A primary tenant of Western medicine is that people have the right to refuse medical treatment. President Joe Biden has ignored this tradition, the First Principle of Medical ethics (“First, do no harm”) and the Constitution of the United States.
In medicine, there’s a huge ethical difference between forbidding intervention and not only forcing individuals to comply, but forcing third parties like employers and medical personnel and administrators to intervene by mandating the involuntary breaching of bodily integrity.
The rare cases in contradiction are treatment of tuberculosis and psychosis where it’s proven that patients are an imminent danger to others, not just themselves. This infection can not rise to that level of threat.
There is a history consistent with quarantines – but only of the contagious or suspected contagious.
It’s an egregious violation of human rights to force invasive medical treatment on the unwilling except in emergent, extreme circumstances.
I’m often asked to comment on medical issues by friends. I’ve been having a Messaging conversation with a libertarian friend about what I consider myths. Here’s a loooong post, based on that conversation. I’m not linking to his reference videos, but you can search for them (or ask on my Facebook page) if you really want to give them the “clicks.” Comments should also be made on Facebook. (Keeping comments more public as well as trying to avoid “blog-pimping.”)
The problem I’ve seen is mixing criticism about policy (politics) errors from the actual science. It’s important to separate the science myths from the evidence for science facts. This “ZDoggMD” (Zubin Damania, MD) video is a good place to start for an overview. https://youtu.be/v8RpPeXCySw
As is this one, between Dr. Damania and Dr. Mike (Mikhail Varshavski, DO) who, in another useful (and easy to watch) conversation,
point out that it’s not wrong to be skeptical and question data. While reviewing the science and the scientific method, they discuss the harm from tribalism and politicization. Also, at 59 minutes, there’s an explanation about how the variants arise.
However, the skeptics are wrong to dismiss all data from formal regulatory and research sources. The scientific literature is best evaluated over time and in proportion with the number of supporting reports. As in the case of the Wuhan doctors who stood against their government to call the world’s attention to the outbreak in the first place, minority reports should be considered. The valid reports will stand the test of time, public scrutiny, and real world observation. In contrast, as in the case of the (infamous) retracted papers in Lancet and JAMA, questionable data will be disproven.
If we can’t agree on the above paragraph, there’s no common ground for discussion.
As for the questions I often receive about my personal sources (in reality, my integrity): I use as many sites as possible. I certainly do not refer to only one silo of information. And, yes, I have watched all of the videos people share – at least until last night, when my friend linked to ten. I have worked through over half of them, and watched the first part of all of those.
I prefer to evaluate the myths themselves, rarely discussing the validity of the sources, except to point out those falsehoods or to point out obvious pre-existing biases based on the statements of the speakers themselves.
For instance, there are repeated referrals to Robert F Kennedy, Jr., who isn’t a good source. He has made inaccurate claims about vaccines for years, shifting from blaming measles vaccines to aluminum and mercury & he makes money from his anti-vaccine advocacy.
The doctor at the school board meeting loses validity right from the first by flatly stating that masks cannot protect from any virus. Surgical masks and N95s work. https://www.aerzteblatt.de/int/archive/article/217467
He repeatedly talks about “the vaccine,” when there are at least four, developed by different companies, tested in different sites. Are all the nurses and other personnel involved going along with some conspiracy(ies) promulgated by corrupt doctors and companies?
He is absolutely mistaken about enhancement by the vaccines – as Dr. Zubin Damania pointed out in the first video above, real world observation on the sheer numbers of vaccinated disprove this myth.
The event he referenced about in Barnstable, Massachusetts is an anomaly, due to large indoor gatherings.
The pdf of the actual report is here https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7031e2-H.pdf
In fact, Barnstable answers the doctor’s question about why we’re seeing a surge in summer: people who were previously “socially distanced” are now gathering with fewer precautions. (Add the fact that the biggest breakouts are occurring in areas where close spaces and air conditioning are predominant.)
In the rest of the world, the vaccinated are less likely to get infected at all. At least 1/3 less likely, perhaps closer to 90%.
(This is pre-peer-reviewed data.)
In one video recommended, Geert Vanden Bossche, DMV, PhD, who is a frequently referred to, emphatically states that there is a virus, that it is highly infectious and it is deadly and that the vaccines are “excellent” & prevent disease – meaning the severe effects of infection. However, since they do prevent infection, I believe he is wrong about using vaccines in the middle of the pandemic.
The largest number of people becoming infected, and by corollary, becoming infectious, symptomatic, requiring hospitalization and dying, are unvaccinated. What we are seeing is that the vaccinated who do get infected are less sick – even though they are older and have more comorbidities.
There may be a kernel of truth in what Bossche says (in spite of the decreased numbers infected), since the vaccines were authorized first for the elderly and sick, who were also most likely to have an incomplete immune response.
Vanden Bossche proposes that the variants come from patients with partial immunity in the same way that antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics in already infected patients. As pointed out in the Dr Z and Dr. Mike explanation about how viruses mutate, the variants occur after thousands or millions of replications in infected people. The viruses first have to infect, then they have to survive and be infectious.
The vaccinated are much less likely to get infected in the first place so the numbers of infections that are necessary to happen for the event of mutations and spread to others occur in the unvaccinated. So fewer infections mean less chances to mutate.
Vanden Bossche doesn’t answer the question: “What do we do?” The alternative was to let them get sick and risk death, a risk which is much greater in this population than in younger people who likely have a stronger immune response.
Mike Yeadon, Ph.D. is another “expert ” that is frequently referenced because he once was a head researcher and CEO at Pfizer. He was one members of the team that did early mRNA vaccine research. Even he notes that he repeats that government shouldn’t be trusted. Included in contradictory statements, he claims that there’s no virus, after saying older and sicker people should probably choose to be vaccinated. What infection is Bossche talking about if Yeadon is right?
There’s an emotional video at the “A Warrior” vlog that has too many distractions to be useful in fighting for sane policy, with its emphasis on 9-11 and pedophile truthers. But I’ll cover some of the obvious errors:
Dr Sam Smith is wrong about the SARS-1 animal experiments. https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2A22UW
Il repeat: Do you believe that any group is powerful enough to suppress the observation of the effects of 500,000,000 doses of different vaccines all over the world – 350 million in the US, alone? – by the hundreds of thousands of doctors & even more nurses and other professionals who are involved and would need to be complicit?
Smith’s major objection is the regulation of treatments and what he believes is a politically motivated exaggerated risk of COVID. However, I know several people who have been hospitalized with the infection, and several friends have lost relatively young loved ones to it. I’m sure you have the same experience.
An August 26, 2021 “McCullough Report” podcast begins with a major myth: that there are 90% false positives in asymptomatic testing. That number might actually be 2-3% for saliva tests. But is closer to 1%. Confirmatory tests are recommended for any positive test.
(McCullough does quote the correct percentage of hospitalized cases which are vaccinated in the UK and Israel: 40%. This number should be evaluated in relation to the percentageof vaccinatedin the community and who is getting sick. Both countries have a majority of elderly, who are likely to have less immunity efficacy, and were the first eligible for vaccination roll outs. These are also the people who are getting sick.)
BTW, going to integrity and trust, Zubin Damania has been active for years in fighting the politicization and socialization of medicine in the US, as have I. Google his conversations with Dr. Atlas, and two of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (which I also signed), Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Sunetra Gupta. We are all secure in supporting vaccination, opposed to blanket lockdowns, draconian enforcement, and politicization of treatments by physicians.
I listened to 27 minutes. She gets to employer’s around 20 minutes in.
She has some things right, others very wrong.
A. Yes, social media is wrong to censor doctors.
B. Yes, vaccines should be voluntary.
Now, as to the employers…
Do business owners have no say in who they employ or the conditions of employment? Does the government own the business, so can make company policy? Do business owners answer to customers or their employees?
I don’t agree with mandatory vaccination if government does the forcing. And employers should use their policies wisely and carefully, only requiring legal, safe, and ethical acts from their employees.
The vaccine is legal, safe, and ethical.
Unlike government mandates, a business owner doesn’t use threats of guns and prisons. He sets company policy. If employees don’t like it, they aren’t slaves or indentured servants who must stay & follow the rules. They can leave.
No one owns their job. No one owes them a job.
Vaccines work to decrease infection &/or severity of infection. All vaccines have failure rates, dependent on the immune status of the patient and the mutations of the virus or bacteria.
Half of the Covid vaccines types used in the US (Moderna & Pfizer) are MRNA vaccines that stimulate production of an antigen protein for a short period, certainly not in every cell in the body, nor do they cause the disease or induce even a mild form of the disease – as the measles, smallpox, and the oral polio vaccines do.
Most current vaccines use either an attenuated virus, a killed virus, or an antigen protein produced by recombinant DNA in bacteria or yeast. These last have never been part of a virus or bacteria. And, in fact, recombinant DNA is used to produce the human insulin to treat diabetes.
The mRNA in the Maderna & Pfizer Covid vaccines aren’t continously replicated by the vaccinated person and isn’t incorporated into the DNA. They are present in the human body about 2-3 days, mostly in the local muscle tissue and lymph system, with some in the spleen, more rarely in the liver.
Yes, you more than likely had an attenuated form of those infections when you were vaccinated. Current measles vaccines can cause infection that can be spread to immune compromised contacts. One way polio was all but eradicated was because people who came into contact with the babies who received the oral vaccine feces would also be infected – effectively receiving a booster unknowingly. We stopped using the oral polio vaccine in the 90s because 1 in 20 million children got a polio like disease after the 1st ( only the 1st) dose. We warn families to avoid contact with immune compromised people for a time after a child gets the measles vaccine.
The process was used years ago in the vaccine against ebola, so there’s history for use in humans.
Shouldn’t everyone should be concerned that anyone could object to saving the life of a human, at any stage of life? How telling that the major concern here seems to be. “Any unborn child could be considered to have a right to life”.
The eugenic and social implications go further than the right to life, alone, according to thid op-ed from the UK Guardian,
“”Many tech and media companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, VICE and Buzzfeed, already offer to cover the cost of freezing their employees’ eggs so they don’t have to worry about dwindling fertility during the most productive years for their careers. Gestating a baby in an artificial womb may one day be a choice open to elite women whose companies will pay for it, or who can afford to cover the cost themselves. “Natural” pregnancy could be seen as a sign of poverty, of unplanned pregnancy, or a chaotic lifestyle.””
I sincerely doubt that there would be a stigma attached to natural, in utero, gestation. Couldn’t the decision to gestate be seen as a mark of wealth and leisure? Or rebellion against technology as breast feeding and natural birth were, back in the mid- to late- 1900’s?
Science fiction authors have addressed these issues. Yes, there are potential ethics problems in any future technology that allows human gestation outside of the mother’s body. However, validation of the right to life should not be a “concern.”
On one of the Facebook groups I follow, the conversation about the recent Arkansas law protecting conscience was diverted from the law itself by a sensational headline that reflected only the worst accusations of opponents & the reactions of group members to that headline.
During the conversation, I was questioned about my use of the term “normal” for healthy bodily functions. At the least, “normal” is that which doesn’t itself injure tissues & organs and doesn’t require technological intervention to produce or to prevent morbidity & mortality.
We are hearing & reading about demands that legitimate research results should be suppressed, watching physicians and scientists who express heterodox opinions be censored. Then we’re told that there’s a “consensus,” since none of the “objectionable” research is published, much less popularized, and the outliers are demonetized and covered with warning boxes.
Science isn’t a “consensus.” In science, true hypotheses are testable, with valid results capable of being confirmed by different observers under similar conditions in different labs.
That’s also a good definition of reality or “normal.” One that could be applicable to medical subjects like COVID or vaccines, as well as social and legal matters.
We’re being manipulated for reasons that have nothing to do with actual health, physical or mental. I can’t fathom a reasonable explanation. It looks like an exertion of power – social, financial, then legal.
Patients won’t be helped at all by forcing moral injury by requiring medical professionals to act against their conscience and we all lose when rational discussion is suppressed in the public sphere.
LiveAction reports that Planned Parenthood sent “watchlist” to Lubbock police before the January March for Life, including photos and
date if birth, other personal informatiion, and designating some of the men and women as “aggressive.”
Apparently, some”central” office of PP made up the list, which makes is wonder how many other local police departments received such lists & what they’ve done with them.
What did PP hope to achieve? Threats against activists by police? Before a pro-life event?
Reporting people who have not committed crimes to the police goes beyond “cancel culture.” Isn’t there a law against false reporting in Texas?
“[W]e may not need to transplant cells from the outside.”
Good news from Texas medical researchers!
It appears that specific stimulating factors may prove more useful in harnessing the body’s own ability to heal and regenerate than stem cells, whether from my the patient or someone else. This research into regeneration of nerve cells mirrors the use of epogen and nupogen long used to induce blood cell production.
EDITED TO ADD:
Here’s a longer online article from “EurekaAlert!,” from the American Assocation for the Advancement of Science, publishers of the journal, Science.
CNN & NYT coverage of events in South Africa concerning the AstraZeneca vaccine that’s being given in the British Virgin Islands are very poor.
The new study doesn’t come out until today, so the “news” reports are based only on press releases.
ONE variant. ONE country.
And the actual data isn’t even available yet, even as preliminary information…
From what is available information in these reports about South Africa: About 1500 young people, average age 31, were studied in South Africa, half received the vaccine, half a placebo. This study only evaluated one strain, and only mild to moderate infections, because this age group doesn’t tend to get sick.
All we really know is that in the South Africa study, similar numbers became infected with that particular strain and the serum from their blood didn’t do a good job of neutralizing that strain in the lab.
From the BBC news reports:
“Data from the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine team suggests their vaccine protects just as well against the new UK variant, but offers less protection against the South Africa variant – although it should still protect against severe Covid-19 illness.”
The vaccine *does* have high efficacy protection for the older strains & the UK variant. Not only that, but if vaccinated, the infectious period is shorter for these varieties.
There’s evidently no safety concern about the AstraZeneca vaccine from either study.
Beverly B Nuckols, MD
You’ve probably heard about the new doctor, Scott Atlas, MD who is advising President Trump on health policy during the last couple of months.
Here’s a video in which he describes his views and recommfations. You might be surprised!
For those interested in the Born Alive issue, here’s a “pro-choice” leaning “FactCheck.org” article that generally has the details right. It’s the conclusion that is flawed.
We don’t know the specifics of President Trump’s Executive Order, but there’s quite a bit of controversy in social media and the news media.
However, there has always been a very real debate about both the babies on the cusp of viability and babies born alive in the process of an induced abortion.
The latter was addressed in the 2019 Bill that failed to pass. Specifically, that Bill (would have) mandated standard of care medical attention.
If I were in charge of the public health response to COVID-19, I would implement the following:
Pharmacy Boards should never get between a doctor and patient except in matters of life and death or illegal practice. Politicians, State Medical Boards and our House of Medicine professional organizations should defend our legal practice of medicine rather than threatening physicians and changing the rules during a pandemic.
2. Encourage shared information & fact-checking among physicians as part of our missions of education & transparency.
JAMA review of masks, August 2020
4. Where a high percentage of the local population tests positive, local authorities should consider – and have the ethical responsibility to – impose higher isolation measures like masks and public distancing. The threshold for mandates must be locally determined with public input, and explained – clearly, frequently.
This means you, anti-maskers!
5. Stress that surgical procedure masks are nearly as effective as N95 masks, blocking nearly as much aerosols and viral particles for both wearer and those around us. Medical providers and those with a high risk of prolonged close contact need fitted N95 masks, the rest of us don’t.
Single layer cut-up T-shirts and homemade masks, balaclavas or bandannas, aren’t very effective protection at all, either for the wearer or the people around us. N95 Masks with single valves are a money-maker, but not nearly as effective as surgical masks, even with an added filter layer.
8. Begin early prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine/zinc and/or inhaled steroids for the willing & likely exposed.
Treatment dosing (always allowing treating physicians who prescribe determine need & frequency of alternate doses & monitoring)
This isn’t a prescription!
Hydroxychloroquine: 400 mg. twice on day one then 200 mg. twice a day for either 5 or 10 days;
Azithromycin: 250 mg. tablet, 2 on day one, 1 on day 2 to 5;
Budesonide: unit dose via hand held inhaler or nebulizer twice a day. (I’m looking for references for this one. )
Zinc 150 mg. to 250 mg. a day indefinitely. (Best evidence for lozenges or syrup multiple times a day. See references.)
Vitamin D, 1000 IU a day, up to 4000 IU is safe
Vitamin C, No set dose, but extra will be excreted in the urine or feces, can cause diarrhea.
Journal of the American Medical Association review. Published August 11, 2020. (Free, with Tables)
CDC recommendation on cloth masks:
John’s Hopkins recommendation:
Journal article on treatment for the common cold: https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/0003-4819-125-2-199607150-00001
Unpublished, non-peer reviewed: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47794995_Zn_Inhibits_Coronavirus_and_Arterivirus_RNA_Polymerase_Activity_In_Vitro_and_Zinc_Ionophores_Block_the_Replication_of_These_Viruses_in_Cell_Culture
International Journal of Infectious Diseases (Henry Ford or Ashad report):
On synergistic effect of hydroxychloroquine plus steroids:
Description of study in progress on treatment for loss of smell in patients without severe symptoms:
Vitamin C safety:
Note: comments are off. Please comment on my Facebook page, Beverly Nuckols.
Edited 31/08/20 12:30 for mis-spellchecked word. BBN
Dr. Scott W. Atlas, former Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center, current Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institute, author, and public health policy consultant was added to the White House COVID-19 task force this week. Unfortunately, he and his appointment have already become a political target by some.
Far from being unqualified, or someone who “clearly wouldn’t know science if it kicked him in the atlas” (see above link – I refuse to give clicks to the original source or the ignorant woman who spoke those words), Dr. Atlas speaks common sense, science-based truth, as in this video from 23 June, 2020 interview with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute’s. “Uncommon Knowledge.”
In fact, Dr. Atlas states what I’ve been saying since I heard about the virus outbreak in Italy, while attending Carnivale parades just a few miles away in
Nice, France: the reaction by governments and fearful people has been just as bad if not worse than the results of the infection itself.
The initial lockdown was correct, but we have new data – and new models – every day. Yet, we are still acting as though the early models were accurate.
Worse, instead of “flattening the curve,” the call is to conquer or eliminate the virus “at all costs.” The latter has never happened and will never happen with a Coronavirus. There is the possible exception of the elimination of smallpox, a much more deadly disease, at the cost of egregious human rights violations and even deaths.
I’m surprised that anyone would attack Dr. Atlas or his qualifications. Before you dismiss him, please listen to his testimony and critique the facts rather than the source.
14 minute interview with Houston TV reporter.
She’s a warrior, all right! Worth your time!
I would like to see some data, but lots of other doctors report the same results, and I’d like to see some of their patient information, too. (Ages, other meds, vitals, timing, symptoms.)
She does say wear a mask if you can’t be on prophylaxis and to make other people comfortable. I would call her regimen a “treatment” rather than a “cure.”
But the biggest fuss has been about Dr. Immanuel’s religious beliefs. I’ve heard Baptist, Assembly of God, even Church of Christ preachers say much the same about the hidden powers in the world. Maybe not the origins, but their existence and, as Jesus Himself said, the need for prayer and fasting to deal with them.
I’ve been told that her religious views are a distraction and counter-productive for the Medical issues and “science.” But Dr. Immanuel doesn’t even bring up her religion until she’s questioned in this interview and didn’t bring it up at all in DC.
The detractors don’t understand the cultural background and how many Christians – across the spectrum from those who believe in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to those who only remember the story of St. Michael – will recognize the theme.
39 of the studies were peer-reviewed.
The “Right to Life” means the negative right not to be killed by intentional acts. It’s not the right to force others to invest our life, liberty or property other than the duty to intervene against infringement. This is a basic negative right, not a positive right.
There’s a huge difference between personal responsibility in avoiding a risk to yourself and actively causing harm to someone else. Self-defense rather than selfish demands, using only appropriate force on others.
You know, the old “your right to swing your fist ends at my nose!” (Especially Appropriate in this case.)
*You* take the actions *you* believe are responsible. Only frequent places/businesses that require masks if you want, do the work necessary to maintain the social distancing you are comfortable with. Don’t force everyone else to do your work for you.
It seems that an advocate of Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide (EAS), which is legal in Canada since 2016, complained to the “The Protection of Conscience Project” administrators about their use of the word, “killing,” rather than “Medically Assisted Death” (MAD) when writing about the law. The wording of the objection exposes the potential limitations even on thoughts, much less the act of refusal, of physicians who object to participating in EAS.
(*EDITED An earlier version stated that licences were at risk. Not yet.
BBN 11 February 2020 12:30 AM)
I was asked about the #BabyTinslee case and what we should do, what can we do, in the disputed cases.
We need to educate more. People don’t understand basic medical ethics in this day of “choice.”
Autonomy doesn’t supersede nonmaleficience. In other words, the First Principle of medicine, “Cure when possible, but first do no harm,” always should guide us, rather than “wants” or “choice.”
In the end, doctors are the ones actually performing the acts and we’re most likely to understand the projected outcome. We benefit from oversight by colleagues and the community, both informally and in the process prescribed by the Texas Advance Directives Act.
Some people demand that every one of these cases go to court, for “due process” and “cross examination.”
But judges and courts can’t be as knowledgeable as doctors are. Their decisions are necessarily informed by dueling (paid) lawyers and (hired) medical experts.
In all the cases that have gone to court, the family has had quite a lot of notice, but the 48 hour notice before the committee meeting is perceived as too abrupt, especially since the relationships all appear to be adversarial by that point.
(And who could get your family to a meeting in 2 days?)
The 10 days isn’t thought to be long enough to arrange a transfer, either. Again, in many of the Court cases, the attempts to find another doctor willing to accept the patient’s care has begun before the committee meeting.
Doctors acknowledge the great trust and privileges we are given by agreeing not to abandon our patients. When we have a disagreement with a patient or surrogates (usually a familymember), we accept that we must continue treatment for a period of time. But not indefinitely.
If we could get the reforms that have been attempted to lengthen the statutory timeframe (multiple times) since before 2005, the TADA would be much better. It’s still the best process we have, currently.
We are blessed with a universe that’s predictable and testable, yet we pray for miracles. And we pray for miracles, but act as though human actions can block them. Is the will of the Creator Who spoke the physical laws into existence limited by humans if they act as though the universe is predictable and testable?
Those of us who practice medicine are limited by the physical laws, the predictable and testable, with an emphasis on the tested. Our education and experience is based on these tested predictions and guide our decisions, and we’re watched and sometimes redirected by our colleagues, patients, laws and the community.
And then, there’s the best test of all: time.
In fact, I once noted that a patient who outlived the “10 Day Rule” might have proved the doctor (who instigated the process from the Texas Advanced Directive Act) wrong. There might have been a few cases like this, just as I believe there have been miracles.
However, can you tell me how to measure these events and predict their occurrences, much less practice medicine based on them?
In the majority of TADA cases when treatments weren’t withdrawn, the patient died in the exact manner the doctors predicted, after the same interventions -and sometimes more invasive and tortuous “treatments” than the ones the doctor originally objected to.
“We’re doing things to her. Not for her.” (Wini King, spokesperson for Cook’s Children’s Hospital, January 3, 2020) This may be the best description of a very sad case.
Tinslee Lewis was born prematurely on February 1, 2019, with severe heart and lung defects. She had cardiogenic shock and was admitted to the Cardiac ICU at Cook’s Children’s Hospital immediately. ♡(See Cardiac Pathology ♡below.)
Even after three open heart surgeries, a fourth to close her sternum, a short time on ECMO (essentially, heart-lung bypass) and constant ventilator since July, of 2019, Tinslee’s enlarged heart and small, damaged lungs can’t keep up with the necessary blood circulation and exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide, even with the assistance of multiple blood pressure medicines, diuretics and the ventilator on high, except when she’s still and quiet with the help of sedating and paralyzing drugs.
In response to a lawsuit against Cook’s Children’s Hospital, where Tinslee has been in the CICU since birth, Tinslee’s medical records were submitted to the Court. I’ve been able to review approximately 200 pages that are now public record, describing the constant, repetitive interventions necessary to keep Tinslee alive on the ventilator.
Tinslee’s doctors (and, the notes show, the nurses and staff) believe that they are being forced to cause Tinslee pain and suffering, while keeping her paralyzed and sedated. They report increasing difficulty with managing the ventilator so that her damaged heart & lungs can maintain oxygenation. She requires repetitive heart, lung and blood tests to guide adjustment of meds & treatments and has had several infections requiring treatment. In contrast to my earlier presumption, the notes in the records show that the ventilator and all its required meds and manipulations are indeed causing undesired problems, including fluid overload, infections and cardiopulmonary distress, in addition to her underlying lung disease. Even the baby’s growth, something we usually celebrate, increases her risk of cardiopulmonary insufficiency.
Those records also contain notes from many attempts to explain and council Trinity Lewis, Tinslee’s mother, about her baby’s underlying problems and prognosis and the reasoning behind, in contrast to some past media reports.
Ignoring the fact that doctors, not hospitals, practice medicine in Texas, Texas Right to Life Lawyer Joe Nixon is quoted, claiming that the “hospital ” has decided to withdraw treatment. Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, is shown to have Tweeted that the problem is a “legal issue,” rather than an ethics and justice matter of forcing doctors (and by their orders, nurses and other staff) to cause pain and suffering for a little girl who is dying as her body fails to heal, in spite of every intervention possible.
Many people, out of compassion, object that “the family ” should decide when to withdraw life support. Yet, the family members aren’t watching the oxygen levels drop while they rinse Tinslee’s airways with a bicarbonate solution to keep her lungs clear. And it’s certainly not the lawyers that are probing, injecting, measuring and adjusting constant, innumerable hourly interventions done to a baby who must be sedated and paralyzed to prevent cardiac and respiratory distress.
In spite of the diligent complicated interventions and care of the doctors and nurses at Cook’s, there have been comments in blogs and social media that the “hospital” wants to “kill” Tinslee. Startlingly, AG Paxton called the latest Court ordered, indefinite hold on removal of life support a “Stay,” as though the doctors, not her multiple medical problems, would kill Tinslee. He also misrepresents the process that Cook’s Children’s Hospital and Tinslee’s doctors followed,
“The statute fails to require that physicians provide an explanation of why they refused life-sustaining treatment and provide the patient’s family with adequate notice and opportunity to argue their position prior to the committee reaching a decision, effectively allowing the government to deny an individual’s right to his or her own life and to do so without due process.”
In fact, though, it is the lawyers, particularly at Texas Right to Life, who are turning a little girl’s tragedy into a continuation of their legal battle against the Texas Advance Directive Act. I’ve covered the benefits of and the struggle to improve the Act – repeatedly blocked by TRTL and their lawyers – for years on both WingRight.org and Lifeethics.org
The Act, TADA, was hammered out in 1999 by a group of stakeholders including patient and disability advocates, hospitals, doctors, ethicists and lawyers. Texas’ prolife organizations, including TRTL and the organization for which I served on the Board of Directors for 15 years, Texas Alliance for Life, and for whom I wrote this essay.
Briefly, TADA allows a balance and legal options when there’s a difference in opinion between a patient’s desire for a given treatment and the medical judgment (a combination of education, experience, and the standard of care) of the doctors who are tasked with the most difficult medical and surgical cases.
I’ll admit that it’s my opinion – and only my opinion – that the lawyers hate that TADA provides a safe haven from lawsuits if doctors follow the law (!). I slowly came to this conclusion over the years because at virtually every Legislative hearing and stakeholders’ meeting about any changes to the Act, the lawyers bemoan the fact that doctors don’t have to go to court over each of these cases and that they face no legal penalty or “liability.”
Poor Tinslee Lewis will most likely never leave the hospital alive. Disease and death don’t respect “due process,” but, they are predictable and an inevitable part of life. Hopefully, we will see her mother and those who love her come to find peace with her death, celebrating the time they’ve had to be with her, especially these last 2 months. However, I fear that the lawsuits will continue for years, adding to their grief.
Edited 1/19/2020 for a typographical error: in the secondparagraph, “cardiogenic” replaced “carcinogenic.” BBN
♡Ebstein Anomaly – Cardiac Pathology 101, about as simple as I can make it (and understand, too);
Babies born with Ebstein Anomaly have a malformed right and atrium and ventricle and misplaced (tricuspid) valves between the right sided ventricle and atrium. The larger right ventricle can’t pump efficiently.
In addition, the blood the right ventricle tries to pump into the lungs leaks/flows/churns (risking blood clots) back into the right atrium, which grows even bigger, with even thicker walls. The ventricle also grows bigger. When the muscle fibers of the chamber walls get stretched apart enough, they are less inefficient. (Think of two hands gripping at the fingers. The farther out the grip, palm > 1st joint > fingertips, the less strength and pull on the opposite hand.) (For the geeks: Frank-Starling law.
The lungs aren’t efficiently filled with blood, they don’t expand, the pressure builds up in them and efficient exchange of gasses doesn’t take place.
In the meantime, the blood backs up in the body, the liver, kidneys and extremities & eventually the left side of the heart, which can hypertrophy , too.
The enlarged heart puts pressure on the lungs and nearby soft tissue, including the blood vessels coming to the heart.
The combination of leaking high pressure blood vessels and the body’s increasing fluid in order to try to pump what oxygen there is, leads to edema or swelling of the body.
Sometimes, the fetal atrial-septal defect stays open, allowing mixing of the un-oxygenated blood from the right, with the oxygenated blood. This malfunction can help, temporarily.
With the high pressure, poor flow, and actual physical damage due to the mass of the heart, none of the organs can function well. Increased activity, stress, and growth will increase the demand for oxygen, kidney & lung function.
What ethics review board approved a randomised trial to temporarily prevent the ending of the life of a human embryo or fetus, with a planned surgical abortion as an end point?
Horrifying report about human experimentation: Obstetricians at the University of Southern California have announced that they stopped a study using progesterone to reverse the anti-progesterone effects of mifepristone in medical abortions.
According to the NPR:
“For the study, the researchers aimed to enroll 40 women who were scheduled to have surgical abortions. Before their surgical procedures, the women received mifepristone, the first pill in the two-medication regimen that’s used for medical abortions. The women were then randomly assigned to receive either a placebo or progesterone, which advocates claim can block the effects of mifepristone.“
Ignore the fact that only 12 women signed up over 6 months, that in spite if the claims if the researchers, the mifepristone was the actual, immediate cause of the complications that included 3 women needing ambulance transport to a hospital for excessive vaginal bleeding and 2 others dropping out due to some other side effects.
But you should certainly – they hope – forget that 4 of the babies exposed to progesterone and 2 who received placebo after the mifepristone continued to live for 2 weeks until their death at the hands of an Obstetrical surgeon. That’s half of the study group!
There’s no question that I consider it unethical to cause the intentional, interventional death of any human who isn’t a threat to life for another. It’s heinous that our laws allow the best medical technology in the world to kill members of our species, because they aren’t considered human-enough to possess the inalienable human right not to be killed.
But there’s an additional ethics problem in this case: a strong “yuck factor” (aversion) to the idea of purposefully experimenting with ¢ lives of humans, both the mother and her child, planning to monitor the signs of the prenatal human’s life, anticipating his or her death by surgical abortion.
Half of the original mothers had planned two weeks (14-16 days)delay with serial ultrasounds, confirming her baby’s heartbeat. (Remember this experimental protocol the next time an abortion advocate complains about State-mandated waiting periods and pre-abortion ultrasounds.)
Let me repeat: half of the nascent human beings experimented upon/ lived two additional weeks after exposure to the mifepristone poisoning. Only one of the 12 pregnancies resulted in what would be considered a “normal” medical abortion.
Eventually however, all of them were finaly “terminated.” After two weeks of observation – Schrodinger’s humans.
Note: Due to some sort of technical problem at the website, I wasn’t able to purchase the article, so this is based on the abstract and NPR report.
Edit 12/9/19, BBN: I was able to purchase access to the article (24 hours for $60!). There’s no change in the facts other than to note that the authors report continued life of the prenatal humans as 6 of 10 subjects: 4 of 5 who finished the trial and received progesterone, and 2 of 5 who were randomized to the placebo arm.
“Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial
“”Ah, but the method of madness matters! The non-participating passengers flew at 800 km/hr at an altitude of 9,146 m, but the trial participants jumped a whopping 0.6 meter (2 feet) from a plane traveling at an incredible 0 km/hr. The authors point out their trial’s glaring limitation — an inability to generalize to higher altitude jumps — and use it make a point that health journalists would be wise to remember:
This study was conducted in response to a Christmas, 2003 BMJ article decrying the lack of RCT (Random Controlled Trials) for the efficacy of parachutes. As the authors of this article point out, even RCT’s have their limits.
As one review explains,
Put plainly, if most people already think an intervention works, then an RCT may end up with enough bias in its design that the conclusion ends up clinically meaningless. Sometimes, an RCT is truly unethical, and other times an RCT really might be needed to test an intervention taken for granted. Health journalists should scrutinize an RCT’s methods closely.
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The Press Release is published in .pdf on the hospital’s website. Here’s the text:
Cook Children’s Statement Regarding Patient Tinslee Lewis Fort Worth, Texas (November 10, 2019) –
Tinslee Lewis is a beautiful baby who has captured the hearts of many at Cook Children’s since her premature birth nine months ago. She was born with a rare heart defect called an Ebstein’s anomaly and has undergone several complex surgeries at Cook Children’s in an effort to improve her heart function. Further complicating matters, she also suffers from chronic lung disease and severe chronic pulmonary hypertension. Due to these complications, she has spent her entire life hospitalized in Cook Children’s intensive care unit. She has required artificial respiratory support throughout that time, and has been consistently on a ventilator since July.
In the last several months, it’s become apparent her health will never improve. Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated. Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal. But more importantly, her physicians believe she is suffering.
To maintain the delicate balance necessary to sustain Tinslee’s life, and to prevent her from pulling out the lines that are connected to the ventilator, doctors have had to keep her constantly paralyzed and sedated. While Tinslee may sometimes appear alert and moving, her movements are the result of being weaned off of the paralyzing drugs. We believe Tinslee is reacting in pain when she’s not sedated and paralyzed.
Cook Children’s has made heroic efforts to treat Tinslee’s condition, all while being very transparent with her family regarding her poor prognosis. Despite those extraordinary efforts, Tinslee’s condition has not improved. At the request of Tinslee’s family, we have reached out to nearly 20 facilities across the country to see if any would be willing to accept Tinslee as a patient. Some of the facilities include:
Texas Children’s Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital Dell Children’s Dallas Children’s Medical City Dallas Children’s Medical Center Oklahoma City Children’s Hospital of Atlanta St. Louis Children’s Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Johns Hopkins Methodist Hospital San Antonio University Hospital San Antonio Boston Children’s Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles Arkansas Children’s C.S. Mott Children’s Michigan LeBonheur Children’s Memphis Rady Children’s Children’s Hospital San Antonio CHRISTUS
All have said our assessment is correct and they feel there is nothing more they can provide to help improve this precious child’s life.
A team of Cook Children’s doctors nurses and staff have given their all to help Tinslee. While, we believe every child’s life is sacred, we also believe that no child should be sentenced to a life of pain. Removing this beautiful child from mechanical ventilation is a gutwrenching decision for Cook Children’s physicians and staff, however we feel it is in her best interest to free her from artificial, medical intervention and suffering.
Assistant Vice President of Public Relations Cook Children’s Health Care System
“In the last several months, it’s become apparent her health will never improve,” King said in a statement via email. “Despite our best efforts, her condition is irreversible, meaning it will never be cured or eliminated. Without life-sustaining treatment, her condition is fatal. But more importantly, her physicians believe she is suffering.”
“While we believe every child’s life is sacred, we also believe that no child should be sentenced to a life of pain,” said Winifred King, assistant vice president of public relations for Cook Children’s Health Care System, in a statement. “Removing this beautiful child from mechanical ventilation is a gut-wrenching decision for Cook Children’s physicians and staff; however, we feel it is in her best interest to free her from artificial, medical intervention and suffering.”
“Although no reason is required by law, in every case I know of the doctor has made it clear that the requested treatment is causing suffering and/or actual harm and violates the First Principle: “Cure when possible, but first, do no harm.”’
I don’t believe it’s appropriate for a child to undergo transition at such an early age, but there’s a few gaps in this story.
There is very little media coverage of the case, with opinion from only one side published online. I picked the report about the court decision that’s most comprehensive, even with some errors.
Mostly, this appears to be an especially ugly divorce battle. The dispute about transition has been going on since the child was 3 years old.
The child is one of two twins conceived by in vitro fertilization using the father’s sperm and a donor egg. The mother carried the two to term and delivered.
The mother filed the suit to end joint custody, but the father demanded that the jury decide custody, rather than the judge.
The jury was charged with 2 questions: should one parent have sole custody and should that parent be Mr Younger. They answered yes and no: one should have sole custody, but it shouldn’t be the father. The judge will rule this week on who gets custody & conditions.
I’m not sure, but I’m reading that there’s no immediate plans for puberty blockers & finding quite a bit of info that the blockers aren’t permanent.
I can’t help but hope there’s more to this story, because I still can’t accept a decision like this, at this age.
Quintessential anti-vaccine propaganda. The first sentence indicts the source, Mike Adams, the founder of “Natural News” and seller of food supplements like Organic Broccoli Sprout Capsules with a side of conspiracy.
Yet, that’s what they accuse the “cancer industry” of doing.
Edit 10:15 AM 10/07/2019: The MMR assay report from Corvelva is here. I’m skeptical about the “entire genome” supposedly found. Are they saying that all 23 chromosome pairs are present in each dose? BBN
Raise your hand if you agree that “security comfort (sic), acceptance and success” are the opposite of “oppression.”
“Patriarchy is at its most potent when oppression doesn’t feel like oppression, or when it is packaged in terms of biology, religion or basic social needs like security comfort, acceptance and success.”
As these have become socially acceptable – and rants like Ms. Bianco’s are published – it’s possible that more and more men are *learning* not to see any benefit from taking responsibility or living with the consequences of sex or even any sort of commitment.
It’s good to have confirmation.
But jobs that don’t allow vacation probably have different effects than jobs that do allow time off.