In lay terms, is amped up Vicodin. One tab of Zohydro would take the place of six to ten Vicodin. So, instead of two pills every two to four hours, you'd take one pill once or twice a day. It's cheaper, its more effective and would aid people in chronic pain. It's been tested, researched and successfully made it through the numerous, stringent studies involved with any new medication.

How is that so awful? According the the Manchin gang, it could lead to abuse and overdosing. Well, Senators, so can Vicodin and other pain meds. According to GEN (Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), the most abused medication today is Oxycontin. Hydrocodone is only number 17. So maybe you should be looking into the 16 medications that are abused in greater numbers than Vicodin. They include Xanax, Ativan and Valium.

Oh, that's right, those are the pills you might already be using to deal with the anxiety and pressures of your new responsibilities as resident doctors in the Senate chambers.

Let's not always look at the worst case scenario. There will always be people who abuse medications. Let's not punish those who are really in need because of a small percentage of abusers. It's doctors who should be the ones either prescribing a drug or withholding it from a patient. But the choice should be left to experts, not politicians. They have trouble walking and chewing gum. Maybe they should stick to improving those skills. Then they can work their way up to walking and talking while making sense.

That's wishful thinking, I know. Maybe there's a pill for that.

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Old Gov. Moonbeam Returns To California -- A Bit More Crazy Now

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Moonbeam

I live in California so things my Governor says impact my life a bit more than say, Nikki Haley, Scott Walker or Rick Scott. Add to that I recreationally used marijuana during and after college so the subject is near and dear to me. Though I haven't smoked in years, I still remember how it affected me and those who joined me at the bong or vaporizer.

So when Jerry -- that's what we call him out here -- recently went on Meet The Press and tossed caution to the wind about full marijuana legalization here in California, my ears pricked up. What was Governor Moonbeam -- his nickname from his early terms before he found philosophically whatever it is that he found -- thinking?

First, here's what he said, from WaPo:

He also expressed worry about the "tendency to go to extremes."  After legalization, he said, "if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

Really Jerry? You fear potheads are going to take over. Look at history. Look at alcohol. Go ahead, take a good look. Has our society crumbled with the repeal of the Volstead Act (Prohibition)?

And what are we really talking about with recreational legalization? California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana use in 1996, when 56 percent of voters approved Proposition 215. Do you know what it takes to get a medical marijuana certificate today? Nothing.

Venice Beach 2

On a recent outing with my wife, we strolled along the boardwalk in Venice Beach, Ca. There were five, count 'em five storefront walk-in clinics within one mile. You see a "doctor" after filling out a form and he stamps it approved, takes your picture and a certificate is issued. You can immediately walk to the back room and buy some very aromatic OG, Lemon or Purple Kush. Licensing is a joke. And not just here in California. It's a process that is abused everywhere that state certificates are issued.

I got my license years ago because I claimed I had insomnia and back pain issues. That was it. Boom. Stamped. Certified. I bought some grass minutes later.

So to your implied point, Gov Moonbeam, that pot is perhaps different from alcohol, you're right. It's not nearly as debilitating. But to hold off full legalization like Colorado and Washington state with the excuse that everyone will become potheads is insane. I think Jerry is having a flashback and it's more dangerous than reality.

Come back to us Jerry. And bring practical sense and a well rolled joint with you. It's your turn to blaze more than a new pathway to reality. Set California free. Or if you're really that concerned about each person being responsible for themselves and their behavior, try banning alcohol. See how well that does for you when you run for a fourth term.

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Republicans To Back Late Term Abortions

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doctor doctor

Well, when there's a problem, you call in a specialist. If you're kitchen sink backs up, you ring up a plummer. If you're electrical power goes out, you dial the electrician. So when your website goes down, who do you call?

If you're normal thinking, you'd get on the horn and bring in an IT guy/gal. A specialist or team of experts in internet technology. That's what Obama did. But the Republicans have a better approach. You reach out for physicians...and stat!

According to The Hill:

Eleven Republican doctors are running for the Senate, hoping that voters will see their medical expertise as an asset amid the administration’s botched rollout of ObamaCare.

“We go into medicine for one reason, and one reason only: Because we care about people, we want the people who we serve to have a productive, happy, healthy life,” he added. “That’s the kind of policymaker we should have in place in dealing with healthcare policy.”

This sounds very good on paper, at least to the GOP. There's a botched rollout on Obamacare. So who do you call? A doctor?

In their narrow-minded thinking this is a medical issue. Hello... it's an IT problem not a healthcare issue. And if they already know that, then there's really a bigger issue at hand. The pesky and stubborn anti-healthcare party is looking for help in killing the Affordable Care Act as it's ready to be birthed. But it's too late for that. As Dr. Frankenstein proclaimed, "It's alive! It's alive!!!"

Obamacare is viablein the pro-life vernacular. Bringing in doctors to "kill it" prior to delivery is antithetical to the right to life agenda of the GOP. At this point, it's a late term abortion. The due date is January 1, 2014.

What the GOP has lost sight of is what's really ailing here. It's not the ACA - the law - it's the ACA's website. It's Healthcare.gov. It's been floundering since it's rollout. The law isn't failing, the website is. So if the Republicans really did want to help, they'd be running their finest IT people. Computer geniuses. That's who fixes IT problems, not doctors who fix people. You don't need an engine mechanic when all you have is a flat tire.

Doctors running in Senate races from North Carolina to Oregon are all pitching voters on their experience in the medical field.

If the GOP wants to run doctors for the senate, that's fine. But won't their Hippocratic Oath make their first obligation be to cure what really ails their party? It's called "obstructionitis."

If Republicans think being a doctor makes you a good senator, just look at their Tom Coburn, Rand Paul and ex-senator Bill Frist. All three of them with questionable ethical backgrounds. Frist took to the senate floor and admitted to diagnosing brain damaged Teri Schiavo's condition based strictly on a video. Tom Coburn is just plain crazy and Rand Paul? You can be the judge of that yourself. There are still questions as to whether or not he's a board certified, licensed doctor.

GOP, go ahead and run your doctors. But unless these candidates also have a computer science background, they're a little late coming to the party. You're the same people telling George of the Jungle to "watch out for that tree" after he's smashed into it.

It’s not unusual for doctors to seek elected office. But it’s not necessarily typical for them to win, however. The Senate counts only three physicians in its ranks. Last year, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona, a Democrat who ran largely on his record in medicine, lost to now-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).

So flaunt your medical degrees all you want. It's reliable lawmakers that we need. People who work on Wednesdays, not take them off to play golf. Then again, in the Republican world, that may be an asset. Each day they're not working in Congress is another day they're not working against the welfare of the people.

Go out and grab your golf clubs, as the country clubs say, "It's doctor's day." We're better off hearing you shout, "Fore," on the golf course than  "Nay" on the Senate floor.

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