Friday, September 11, 2009

Scum British doctors let baby die

Bureaucracy seems to destroy every shred of human decency. Baby had a strong heartbeat and was moving his arms and legs when he was born, says his mother. The baby was clearly viable and would have been saved in a private hospital

A DEVASTATED mother claims doctors refused to treat her premature baby because it was born two days early. The tiny boy from the UK - born 21 weeks and five days into her pregnancy - died just two hours after being born, The Daily Mail reports. Sarah Capewell, who has suffered five miscarriages previously, said she went into early labour and was told her newborn would be dead once delivered.

But after discovering her son, Jayden, had a strong heart beat and was moving his arms and legs, she called doctors and begged them to help. Ms Capewell said doctors refused, saying medical guidelines state that "babies born before 22 weeks are not viable and are not to be helped". She claims doctors at James Paget Hospital in Norfolk told her that they would have tried to save the baby if he had been born two days later, at 22 weeks.

According to the Daily Mail, she told one paediatrician, "You have got to help", only for the man to respond: "No we don't."

"When I went into labour I was told he would be born dead, disabled and his skin would most likely be peeling off, in actual fact he was perfect," she wrote on her website Justice for Jayden. "As you can see from his pic he was born alive, he was responsive and lived without help for nearly 2 hours. "Regardless of this doctors refused to come and see him let alone consider helping him."

A hospital official said it not to blame for setting the nation's guidelines and "like other acute hospitals, we follow national guidance". [Is the thing that said that a human being??]

Ms Capewell is now campaigning to make the Government change the law. "This is down to government legislation stating that babies born before 22 weeks are not viable and are not to be helped," she said. "Now I'm asking for your help in changing legislation so other families don't have to suffer unnecessarily."



Three current articles below

Alarming wait for urgent medical procedures in NSW government hospitals

WAITING lists for urgent operations such as heart bypasses and cancer surgery have blown out dramatically this financial year, with the number of operations performed statewide falling by 5260 to 32,913 in July compared to the same month last year - a 14 per cent slump. The Health Minister, John Hatzistergos, released figures on Tuesday showing an improvement in elective surgery waiting times in the March to June quarter. But surgeons said administrators had approved extra surgery during this period to meet performance benchmarks, only to slash it subsequently.

''On July 1 they took the foot off the accelerator,'' said Patrick Cregan, the chairman of NSW Health's Surgical Services Taskforce. ''There's been an enormous blowout since then.'' While this was partly attributable to the swine flu epidemic, which reduced the number of beds available for surgical patients, ''the vast bulk of it is that we've got a budget problem'', Dr Cregan said. Fully staffed operating theatres were going unused, he said, as surgery was cancelled. ''It's an enormous waste of operating capacity,'' Dr Cregan said.

Another taskforce member, Brian McCaughan, said that at the end of July, 227 people who needed urgent operations such as heart, cancer or brain surgery were still on the waiting list beyond the 30 days recommended maximum, and more than 3000 others had waited too long for less urgent operations. This was in addition to patients who finally received their operation in July after waiting longer than benchmark times.

Professor McCaughan said the swine flu outbreak affected only operations where high-level care was needed afterwards. ''We did fewer hearts, but [the epidemic] doesn't impact on colons, hernias, gall bladders or breasts'', for which waiting lists had also increased. Budget allocations presented by NSW Health to area health services show the number of operations that can be performed statewide this year will be capped at 255,000, with hospital managers financially penalised if they deviate by more than 5 per cent from the targets.

NSW Health's acting deputy director-general for health system performance, Nigel Lyons, said the figures had not been finalised but were ''indicative''. Allocations had been calculated to allow 100 per cent of patients to be treated within recommended times, he said. Western Sydney hospitals will be allowed to perform less than two-thirds the number of operations allocated to eastern Sydney region under the new budgeting method - which awards money for actual ''episodes of care'', rather than allowing area bosses to distribute funds as they see fit.

Despite their similar catchment populations of just over a million each, Sydney West Area Health Service can perform only 30,812 operations, against South Eastern Sydney Area Health Service's 48,853. Dr Lyons and the NSW Health director-general, Debora Picone, would visit Nepean Hospital today to discuss doctors' concerns about the new formula, which the chairman of the hospital's medical staff council, Peter Flynn, said illustrated ''ingrained inequity''.

He said doctors would insist the department commit to 9000 extra operations a year in western Sydney by 2011, as facilities were opened or expanded.


Another overstetched public hospital doctor speaks out in Queensland

I WORK at one of Brisbane's largest hospitals as a surgical registrar. I have been very close to writing this letter many times in recent years but thought it would fall on deaf ears. I often have to work several months straight. That is, leaving my home at 6.30am every day and returning at 9pm or 10pm – often later, in the early hours of the morning, to have a few hours sleep and do it again.

There have been occasions over the years where I have been so fatigued I have fallen asleep while performing surgery, literally slumping forward while standing over the patient's open body on the operating table. On other occasions, I've seen my senior consultants fall asleep while operating, such was their exhaustion. It is terrifying to watch. Imagine if the patient knew the risk they were in.

We are meant to work 38-40 hour weeks. I will often do those many hours in a single weekend on call. My true hours are 50-70 hours per week. I have done over 100 at times. In addition to this, we're supposed to have four days off for every 14 days of work and, if you looked at the roster, it would seem as though they have allowed for this. But there is also an "unspoken" roster that has meant most of us only get about two to three days for every 30 days of work.

Surgery staff don't get time in lieu. If there's no one else to do it, you just have to work. If there's no one else to cover the ward on a weekend, you just have to do it. It doesn't matter to Queensland Health that you have just worked 30 days straight and haven't seen your spouse or kids in a fortnight.

Fatigue pay is what you get when you have worked your "rostered" hours for the day (7.30am-4.30pm). But you have to do so much overtime that your next "rostered" day starts before you get a chance to have an eight-hour break. We're supposed to have eight hours (of every 24 hours) not working. Fatigue pay kicks in when you have to return to work before having eight hours off (often we don't "return" as we haven't even had a chance to leave from the previous day).

If you complain about the hours and workload, you simply will not be able to progress in your career. If you want to get on to a competitive training program, your reference "scores" might be affected and you will not be able to specialise. It sounds crazy, with such a shortage of specialists, but as I have been told many times over: "you have to play the game" if you want to get into your chosen field.

The only problem is – without any exaggeration – the "game" maims and kills patients. It destroys doctors' health, marriages and relationships with their children. In addition to this, think of patient safety – you couldn't drive a car after such long hours of work, so why are we expected to perform surgery?

Most of us are extremely disillusioned, exhausted and in fear of our jobs if we speak about it, even among ourselves. Yes, we need more doctors. We're training more at uni than ever, so we will definitely have the graduates in coming years. But we need the specialty colleges to create the training positions and the hospitals to create the training-approved positions to accommodate these doctors until they become fully qualified (which can be five to 10 years after they finish medical school).

And there are simple short-term solutions at hand that everyone in the hospital system knows about but are too afraid to talk about to the media. At the hospital I work at, there are spare operating theatres that go unused. If they were to open these theatres and have them all fully functioning for urgent cases, we could get the elective lists completed during working hours.

Most doctors I know no longer enjoy what they do. Many have dropped out of surgery. Often our patients, who we sacrifice our family time to help, simply refuse to help themselves and we know we are just beating our heads against a brick wall trying to assist them in medical intervention when they'll just go back to the same habits or self-abuse.

Forget about the pay. Most of us didn't get into the industry for money. Many years out of medical school, I am still paying off my degree. Money doesn't buy you sleep. It doesn't buy you good health or lower stress levels. It doesn't buy you a place on a training program. Nor does it save your marriage. Money doesn't even give you a chance to have dinner with your family or tuck your kids into bed – not even one night a week.

Doctors should not have to put up with these conditions. The Government must step up. There is so much that could be done to help the situation and not all involve multibillion dollar budgets. It just needs some common sense. We need some action. People are literally dying for it.


Study slams jargon in public hospital consent forms

MORE than 80 per cent of the consent forms patients are asked to sign before having an operation are incomprehensible to anyone without specialist medical knowledge. Ninety per cent of the forms do not make clear the purpose of the planned operation, and 95 per cent of them do not list the relevant risks to the patient, research by Australian experts suggests.

The experts, from an Adelaide hospital, reviewed hundreds of consent documents given to patients to sign since 2005, and found one in 15 did not use a single word to describe the procedure that could be understood by looking it up in a standard English dictionary.

Far from being isolated cases, they say such language is typical of consent documents used nationwide, and that such use of jargon is "unacceptable", particularly given that many patients are elderly and in frail health.

The authors of the research, published today in the Medical Journal of Australia, suggest mandatory standards should be introduced to ensure patients are better informed. Lead researcher Mark Siddins, director of the urology unit at Adelaide's Repatriation General Hospital, said many doctors appeared to think the point of consent forms was to protect them from being sued, rather than to help the patient make the right treatment choice. He said while hospital technology had been transformed in the last 20 years, the way doctors interacted with patients had changed little. "We are surprised indemnity insurers don't require that doctors give (understandable) consent information."


Obama makes his case for health care reform

All hot air, fantasy, abuse of those who disagree with him and no detail -- in his usual way

His prime-time speech to both houses of Congress was punctuated by standing ovations but when Mr Obama said it was "false" that his plan would cover illegal immigrants one Republican congressman shouted out: "You lie!" Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina later apologised for his dramatic outburst, which shocked Mr Obama and drew a disapproving shakes of the head from Michelle Obama, the First Lady...

Mr Obama's speech alternated between high-minded calls for Americans to come together to show the strength of the nations character with hard-edged partisan attacks on Republicans. The time for "bickering" was over, he insisted, and asked politicians to "replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress". {Progress in one direction, of course]

But he also blasted Republicans for mounting a "partisan spectacle" over the summer. "Instead of honest debate, we have seen scare tactics," he said. Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise." Although he did not use her name, he left no doubt that he was calling Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, a liar. "Some of people's concerns have grown out of bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost.

"The best example is the claim, made not just by radio and cable talk show hosts, but prominent politicians, that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens. "Such a charge would be laughable if it weren't so cynical and irresponsible. It is a lie, plain and simple." Mrs Palin made the charge in the summer and then repeated it in an article in the "Wall Street Journal" on Wednesday.

Mr Obama told his critics: "I will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it's better politics to kill this plan than improve it. If you misrepresent what's in the plan, we will call you out."

In a long tribute to Senator Edward Kennedy, who died last month, he referred to a last letter to Mr Obama that his mentor had arranged to be delivered after his death. "'What we face," Mr Kennedy wrote, 'is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country." Mr Kennedy's widow Vicki looked on sadly from the First Lady's box and Vice President Joe Biden, seated behind Mr Obama wiped his eye.

Mr Obama said his proposed overhaul would cut costs, improve care and regulate insurers to help protect consumers while expanding coverage. He pledged that the proposal, which would cost $900 billion over 10 years, would not increase the budget deficit by "one dime".

He reiterated his support for the "public option" of a government-run insurance plan, a favourite concept of the Left but something that has drawn strong opposition from conservative Democrats as well as Republicans...

In preparing to abandon the public option, Mr Obama is calculating that his party's Left will not be able to bring themselves to vote against a bill that would extend health coverage to millions, even if they consider it imperfect.

Some on the Left, however, might be hard to placate. Steve Hildebrand, Mr Obama's deputy campaign manager and an architect of his crucial primary victories in Iowa and South Carolina, this week became the most senior Obama ally to break ranks. "I am one of the millions of frustrated Americans who want to see Washington do more than it's doing right now," he told Politico, saying that he "needs to be more bold in his leadership" and was among Democrats in power who should not be allowed to "get away with a lack of performance for the American people".

More here. A longer account of the session here. Obama's full speech is here.

Obama shadow boxes with 'enemies' of health plan

Emmanuel Goldstein was the enemy of the state in George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four," and the target of the "Two Minutes Hate," in which the citizens of Oceania -- at the cue of Big Brother -- would rage at those undermining the state and the party. Within the novel, it's never clear if Goldstein is real or a fabricated whipping boy for party officials and angry citizens.

Unlike Big Brother, President Obama hasn't even deigned to give us a name for the enemy of "reform." He uses only ominous, vague epithets: "Opponents of health insurance reform," "well-financed forces" and "those who are profiting from the status quo."

So I asked both the White House and the Democratic Party to name these malefactors of great wealth. I called the White House last week, and asked for names, and was told to e-mail spokesman Reid Cherlin. I asked Cherlin about the statement, "For those who fight reform in order to profit financially or politically from the status quo, the president sends a simple message: 'Not this time.' "

And I asked about this line in Portsmouth, N.H: "Despite all the hand-wringing pundits and the best efforts of those who are profiting from the status quo ... " "Please name names," I requested. "Which businesses, lobbyists or industries is he referring to?"

Mr. Cherlin hasn't responded.

I also called Organizing for America, the heir of the Obama campaign, now run by the Democratic National Committee. In an e-mail, the group wrote: "Opponents of health insurance reform have power. Some reap huge profits from the status quo." And: "These same well-financed forces have killed reform in the past, and they're aiming to do it again."

Who were these "well-financed forces" and profiting "opponents of ... reform"? Organizing for America didn't call me back, either.

You see this nameless line of attack from Obama and the Democrats every day. It's called demagoguery.

Since Obama won't put a name on the enemies of reform, we need to do some detective work. A prime suspect "profiting from the status quo" would be the industry within the medical sector with the highest profit margins, namely the drug makers, which averaged 16.5 percent profit margins last quarter.

But the drug makers have been team players. The Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, the largest industry lobbying group in the country, is shelling out $12 million for pro-"reform" ads this summer and fall. Obama has bragged that "even the pharmaceutical industry" is on board.

Doctors? Nope. Obama said in Portsmouth, "We have the American Medical Association on board." The obvious culprit remaining is the health insurance industry. Why, then, don't Obama or the DNC name the insurers, and their lobby, America's Health Insurance Plans, as the "well-financed forces" profiting from the status quo. Is the president just being polite?

More likely the president doesn't want to name the health insurers as enemies because the industry is lobbying for most of the Democrats' plans -- especially the subsidies for private insurance and the proposed mandate that everybody buy insurance. The industry dissents on only one proposal: a government insurance option.

For Obama, a nameless enemy is more useful because it allows people to imagine whatever "well-financed forces" they like as the enemy. It's visceral demagoguery.

Liberals, who see a government option as indispensable, still imagine that Obama is engaged in a death struggle with the insurers -- even though Obama has signaled he's willing to toss the government option overboard. Meanwhile, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, tying together former House Majority Leader Dick Armey's lobbying for a drug company and his nonprofit group's opposition to Obama's reform, argued on Aug. 7 that the drug companies were the well-financed opponents of reform -- even though they're supporting it.

Obama, in "The Audacity of Hope," described himself as "a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." Today, through his rhetoric, Obama has created a different blank screen, one on which he invites his allies to project not their hopes but their fears and resentments.

Obama adviser David Axelrod has convinced Obama that attacking the health insurers is good politics. But Obama still won't call them opponents of "reform" because there's a good chance he'll sign off on the insurers' agenda. Then he can claim victory over those dastardly "opponents of reform."


More liberal lies about national health care

By Ann Coulter

12) Only national health care can provide "coverage that will stay with you whether you move, change your job or lose your job" – as Obama said in a New York Times op-ed.

This is obviously a matter of great importance to all Americans, because, with Obama's economic policies, none of us may have jobs by year's end. The only reason you can't keep – or often obtain – health insurance if you move or lose your job now is because of ... government intrusion into the free market.

You will notice that if you move or lose your job, you can obtain car and home insurance, hairdressers, baby sitters, dog walkers, computer technicians, cars, houses, food and every other product and service not heavily regulated by the government. (Although it does become a bit harder to obtain free office supplies.)

Federal tax incentives have created a world in which the vast majority of people get health insurance through their employers. Then to really screw ordinary Americans, the tax code actually punishes people who don't get their health insurance through an employer by denying individuals the tax deduction for health insurance that their employers get.

Meanwhile, state governments must approve the insurers allowed to operate in their states, while mandating a list of services – i.e. every "medical" service with a powerful lobby – which is why Joe and Ruth Zelinsky, both 88, of Paterson, N.J., are both covered in case either one of them ever needs a boob job.

If Democrats really wanted people to be able to purchase health insurance when they move or lose a job as easily as they purchase car insurance and home insurance (or haircuts, dog walkers, cars, food, computers), they could do it in a one-page bill lifting the government controls and allowing interstate commerce in health insurance. This is known as "allowing the free market to operate."

Don't miss the August edition of Whistleblower magazine: "Medical Murder: Why Obamacare could result in the early deaths of millions of baby boomers" Plus, think of all the paper a one-page bill would save! Don't Democrats care about saving the planet anymore? Go green!

13) The "public option" trigger is something other than a national takeover of health care.

Why does the government get to decide when the "trigger" has been met, allowing it to do something terrible to us? Either the government is better at providing goods and services or the free market is – and I believe the historical record is clear on that. Why do liberals get to avoid having that argument simply by invoking "triggers"?

Why not have a "trigger" allowing people to buy medical insurance on the free market when a trigger is met, such as consumers deciding their health insurance is too expensive? Or how about a trigger allowing us to buy health insurance from Utah-based insurers – but only when triggered by our own states requiring all insurance companies to cover marriage counseling, drug rehab and shrinks?

Thinking more broadly, how about triggers for paying taxes? Under my "public option" plan, citizens would not have to pay taxes until a trigger kicks in. For example, 95 percent of the Department of Education's output is useful, or – in the spirit of compromise – at least not actively pernicious.

Also, I think we need triggers for taking over our neighbors' houses. If they don't keep up 95 percent of their lawn – on the basis of our lawn commission's calculations – we get to move in. As with Obama's public option trigger, we (in the role of "government") pay nothing. All expenses with the house would continue to be paid by the neighbor (playing "taxpayer").

To make our housing "public option" even more analogous to Obama's health care "public option," we'll have surly government employees bossing around the neighbors after we evict them and a website for people to report any negative comments the neighbors make about us.

Another great trigger idea: We get to pull Keith Olbermann's hair to see if it's a toupee – but only when triggered by his laughably claiming to have gone to an Ivy League university, rather than the bovine management school he actually attended.

14) National health care will not cover abortions or illegal immigrants.

This appeared in an earlier installment of "Liberal Lies About Health Care," but I keep seeing Democrats like Howard Dean and Rep. Jan Schakowsky on TV angrily shouting that these are despicable lies – which, in itself, constitutes proof that it's all true.

Then why did Democrats vote down amendments that would prohibit coverage for illegals and abortion? (Also, why is Planned Parenthood collecting petition signatures in Manhattan – where they think they have no reason to be sneaky – in support of national health care?)

On July 30 of this year, a House committee voted against a Republican amendment offered by Rep. Nathan Deal that would have required health-care providers to use the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program to prevent illegal aliens from receiving government health care services. All Republicans and five Democrats voted for it, but 29 Democrats voted against it, killing the amendment.

On the same day, the committee voted 30-29 against an amendment offered by Republican Joe Pitts explicitly stating that government health care would not cover abortions. Zealous abortion supporter Henry Waxman – a walking, breathing argument for abortion if ever there was one – originally voted in favor of the Pitts amendment because that allowed him, in a sleazy parliamentary trick, to bring the amendment up for reconsideration later. Which he did – as soon as he had enough Democrats in the hearing room to safely reject it.

If any liberal sincerely believes that national health care will not cover illegals and abortion, how do they explain the Democrats frantically opposing amendments that would make this explicit?


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