RSS

Monthly Archives: October 2011

Physician Assisted Suicide in Oregon

The Death With Dignity Act has been effect for over a decade in Oregon. This means that in the state of Oregon, terminally ill patients may be prescribed lethal doses of certain drugs approved for physician assisted suicide. Whether you are a health care professional of any kind, have a family member who is terminally ill or suffering, or just an ordinary citizen with no opinion in the matter this is a program that has ramifications not just in the US but the whole international medical community. Everybody dies sometimes right?

First let us be fair, proponents of the Death with Dignity Act abhor the word suicide because they wish to distinguish themselves from that demographic group that is young, without medical illness, and usually a result of depression or other psychiatric conditions. Even Jack Kevorkian was sure to exclude those cases which he deemed psychological rather than a defined terminal illness with biological measurables.

Patients must make two separate requests 15 days apart, must be free of mental condition, must have two non-medical witnesses and any physician who questions a patients reasons for having a lethal dose of phenobarbital, along with secobarbital the two most commonly prescribed medications, may send that patient for a psychological evaluation before treatment will be approved.

Holding aside all moral judgment for the moment what is being done in the state of Oregon is truly different. They are the first state in America to sanction doctor assisted death, euthanasia, and in the world they are one of the first provinces to allow a person to choose, maybe not the manner of their death, but at least the timing. Let’s think about this for a second. There is a place that exists in the world, as we speak, which a person may choose to end their lives without legal and or moral stigma? That is a very interesting and new concept at least to me.

Let’s be honest any person can commit suicide if they wanted to, but if you had children and threw yourself off the roof in California or New York (even with a terminal disease) your children would have a conundrum whenever asked the question, “Did you ever have a parent who committed suicide.” It poses a new paradigm in physiology, law, and medicine.

People have tried unsuccessfully to repeal MEasure 51, as it was called on the ballot. Meaning either Oregon is so far left, they will not go back on this issue, or the people of Oregon and maybe the greater elderly communities of the world are asking the world’s collective to accept the fact that people may want to die earlier than their supposed time frame.

What is interesting to note is that not all those who are approved and receive the lethal dose pills end up dying taking them. Some have died before they could take the dose, naturally or unnaturally (however you wish to see it) from their terminal cancers, or decided not to take the dosage. But approximately 65% or 59 of 95 patients died from ingesting the lethal dose prescribed in 2010.

As a doctor I am quite torn on the subject because although as compassionate caregivers we wish the least amount of pain for our patients. I also don’t believe that physicians have a code to live by, the hippocratic oath which basically goes: Do no harm. This idea of having your doctor help you to decide to end your own life may put this oath in conflict. But as a leftist liberal I believe, as is the case with abortion, that we should ultimately be given the option and choice to do something and leave it up to the individual to make the ultimate decision. Could you imagine if abortions were never legal in this country. Maybe one day we will look back and say, could you ever have thought there was a time where terminal patients weren’t able to relieve their suffering?

You can access the Death With Dignity act statistical information on their website: http://public.health.oregon.gov/ProviderPartnerResources/EvaluationResearch/DeathwithDignityAct/Pages/index.aspx
and for further information watch How to Die in Oregon, documentary directed by Peter Richardson.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

HPV – Human Papilloma Virus and the continuing debate on vaccination vs. autism

There is no more intensely argued debate this upcoming decade than the vaccination vs. autism debate currently ongoing. Not since Roe v. Wade, has a a subject (then it was abortions) successfully polarized the nation. On one side of the argument we have health care practitioners and health care researchers who assure us that the causality link between certain childhood vaccinations and nuerodevelopmental diseases like autism and Asperger’s (an autism spectrum disorder that causes social interaction problems and repetitive behavior with the difference being Asperger patients retain their linguistic skills and are not as cognitively challenged; some doctors have suggested dropping the Asperger’s diagnosis and defining it as mild autism). On the other hand we have dedicated parents (some of who are celebrities like Jenny McCarthy) who will swear by the hand of god that the symptoms of their children were the direct result of having a certain standard vaccinations like MMR – measles, mumps, rubella. With the news that the HPV vaccine is being mandated to high school females has reignited the debate.

First let us get out of the way the notion that vaccines don’t work. I don’t think there is anyone who will disagree with the fact that the introduction of inoculations by DR. Edward Jenner in 1792 (a man with the epithet of saving the most lives in history) eradicated the smallpox vaccine, which was a deadly pandemic killing millions worldwide. Before I reiterate Jenner’s story let me say he is not the first to introduce inoculations. They had been doing this in ancient China and India, and the knowledge was actually brought from the Ottoman empire around 1716 by the wife of an English ambassador Lady Mary Wortley Mantagu. Jenner found studies that noticed that milkmaids working with cows with cowpox seemed to be immune from smallpox. His 17 recorded, but most publicized patient was an 8 year old boy. They took pus from a milkmaids hand, scraped it off onto a wooden board, then injected it into both the left and right arms. The boy produced a fever, but no serious maladies and was consequently immune to smallpox. Two things are significant: 1) the makeup of disease changed in our world seemingly overnight. The greatest indiscriminate killers, the many viruses that decimated 3rd and 1st world countries alike. 2) We have our first recorded case of an immunogenic response to a vaccination. A fever may be not much at all considering the lives that particular vaccination has saved, but that there is a fever at all shows that the immune system must invariably respond to the inoculation/vaccination. What happens when the immune system is triggered to react in a negative way because of the introduction of viral particles.

Let us be clear, a vaccination is comprised of live attenuated viral particles or inactivated vaccines. So what’s the diff? Attentuated viral particles have been treated in such a way as to say they are less virulent (meaning they make it harder for the virus to become active in the body, however it is alive. As opposed to the inactivated vaccines where the viral particles have been cut up, so to say, like stir fry. However like stir fry, the vaccine needs added chemicals so the body can more easily absorb them, also the vaccines like any product have a shelf life and so substances are introduced needing preservatives. In comes the mercury, aluminum, thimersol debate.

The majority of doctors and medical researchers will tell you there is enough medical literature to say there is absolutely no causal link between vaccines and autism/Aspergers. They contend that those children who get autistic symptoms immediately after a vaccination were already “predisposed” to having autism. This is a funny way of saying that those kids were damned already and the medical community is somehow doing you a favor by triggering it earlier. These same researcher will tell you that their medical data shows that commonly babies will receive their first immunogenic response with their first inoculation, meaning they don’t doubt that vaccination will cause your baby to have it’s first fever.

Why should we trust an industry that is married to the pharmaceutical industry. Let’s take the case of Cutter laboraties in 1955. Their supposedly killed Salk vaccine ended up actually and accidentally having live polio virus. This caused 40,000 cases of transient polio, 51 cases of paralytic polio , and 5 deaths. Once outrage was heard the vaccine was discontinued, of course, but through to 1960 they were still adminstereing the Cutter product. Why?

This is from the Oschner journal article titled “Childhood Immunization Controversies: What Are Parents Asking?” by Daniel R. Bronfin, MD

“Since the introduction of OPV by Dr. Sabin in the early 1960s, it was known that roughly 4 or 5 children in the United States per year would acquire vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP). In the early 1960s, this was felt to be acceptable based on the superiority of the live vaccine in that it provided greater herd immunity, eliminated the carrier state, proved more cost effective, was easier to administer, and exponentially reduced transmission compared to the less effective killed vaccine (IPV). These infrequent cases of VAPP need to be considered in the context of the late 1950s prior to polio vaccination, when more than 16,000 children per year in the United States were afflicted with natural paralytic polio.”

Here is evidence by a known medical researcher that states it for every 4000 children vaccinated that 1 would have paralytic polio, and that this is an acceptable rate. I have no contention with this point, however, how do we then explain the great leap of the autism spectrum conditions in the last 10-20 years. Autism is now at a high 1/1000 children and that I believe is a conservative estimate, 1/500-750 seems more appropriate, though I am no epidemiologist, but I probably wouldn’t have trouble finding statistics to support those numbers.

How do we continue to trust researchers who say, “your baby was genetically predisposed to having autism” because that doesn’t change the fact that the trigger was a state sanctioned vaccination. Additionally, I argue that if it is assumed that vaccinations save millions of lives, but also increase the rates of autism then what does that do financially and for quality of life of those families. One cannot put a price on life, but it may also be possible that the cost of having an autistic child may strain the quality of life of the parents and other family members. Please do not misunderstand this statement to mean that unequivocally an autistic child may cost more to care for than a healthy baby. Babies are expensive enough as it is.

MMR have definitely correlated to a decrease in measles and mumps in the population especially when looking at the data, withdrawal of the vaccinations have led to correlated increases in those conditions. Diptheria and tetanus (DPT shot), one we commonly get as babies and adults (if you get cut and the doctor asks you DPT shot last ten years?) have known side effects including sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS. Diptheria and tetany are uncommon in modern cities, but do we thank DPT shots, the group DPT, Distraught Parents Together might have something to say.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

The Bucha Effect…

Also known as Flicker Vertigo and related to photsensitive epilepsy, the Bucha effect happens when a strobing light pattern causes nausea, vertigo, and disorientation. Think of Japanese kids seizing on their home carpets infront of the TV to some Power Rangers like show.

In the 1950’s Dr. Bucha was commissioned to do a study on why helicopters were going down withtout cuase. The surviving pilots said the felt disoriented, nauseous, and could not use the fine motor skills needed to control the helicopter. Dr. Bucha found that the helicopter blades were creating a strobelight effect where the pattern of frequency was 1-20 Hz per second. This range approximates the range at which the human brain functions.

The use of this can be seen in the Gulf War torture rooms or in Guantanamo Bay where the strobing effect was used to degrade and torture people. Along with the “Barney” technique, which for those who don’t know some prisoners were made to listen to Barney the dinosaur sing “I Love You, You love me” ad nauseum. The origin and use of these techniques is talked about in the movie “The Men Who Stare at Goats”. Better yet and more detailed is the book written by Jon Ronson.

Apparently, the Bucha effect itself does not directly cause fear, as commonly reported, but causes vertigo and disorientation. However the constant stimulus and symptoms can cause fear and anxiety based on their inability to control the stimulus. This is how I explain it: Imagine having a bright light shined on your eyes for 20-30 seconds. Then immediately turn off the light. In the dark, people will commonly experience a disorientation until the photoreceptors in the eyes have time to adjust. Now imagine that you are constantly experiencing that disorientation. After a while you will get nauseous and your inability to control the stimulus may be discomforting. Now imagine trying to drive a car in that state and you will get the notion of the effect that some helicopter pilots have suffered. Notice now that all blackhawk pilots wear dark sunglasses. I’m starting to think that the Army knows more about these phenomenon than they will allow the public to know.

The way I understand it physiologically, and this is not my interpretation but a paraphrasing of something I found on the internet, is that the photoreceptors in the eyes need a certain amount of time to relay the visual image to the brain so it can be interpreted. The strobing pattern interferes with this and becuase of the bombardment of stimuli, the brain and its corresponding functions are seized. In normal people it will cause disorientation, but people who are more susceptible to seizures may be encouraged to have a full on photosensitive epileptic seizure. For most kids watching Pokemon, they may feel a little quesy at the most, but for those children with some nuerological abnormalities, the Bucha effect may induce seizure.

After hearing about the great band Joy Division, whose lead singer had photosensitive epilepsy and commited suicide, and after hearing about the Bucha effect, it occured to me that there is a relation between certain light patterns and our state of mind. (The remaining Joy Division group member went on to found the 80’s band New Order)

Chiropractic neurology is an alternative nuerological program that in some areas has startling discoveries in the practical thereaputic application of certain sound frequencies or patterns and/or visual light stimulus to positively affect patients with such diverse misunderstood conditions like true ADHD, autism, epileptic seizures. Dr. Carricks institute has some elite professionals who, as I have heard it anecdoted to me by other doctors, have without a doubt brought people out of seizures with a ryhtmic snapping of the fingers or by just showing them a piece of cloth with alternating colors on them. I am not chiropractic neurologist, just a chiropractor interested in nuerology, and so I cannot attest to having personally witnessed this. As opposed to the army’s practical use of Dr. Bucha’s effect, chiropractic nuerology seems to be at the other end of the spectrum in trying to help people with neurological conditions.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 13, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Flu season is coming

So flu season is upon us and here are some tips on keeping from getting sick and what to do if you are caught with a flu.

1) Don’t be sacred into getting a flu shot every year. Though in theory they can prevent people catching a certain flu strain there are literally thousands of types of the influenza virus and there isn’t a gaurantee that the strain they have chosen will cover all types you may come into contact with. If you want some protection and/or peace of mind against this years epidemic think of B-vitamin shots. They can properly buffer your immune system against normal viral pathogens

2) Keep your body temperature from fluctuating. As the weather (from glabal warming?) changes from extremely hot one day to extremely cold the next, it can be disastrous to the immune system, especially for those who have compromised immune function. Making your body adjust drastically can weaken your body by diverting some of the energy resources usually used for fighting off infections and viruses, to maintain body temperature. Also muscles can become unusually tight and strained after such weather, and many patients will experience muscle pains after a series of hot then cold days.

3) The usual stuff, stay hydrated eat healthy, don’t stay up too late, are all important for circadian rhythms which if how your body knows time of day. Having good habit equates to a better routine which equates to more predictability for your body.

4) Stay active. Lack of movement causes your body to become stagnant and inflexible. Staying active and doing some form of exercise help to keep the blood moving. Circulation is how the body breathes, as opposed to the lungs which is how the body integrates oxygen into the blood. The better the circulation the better your joints and muscles stay “clean”. I use the word clean because blood sort of washes and simultaneously nourishes

If you get sick:

1) Drink hot water, honey, lemon. My favorite flu homeopathic remedy. The citrus helps with the Vitamin C, the hot water with maintaining body temperature and loosening phlegm, and the honey keeps the citrus acid from affecting your esophagus as well as smooth coating your throat.

2) Sleep often. The body does a lot of reconstruction while your sleeping because some systems have been shut off, like digestion, giving them the ability to fight off the infection/virus. So in terms of repair, rest is crucial.

3) Get a massage. One of the most common symptoms of the flu is malaise and muscle pains. When you experience muscle aches while sick, you can assume that those muscle aren’t getting proper fluid for whatever reason. A light massage eases muscle symptoms, increases circulation, and gives the patient some form of personal attention (not everyone has mom to tuck them in adn spoon feed them chicken noodle soup.

4) Eat. When you’re ill your apettite may not seem up to par. Food doesn’t taste good, and the act of eating seems a joyless drudgery. However, it is better to give your body nutrients to work with rather than starve. You’ve probably heard the adage “Feed a cold, starve a fever”. Although it is alittle coarse and simplistic, it is a good template to go by. My rationale is this: A fever is an immune response to pathogens in the body, because the body naturally knows that higher temperatures can help to kill off bacterial and viral pathogens (it’s like in Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” when advantage goes to the army that chooses the battleground). Not eating during that time can help to keep the temperature high enough to give your immune system the edge. just make sure the body temperature doesn’t go above 104 degrees, at that point you need a cold bath to keep your precious brain cells from dying off due to denaturing proteins. Virus and bacteria don’t get nutrition from the food we eat, they get their nutrition from us ( whether they are parasitic or symbiotic), so eating feeds our immune army while doing nothing for the viral bacterial army.

5) Hygiene. Be and stay clean. It’s best not to give your body more to fight off in terms of bacteria so they can concentrate on the problem at hand and dirt can affect a person biologically and also in a psychological way. Wash your hands so you don’t spread the germ to your colleagues and try not to sneeze in an enclosed room. If you sneeze use the inside of your elbow to buffer the sneeze the way a surgeon would.

Use common sense and don’t party while you’re sick. Trust me that the tequila remedy for sore throats doesn’t work they way you think it would. Unless waking up in a gutter is your form of getting well.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Health Restorations

 

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

This is the term used to describe the unusual deja-vu like occurrence that happens when you are introduced to something new, whether it be a song or a concept, and then you somehow come into contact with the new concept from another source. The term was coined in 1986 when a reader of the Minessota St. Paul press wrote about hearing of a factional left wing revolutionary group in Germany circa 1970 and the ill-fated Munich games (in fact, the leaders of this terrorist organization were on the Black Septembers list of captured terrorists they wanted released in exchange for the 9 Israeli hostages being held). The reader, in a community contributed forum, added that after he had learned of the Baader-Meinhof organization (aka the Red Army Faction) he again heard of the same group from a different source. Readers piled in their own experiences with the phenomenon. The term also includes seeing symbols and then recognizing the same symbol in the environment around. An example I use for this phenomenon is I will frequently think of a song or jingle, or remember a commercial I had seen and then shortly thereafter I will be confronted by the same commercial, song, or jingle. Weird isn’t? Almost fatelike, as if you called out to the infinite universe and it answered you back in this ho-hum way.

Some have suggested it is a type of selective hearing, or selective attention, where our attention is brought to the matter and begins to screen for it more attunely in their environment. They call this the recency effect. But rationalization of a talked about phenomenon almost seems contradictory to actually understanding why this happens. In other words, trying to scientifically reason it out seems to be an obsequious and arrogant way to understand a phenomenon.

If this is the first time you’ve ever heard of this and somehow you come into contact with someone else telling you about the phenomenon, then you’ve just experienced a Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Health Restorations