31 October 2010

What would YOU do?

Religion is always a touchy subject.

I was brought up without the routine of church every Sunday. I remember my 5th grade art teacher being appalled when I told her we had too much to do, we simply did not have time to sit in church. Yet, I turned out OK. (Then again, I have never been much of a sitter--more of a doer--I even have a hard time watching TV or a movie. I feel that there is so much more that I could fill that time with... such a waste.)

Let me say, before I lose the small audience that I do have, that I am a very spiritual person. I definitely believe in a higher power, but I am more inclined to believe in nature (Mother Nature) than in an overseeing man. hmmm, so, in effect, is it the sex of the force with which I take issue? I do not think so. Taoism somehow feels right to me, but I really have to study more. I also am very interested in Buddhism. So much to see and learn.

The reason I am bringing up this subject? What do I do, when a patient asks, "Are you Christian, doctor. Will you pray with me?" It has happened on more than one occasion, and in the past, I have prayed with them in my own way... but I always feel somewhat of a phony. This is especially true since prayer is not so much used in Taoism and Buddhism--more of a meditation or conjuring, for lack of a better term. Considering my field, I expect to be asked to pray many times in the future.

So, what do you do? What do you think is appropriate?

04 October 2010

little rant

I find it quite irksome when people who should know better "verb" adverbs or nouns. I just read an article that said, "... you can up your intake..." UP IS NOT A VERB, people!! Neither is lunch ("let's lunch"), Kohl's ("the more you know, the more you Kohl's"), and many more...

I remember in college, when I saw this on a t-shirt for one of the campus fraternities: "we've upped our standards, so up yours." It was funny then. And, they were fraternity brothers... they had an excuse. But this?!

I have seen this kind of grammatical suicide in news articles, magazines, on professional blogs... even have heard this on radio news. (I do not watch TV, so for all I know, it is happening there, too.) Is it laziness? simple lack of knowledge?! Are we allowing too much informality in our lives?

02 October 2010

Guatemalan experiments

I came across this in the news today, and was plainly shocked.

In today's society and times, human subjects are very closely guarded. Any time a researcher wants to do as much as reviewing charts, one has to get permission from the institute's IRB (Institutional Review Board), after taking a tutorial and test about human subjects.

The fact that a power such as the United States took advantage of the poor and minorities is incomprehensible to me. Between 1946 and 1948, Dr. John C. Cutler was involved in a study in Guatemala. He infected 696 people with syphilis (+/- gonorrhea) by sending infected prostitutes to call on prisoners and enlisted men alike... anyone resistant was inoculated directly. The records are fuzzy as to whether the men were then treated with penicillin, or what the dose was--never mind the prostitutes. Dr. Cutler was apparently also involved in the Tuskegee Study in Alabama. At the Tuskegee Institute between 1932 and 1972, 600 black men who had syphilis were followed (all in the name of science and medicine, certainly) without being offered treatment. In both of these cases, the people involved did not know that they were being used as human test tubes... experimental subjects.

The Eugenics movement started around the same time--in the early 1940s--with the introduction of Planned Parenthood. Eugenics is the belief that certain people are unfit to breed and pass on their genes--and so they should not. We all joke that there should be a permit to procreate--to have children--these people were not joking. For people like Margaret Sanger, population control was the name of the game. Honestly, I had no idea that this was the impetus behind Planned Parenthood!!