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Editorial Staff

HealthCetera is moving on: from fm radio to podcast

By Editorial Staff

August 10, 2017

photocredit:WesleyFryer
Source: flickr

 

 

HealthCetera provides evidence-based news, analysis and commentary. For over 30 years – beginning with our roots in FM radio, we’ve fostered a place where diverse, dynamic, front-line experts discuss the latest real-world effects of healthcare and health policy. We believe journalism has a critical role in promoting a healthy and just society.

 
Subscribe to our podcast http://apple.co/2hOW5bI on iTunes.

 

Editorial Staff

Human Rights, Pride, and the Russian Divide

By Editorial Staff

July 27, 2017

By Sarah Lobo

Edited by Kristi Westphaln

 

June and July have hosted many fantastic events across the United States in celebration and support of the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus) community. As these events draw to a close, it remains important to keep human rights on the forefront of policy discussions. While many people promote and accept the LGBTQ+ community, oppression and discrimination represent significant challenges.

 

Russian law hosts some of the strongest discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality was classified as a mental illness until 1999 and gay rights forums were banned in Moscow until 2006. This past year at the Women’s March in Moscow, young people displaying rainbow flags were arrested due to “promoting” the LGBTQ+ community. Russia’s current view on LGBTQ+ issues has caused the government to continuously ban Moscow Pride since its original launch date in May 2006. Additionally, it remains illegal to distribute any LGBTQ+ related materials to minors.

 

In 2014, Russia passed an Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill that prevented LGBTQ+ children from accessing support groups and information by a 436-0 vote. This bill attempted to sever access to support resources for LGBTQ+ teenagers, including Children-404 and Gayrussia.ru. Children-404 helps by creating online forums for LGBTQ+ teenagers. They publish real, anonymous letters from Russian who share their lives, interactions, and experiences. Gayrussia.ru strives to assist the Russian LGBTQ+ community via initiating events and marches to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ population. Gayrussia.ru has attempted to organize Moscow Pride marches, however this has been outlawed and deemed punishable via physical torture by the Russian government.

 

Gayrussia.ru’s motto, “Gay Equality, No Compromise,” perfectly shows their message and mission. These organizations are two of the many that demand change. They need help. Only the people of the world can bring about change. This issue cannot go unchecked and needs to be fixed NOW. If you aren’t convinced, go to Children-404’s website and read a few of their letters:

 

“Parents, when did you disavow your child? Why did you betray your determination to be there for them, to protect and support? Who are you to your child now, when you found out he’s different: a chastener, a ruthless judge, a detached boring preacher? You promised to love your child ALWAYS, WHATEVER HAPPENS, probably BEFORE HE WAS EVEN BORN, so why did you break your promise? Why do you demand from your child to be responsible for something you cannot change without causing harm? Are you sure you can change the sexuality of your grown-up children? Are you sure your life priorities are placed in the right order?”Anonymous Letter, January 16, 2015, Children 404

 

World humanitarian rights are typically championed by the United Nations. Currently, the United Nations allows member countries to individually ratify its edicts, including the one concerning LGBTQ+ rights. This contributes to the sluggish passage of humanitarian rights in many countries.  Additionally, many countries avoid passing certain edicts due to concerns regarding accountability for previous actions. Once a country passes a law or definition agreed upon by the United Nations, they are bound to acknowledge and respond accordingly. That action may require reparations, a formal apology, or sometimes more drastic measures as was the case when Germany formally accepted the UN’s definition of genocide after the Holocaust.

 

Russia is not alone. Just today, President Trump announced plans to ban transgender individuals from serving in the United States military. I am not proud that human rights are not always a first priority in many countries throughout the world. However, I’m hopeful that equity and equality will prevail when human rights are made the priority and love becomes the ultimate agenda.

 

This blog is authored bySarah Lobo, high school student, human rights advocate, and Healthcetera intern. Sarah and her friend, Parker Russ, have created a video depicting the challenges of Russian LGBTQ+ youth. Please check it out here:

 

Editorial Staff

Nurses raise their voices: “Do No Harm”

By Editorial Staff

June 28, 2017

 

 

This post is written by George Washington University faculty member Joyce Pulcini, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, FAAN, with contributions by Kari Deakins and Jennifer Kanelos, George Washington University School of Nursing students who attended the action. Dr. Joyce is a member of the National Advisory Council at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement.

 

 

On a hot Washington Thursday, June 22, a group of health care professionals and students in white coats descended on Capitol Hill to protest the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA)

 

This new Act would replace the current Affordable Care Act. President Trump was quoted as saying that the House-passed health care reform bill as being a “mean” health insurance bill. The AHCA would leave almost 24 million uninsured. Nurses, physicians and other [health] professionals stood tall at this press conference.  House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Raul Ruiz, a physician from California and Congressman Steny Hoyer from Maryland [were] in attendance.

 

The vehemence with which this group expressed their displeasure with the bill was refreshing.  We heard physician after physician speak of the horrors and dangers of having no insurance, the consequences of which we all have seen in many patients who deserve better.  Possible victims include: elderly patients in nursing homes, whose costs represent 42% of the Medicaid dollar (nursing home residents account for about 6% of Medicaid enrollees); women seeking gynecological care; pregnant women whose pregnancy may now be defined as a preexisting condition; children on Medicaid, which covers 40% of all children; and disabled individuals living in facilities covered by Medicaid.  All will be vulnerable. 

 

The [health care] group continued to voice the mantra, “Do no harm” and speakers addressed the harms of this proposed bill would have if passed. Passage of this bill would devastate a population that finally received health insurance through the ACA, after many years of poor or delayed care. Today’s American population is aging.  The proposed legislation would turn the clock back for the elderly, women and children toward failed “uncompensated care” pools.  We spoke of people with conditions that are preventable or curable if picked up under current routine preventive care (“essential health benefits”), which could disappear under the new law by 2019. 

 

GWSON students who attended the briefing share their reactions about attending:

 

Kari Deakins:

As a student it was very inspiring to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with providers of the interdisciplinary team to share our disagreement with the new AHCA. Our patients will be from many socioeconomic backgrounds in the future, and we must ensure that vulnerable populations are protected. The newly proposed AHCA risks the loss of health care benefits to millions of Americans, the possible denial of future benefits to millions more. It was motivating to listen to our future colleagues and physicians tell countless stories about their patients who would be affected by this damaging legislation. We must be vigilant and active as students to protect our patients and those that who need our help, and as we move into our practice and nursing careers, we must remain proactive in the advocacy of our patients.”  

 

Jennifer Kanelos:

“Participating in the white coat press conference was one of the most inspiring and memorable days I’ve had at GW to date. Gathering on Capitol Hill with nurses, physicians and med students united in the belief that all Americans deserve access to affordable health coverage, left an impact on me that will last a lifetime. From day one, we learn at GW SON to provide patient centered care focused on evidence based research. The facts are unequivocal, denying millions of people health coverage like the AHCA would do, will have devastating results on our ability to provide care for those that need it most.

I am halfway into my nursing education, and something in me has changed for the better. My experience at GW and with patients in the clinical rotations, have given me a new outlook on the world. I see people and our country differently now, and standing among so many providers with the Capitol and Washington Monument behind us, I truly felt like I belonged to something bigger than myself. Energized by the passion and commitment of the speakers and elected officials, I became a healthcare advocate that day. I look forward to a lifetime of speaking out on behalf of my patients, working towards a more perfect union, and maybe even one day asking for your vote”.

We were all there to prevent the devastating effects of the AHCA. We cannot afford to harm the American people with this bill, which would dismantle care that had finally become a reality for so many. As health care professionals we must DO NO HARM!

 

 

Update: On Tuesday, June 27, Senate Republican leaders bowed to pressure from within their own ranks and postponed a vote to overhaul the Affordable Care Act until after the Fourth of July recess. 

 

This post is written by Joyce Pulcini, PhD, RN, PNP-BC, FAAN, with contributions by George Washington University School of Nursing students Kari Deakins and Jennifer Kanelos who attended the action with her.

Editorial Staff