kuangning: (disaffected)

Family Debates Hospital’s Action in Woman’s Death

CBS 11 News) "It was against our will to unplug her. We never wanted that.”

Daniel Salvi and his family surrounded his sister’s bedside Monday at Baylor Regional Medical Center in Plano and watched doctors take the 27-year-old off life support.

"It didn't take long — 15 to 16 minutes,” Tirhas Habtegiris’ brother recalled.

Habtegiris had abdominal cancer that spread to her lungs. Eventually, she was on a ventilator and her cousin took care of her.

The family said doctors told them they would have to remove her from life support in 10 days.

When the family disagreed, the hospital's Clinical Ethics Committee met and decided to take Habtegiris off the ventilator.

The hospital declined an on-camera interview, but in a statement said they "contacted 12 facilities including hospitals, long term acute care facilities and nursing homes, all of whom declined to accept the patient.”

Salvi believes this would not have happened if his sister had health insurance.

"If you don't have money in this country, you're nothing. You're not a human being."

But a Dallas attorney who worked on the law said money has nothing to do with it and only clinical matters are considered.

Dr. Allan Shulkin, who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine at another Dallas hospital, supports the law.

"Sometimes applying technology when there is no other opportunity for recovery is wrong not because it’s expensive, but because it prolongs suffering," he said.

Salvi said his sister wanted to die in her mother's arms.

A hospital spokesperson the facility offered to hire an immigration attorney free of charge to help bring the woman's mother from East Africa.

Relatives, however, said the East African process was too lengthy.

Contrast this with Schiavo, who was brain dead, whose husband had already made the hard decision to remove life support. Then ask yourself where the outcry is, and why.


Jun. 29th, 2005 04:50 pm
kuangning: (pureglasscup what now?)
NEW YORK (CNN) -- A Republican congressman from North Carolina told CNN on Wednesday that the "evidence is clear" that Iraq was involved in the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001.

Let's recap this slowly for you, Robin -- it's obvious that you've been sitting in the back of the classroom staring out the window all this time.

  • The attacks were plotted and carried out by al Qaeda. Remember them? Remember, the guy we're looking for is Osama bin Laden? I know they may all seem alike to you, Robin, but really and truly, Osama isn't Saddam. Two different people entirely. I promise you.

  • We had the 9/11 commission look into this. They reported back in August of last year, saying that there was no evidence that Saddam was connected to 9/11. He did not help al Qaeda carry out or plan the attacks.

  • Even President Bush has acknowledged that there is no evidence Saddam was involved in the 9/11 attacks. Let me point out the dates on those for you: they came way back in 2003.

Now, I can see where you might think you have better insight and information than the 9/11 committee, but better insight and intelligence than the President himself, Robin? They didn't go to him with proof, but they came to lay it on your desk? How nice for you. I hope they brought you a nice dose of Risperdal along with it, and some tea and cakes, too.

Even worse,  Robin, you're Vice Chairman of the House Subcommittee on terrorism. You should know better. You have to know better. And if you don't, then you haven't been paying any attention whatsoever. So, either A) you're somehow privy to information the President doesn't have, in which case, you ought to hand it over;  B) you're so incompetent that you haven't yet caught up with conclusions reached more than a year ago; or C) you're misusing your position and deliberately lying. Do tell me if there's a fourth option I've missed in there, won't you? And in the meantime? Sit down and stay away from the media, 'cause you're making us all look bad.

Edit: fixed link.
kuangning: (Ami)
AFA mail generally makes me cringe -- it's usually just this side of pure intolerance and bile. Occasionally, however, they get it right.

Dear C,

Allstate has fired a manager because he expressed his Christian beliefs concerning homosexuality.  Matt Barber was a manager in Allstate's Corporate Security Division.  On his own time, and without identifying himself as an employee of Allstate, he wrote a column posted on several websites which was critical of same-sex marriage.

An outside homosexual group complained to Allstate about the column.  Because of their support for the homosexual agenda, Barber was immediately fired and ushered off company property.

The message is clear: To work for Allstate one must not publicly express their Christian belief in the Bible's teaching on homosexuality.  Barber was fired because he did.  Homosexuals can criticize and condemn the Bible's teaching and they are welcomed, but Christians must remain silent. 

After following the link to the article, I find I have to agree: Allstate appears to be in the wrong on this one.

I'm setting aside the allegation of retaliation at the heart of the firing, although I think that's probably more accurate than that Allstate's out to persecute every Christian in their ranks who dares to speak up, because whether it's accurate or not, that's not the reason they gave.  The trouble is that the reason they gave should not ever be viewed as a valid reason, and then it couldn't be used as a screen for other things.

Expressing your opinion on your own time, using your own resources, shouldn't be grounds for termination. I don't care if you're employing members of the Ku Klux Klan, if they're breaking no laws in or out of work, and behaving appropriately at work, you don't have cause for termination. Reverse the situation and make it someone writing about pro-GLBT issues and being fired by their company for it, and there'd be outrage, and rightly so. We can't promote respect for personal rights by violating the personal rights of others. When we advocate tolerance, we then agree to act out of that same tolerance ourselves.

And that's exactly what my email is going to say.
kuangning: (magic photosphere)
Funny how some things hit harder than you think they will.

Every weekday afternoon from the time I was old enough to know how to tell time, I spent a couple of pleasant hours in front of the television with my afternoon snack in hand. Homework waited, and everything else faded into the background. Sesame Street. Reading Rainbow. Mr Rogers' Neighborhood. They were imports from the awesome USA, touched with splendour, and I made my science teacher explain more than once how it was possible that we in our tiny island could be watching the same thing at the same time as who-knew-how-many boys and girls so far away.

When we emigrated, I was twelve, and really too old for those shows. But America's almost-but-not-quite sameness left me feeling as if I'd stepped into some skewed mirror world, and I searched the Tampa stations until I found a familiar voice. And I watched every weekday afternoon until I was steadier and found other things to take up my time and pull me into my new world and my new home.

When he retired, I was sad because my children wouldn't get to experience his warmth and solidarity except in reruns. But now he's gone, and I really thought we'd have him around longer than this.

G'bye, Mr Rogers. I'll miss you. I hope you knew what a difference you made.
kuangning: (Default)

This bothers me. Aside from eliciting the whole "day late and a dollar short" reaction for me, there is the fact that you cannot suppress information these days. You really can't. At best, you can only hope to delay its discovery. And the fact is, anything anyone wants badly enough can be obtained, if they are willing to stop at nothing to obtain it.

So you suppress the information on a "superbug." And it turns out that you haven't suppressed it as well as you thought you had -- or the terrorists had scientists of their own who could duplicate the experiments. Or one of your own people isn't as loyal as s/he might have been.

You know what you have then?

You have a weapon in the hands of your enemy, about which the vast majority of people know absolutely nothing. Not how to counteract it, not how to keep themselves out of harm's way, nothing. And perhaps you don't even know it's been leaked, you're secure in the belief that it's been suppressed. So perhaps you yourself haven't bothered to develop ways to counter the threat.

Where does suppressing the information get you then?
kuangning: (angry)

Mass arrests of Muslims in LA

US immigration officials in Southern California have detained hundreds of Iranians and other Muslim men who turned up to register under residence laws brought in as part of the anti-terror drive. Reports say between 500 and 700 men were arrested in and around Los Angeles after they complied with an order to register by 16 December.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is refusing to say how many people were arrested but said detainees were being held for suspected visa violations and other offences. The arrests sparked angry protests in Los Angeles by thousands of Iranian-Americans waving banners which read "What's next? Concentration camps?" and "Free our fathers, brothers, husbands and sons". Official radio in Iran also reported the arrests and the protests, which it said were mounted by families of the detainees who converged on Los Angeles.

Under the new US immigration rules, all male immigrants aged 16 and over from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria had to register with authorities by Monday unless they had been naturalised as citizens. Southern California has a huge Iranian community. Immigrants from other mainly Muslim states have been set later deadlines for registration. Community groups said men had been arrested in Los Angeles and nearby Orange County as well as San Diego.

California is home to about 600,000 Iranians who have been living in exile since the 1979 Islamic revolution. One of the Iranian-American demonstrators in Los Angeles, Ali Bozorgmehr, told the French news agency AFP that his community was being targeted unjustly. "All Iranians that live in America are hard-working people... They love this country and all... are against terrorism," he said.

Ramona Ripston, executive director of the Southern California chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the arrests were reminiscent of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. "I think it is shocking what is happening," she said. "We are getting a lot of telephone calls from people. We are hearing that people went down wanting to co-operate and then they were detained." Islamic community leaders said many detainees had been living, working and paying taxes in the US for up to a decade and had families there. "Terrorists most likely wouldn't come to the INS to register," said Sabiha Khan of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. She said the detainees were "being treated as criminals, and that really goes against American ideals of fairness, and justice and democracy".

Story taken verbatim from here.
kuangning: (cheerful)
December 12, 2002: NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced that Barbara Morgan, the agency's first Educator Astronaut, has been assigned as a crewmember on a November 2003 Space Shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Today's announcement was highlighted with a ceremony at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and fulfills the Administrator's commitment earlier this year to send an educator into space in a renewed mission to inspire a new generation of explorers. Morgan's flight represents the first of what is expected to be many flights as part of a new Educator Astronaut program, which will be unveiled in early 2003.

"NASA has a responsibility to cultivate a new generation of scientists and engineers," said Administrator O'Keefe.

"Education has always been a part of NASA's mission, but we have renewed our commitment to get students excited about science and mathematics. The Educator Astronaut program will use our unique position in space to help advance our nation's education goals," he explained.

Morgan's assigned mission, STS-118, has two primary objectives: the installation of additional truss segments that will increase power and communications to the International Space Station and the delivery of additional supplies for the Station's crew. Morgan will participate in a number of educational events from space and be actively involved in the flight as a fully trained NASA astronaut.

A native of McCall, Idaho, Morgan was selected in 1985 as the backup candidate for the Teacher in Space program. Following the Challenger accident, the program was suspended and Morgan worked with NASA's Education Office, meeting with teachers and students across the country to share her space training experiences and their relevance to the classroom and America's future.

In the fall of 1986 Morgan returned to teaching at McCall-Donnelly Elementary School in Idaho, but continued to travel the country in support of NASA's education efforts. In January 1998, she was selected by NASA to complete her astronaut training. For more than a year, Morgan has served as a spacecraft communicator, or CAPCOM, in Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, providing the voice link between the flight control team and crews orbiting in space.

"Barbara's commitment and dedication to education is an inspiration to teachers across the country," concluded Administrator O'Keefe. "She embodies the spirit and desire of this agency to get students excited about space again, and I'm pleased that she'll be able to fulfill that mission from orbit aboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station," he said.
kuangning: (thoughtful)
In other news, perhaps the premise of Maya's story wasn't so very far-fetched. Would you consider a tracking chip implant in your child?

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