Archive for the ‘Health Care’ Category

New CDC medical diagnosis code expected to help prevent autism wandering

July 26, 2011

A medical diagnosis code for wandering was announced by the Centers for Disease Control last Tuesday, a move intended to prevent wandering among people with autism and other disorders and diseases. The code will go into effect October 1 and will be identified as “wandering in conditions classified elsewhere” (V40.31). The code was announced at the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee meeting in Bethesda, MD, and was welcomed by autism advocates. Although the code is not specifically linked to autism or any other disorder or disease, it is hoped that the code will improve safety for those vulnerable to wandering, which include those with autism, cognitive disabilities, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Wandering and subsequent drownings are leading causes of death for children with autism, who are often prone to wandering, fascinated by water, and unaware of danger.  Many of these children are also impulsive and nonverbal.  In 2010, at least nine children with autism died in the U.S. after wandering, all of them by drowning. The trend has continued in 2011, with multiple incidents of deaths due to wandering. For each death, there are countless near-misses of mostly young children with autism who wander from homes and schools.

To read the rest of my article on Examiner.com, click here.

U.S. apologizes for infecting Guatemalans with syphilis in 1940s. Related news: The Tuskegee Experiment; the Age of Autism

October 1, 2010

The U.S. government has said it is sorry for using prostitutes to infect prison inmates in Guatemala with syphilis in the 1940s.  Researchers were testing how effective penicillin was in treating syphilis.  It’s an example of the government sacrificing people for the health of the entire herd.

The medical establishment’s research on and treatment of syphilis has a strange history.  Between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. government experimented on 400 poor black men from Alabama who had syphilis.  This became known as the Tuskegee Experiment.  The men were never told they had syphilis and were not given penicillin, the standard treatment for the disease.  Many of the men died from the disease or from complications of it, while some of the men gave the disease to their wives and had children with congenital syphilis.

From the late 15th century for several hundred years, mercury, one of the most toxic substances in the world, was used by doctors as a treatment for syphilis in Europe and then in the U.S.  While mercury killed bacteria, it had serious, often deadly side effects.

The use of mercury to treat syphilis in the past is explored by authors Dan Olmsted and Mark Blaxill in their new book, Age of Autism: Mercury, Medicine, and a Man-made Epidemic.  Olmsted, an award-winning journalist, and Blaxill, a Harvard-educated parent of a child with autism, discuss mercury in medicine, vaccines, pesticides, and fish, and the element’s toxic effects on humans.  They describe how the medical establishment has used mercury to treat ailments, but ignored its side effects, which often mimic autism.

I interviewed Olmsted and Blaxill for Examiner.com last month.  Here are some excerpts from the interview about mercury and syphilis, as syphilis is back in the news.  Click here for the whole interview.

Mike Frandsen:  You trace the medical establishment’s use of mercury to treat illnesses in the last several centuries. Why did doctors continue to use mercury even after they discovered it was toxic?

Dan Olmsted: I think one answer to that is that it seemed to work when nothing else really did. Mercury is a biologically active compound. If you have sores on your body, which you would get from syphilis, and you rub a mercury salve on it, the sores would clear up and seemingly that was a good thing. Unfortunately, the side effects were longer to show up and more obscure.

And what we see is a pattern where because it seemed to be useful to doctors in treating desperate patients, they would do it for a while and then when a better treatment came along they would quit using it and never look back and realize or acknowledge that they might have been killing people by the thousands even as they were treating them. It just kind of kept going, where we are still at a point where although we wouldn’t use arsenic or plutonium or lead or any toxic compound in medicine or as medicine, we still use mercury. And it has gotten a free pass for several hundred years and that we think really needs to stop.

Mercury was used to treat syphilis for hundreds of years. What happened to those patients?

Mark Blaxill: Mercury was used from the beginning of the syphilis epidemic in Europe from the late 15th century. Mercury was used as an ointment, a skin treatment, but over time, the idea was to try to get mercury closer to the infection or the site of the infection and not just on the skin. In the 1700s and 1800s people first started the practice of internal administration of mercury, specifically mercuric chloride, and doctors first began encouraging patients to drink it, and then not longer after, they started injecting mercuric chloride into syphilis patients.

Interestingly enough, when they started this internal administration approach to treating syphilis, a new, invariably fatal form of neurosyphilis, brain syphilis, began to emerge as well, something called general paralysis of the insane (GPI). These patients would go stock raving mad, wild and crazy with delusions and they would generally die quite quickly. These cases of GPI occurred in places where mercury treatments were common, and where the practice of treating patients with mercury chloride and mercury in general was not used, you would never see these cases of GPI.

If mercury is one of the causes of autism, and syphilis patients and children given teething powders were exposed to mercury, why didn’t they get autism?

Mark Blaxill: Syphilis patients were adults and so the exposure they had to mercury came much later in life. Autism is really a neurodevelopmental disease and it occurs in children very early in life. Once your brain is fully developed the exposure to mercury won’t have the same kind of effect.

Click here for the whole interview.

Obama and the media: give Hillary some credit on health care

April 4, 2010

It’s a real shame that neither the media nor President Obama have given Hillary Clinton any credit at all for the new health care plan.  It was more than 15 years ago that she basically drafted a similar plan.  The media has always been anti-Hillary, and Obama only gave the Clintons a quick mention during the press conference a couple of weeks ago.  He also stumbled across their names.

Quote of the Year on health care: French President Nicolas Sarkozy

April 4, 2010

I couldn’t have said it better myself.  Last week, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said to the U.S:

“Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor.

When we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it’s difficult to believe.

The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us.

If you come to France and something happens to you, you won’t be asked for your credit card before you’re rushed to the hospital.”

After a while, the debate got so ridiculous, you almost had to laugh.  As a country, we look bad when our healthy and wealthy people don’t want the poor and sick to have insurance.  We also look bad when we want insurance companies to continue to be able to take insurance away from those who are sick.

We look bad when we say, “Who’s going to pay for it?”  What if we had the same attitude about schools, libraries, police, and firemen?

People are either stupid or mean and lack empathy.

Of course, it’s easy to jump on a bandwagon and mock the French for opposing the Iraq war, implying that they’re weak and then never apologizing for it when it turns out they were right.


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