anonymous asked:

In light of the new "religious freedom" act in Indiana, I was wondering if healthcare providers can deny treatment based on personal religious beliefs? I live in a small town in a state with one of these laws and I'm worried about identifying myself as transgender in case I am denied treatment :( or is there some "medical law/code" where healthcare providers are required to treat all patients?

UGHHHHHHH this act sucks so hard.

So, the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) basically says that no one can force you to act against your religious beliefs.  There are lots of laws like this is in states across the country, however, this one goes above and beyond.

Basically, almost every single other RFRA specifically excludes for-profit businesses, meaning that if you’re not a church or religious organization, you do not have the right to refuse service to someone due to your religious freedom.  That makes it so that gay people, for example, cannot be refused services in businesses that are otherwise unreligious, like a restaurant.

This RFRA includes for-profit businesses.  Additionally, it has a specific clause saying that those business are protected from legal action from the government AND from civilians.  That, in turn, means that not only could you walk into a restaurant and be refused service because you’re there with your wife, but you also don’t have the right to sue anyone about it.

This is really shitty.  AANNNNDDDD……the wording of the bill is so vague that it COULD, theoretically, be used to support healthcare providers refusing care to their patients.

Additionally, the Indiana State Board of Medicine Ethical Policy states:

VI. A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care. [x]

So that basically means that unless you come in to the hospital mid-emergency, they have the right to refuse you care.  So what can you do about it? 

  • Depending on how comfortable you are and how many options you have, when you call up the clinic to make an appointment by saying, “Hi, I’m a transgender woman hoping to get an appointment.  Is that okay with you?” or “Will that be okay?”  From there you can know ahead of time, at least, which clinics are best to go to.
  • You can always wait to disclose until your 2nd or 3rd visit, once you have a sense of the provider that you’re seeing. 
  • Google the practices ahead of time to see if they’re particularly religious and see what their website (if they have one) says in their mission statement.

I really believe it is truly important for your health that you disclose everything to your provider, but I also understand how difficult that can be.  Not only because society sucks in general, but healthcare providers can wield a lot of power over you, and that’s not something you want to mess with.

You definitely do not have to worry about them sharing your status with anyone else, at the very least that is protected by HIPAA (privacy laws). 

I wish I had something better to tell you, but things really suck right now.  I’m sorry.  Good luck and happy Trans Day of Visibility!  (I know, I know, worst timing, right?)

Update from Mumia’s attorney

UPDATE, 2:45 PM March 31: Yesterday morning, March 30, Mumia Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital after passing out at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Mahanoy. He was admitted to the Schuylkill Medical Center with a blood sugar level of 779. Today, he received visits from his wife, Wadiya, and his brother, Keith Cook. Mumia’s blood sugar had dropped to 333 as of a couple hours ago. This is still elevated and at an unhealthy level.

Mumia does not have a history of diabetes, but had been experiencing a series of symptoms that should have alerted medical staff at the prison to the onset of the disease. Instead, he was not given comprehensive diagnostic treatment and a medical crisis emerged that could have resulted in his slipping into a diabetic coma or worse.

Prison officials only relented and permitted visitation under immense public pressure from all over the world. Keep it up. If the prison had its way, nobody would know Mumia was hospitalized, nor would they have permitted visits or the release of any medical information to family.

Family and friends are not leaving Pottsville. Mumia is not out of danger and we will remain vigilant and mobilized. The state keeps trying to kill Mumia - spied on by the FBI since he was 15, shot in the chest and severely beaten on December 9, 1981, framed for a killing he did not commit and put on death row, held in solitary confinement under threat of execution for 30 years, and now denied competent, basic medical care. He is alive because the movement has fought like hell to make it so. The government of the united states of apartheid can never be trusted to protect the rights or respect the lives of Black people or those held in prison. Never forgive, never forget. Stay alert and ready to act.

Free Mumia!

Bret Grote

anonymous asked:

Worst national law and why?

Obamacare. And since almost everyone on here is younger, you should think it is too. Premiums are about to skyrocket for my generation now that we’ve decided that its wrong to charge people more for services when they use them more. And by the time we grow older, it’s probably going to have fallen apart just like every other entitlement seems destined to. So this is essentially a tax on healthy people.

Also, even though you’ve probably been hearing it nonstop for the past few years, it’s really bad for the economy. Employers are cutting jobs or employee hours to avoid the mandated health insurance coverage for businesses with 50 or more employees who work 30-hour weeks. Worse is the fact that the Supreme Court has decided that it’s acceptable for the government to force Americans to buy something, which will hit poorer people harder. Americans should have the right to choose how to spend their money, and the fact that the government was able to slip something like this by the Supreme Court should be a cause of concern for all.

This is just one more manifestation of this growing belief that the only thing stopping the government from giving people everything they want is Republicans and metaphysical discussions of rights rather than finite resources and sound economics.

cheaper hormones?

Hey do anyone know where i can get hormones cheaper than local pharmacy. Esp spironolactone, it cost a bomb @_@

Check out GoodRX. They’re a website/app that gives coupons for various prescriptions which can be sent to you or you can just print out or have on your phone. They also help you compare where it’s cheapest to get your meds. Hope this helps! 

-ongrowingapair

This Map Shows the Deadliest Counties in the U.S.

Source: Time Magazine, written by Chris Wilson

"Oglala Lakota County sits inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, whose residents suffer from a number of well-documented health problems. While South Dakota has a number of counties with high rates of premature deaths, the unhealthiest region in the U.S. is arguably the heart of Appalachia, from eastern Kentucky into southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. Many of the counties have rates of smoking and obesity north of 30% of the population.”

To rephrase the person who sent this to me: I survived the dark zone! (Well, considering my health problems, I may not be a shining example of survival).

Edit: But in all seriousness, the relationship between poverty and health is near and dear to me, and is one of the primary reasons I decided to pursue medicine… and also a primary reason that I worked my way toward my current political stance. I really want more people to remember this, and to remember that this is an issue too important to ignore.

Mumia health crisis update for April 1 - Action needed!

Latest from Noelle Hanrahan:
4/1 update

Dateline: Intensive Care Unit Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA

Mumia Abu-Jamal in Medical Crisis

Here is an excerpt from the hospital press conference yesterday:

Mumia’s wife and brother were allowed to see him separately for 30 minutes each late this morning. The mobilization worked. But our job is not yet done. On the morning of March 30, 2015 Mumia fainted in the prison and was taken to the ICU of a nearby clinic. His blood sugar count was dangerously high at 779. He was in a diabetic shock. For perspective: diabetic coma is 800.

He is recovering slowly and still in ICU. His blood sugar is currently at 333. That Mumia had diabetes was a complete shock to all of us. For the last 3 months, he has been under medical care in the prison and diagnosed with eczema. And since he had three “comprehensive” blood tests since February, diabetes should have been diagnosed and treated accordingly. But it never was. Instead he has been subjected to hell by the prison medical system. In January Mumia was shaken out of a deep sleep by guards during count. For the infraction of not being awake during count he was punished for 2 weeks, without calls or yard. Deep trance-like sleep and lethargy were the first signs of the problem. In addition to the physical depletion produced by untreated diabetes, he was/is also dealing with a severe outbreak of eczema. He likened his skin to that of an elephant’s. It was raw, blistered and bloody all over. He was so sick that he was not taking visitors. The “meds” he was given for his skin produced an extreme adverse reaction. His skin swelled and ruptured and he was put in the prison infirmary for 2 weeks.

There’s more, but the above point to negligence of the worse kind if not an outright attempt on Mumia’s life. We are demanding review of his case by outside doctors and…since the world is watching, we are calling for Mumia’s immediate release. It’s time to bring our brother home. Johanna Fernandez

These two very very brief visits by his immediate family were important. But the OUTRAGEOUS actions by the PA DOC continue. They are controlling the hospitals actions and LIMITING all information about his condtiion. Preventing the Mumia Abu-Jamal and his family from getting access to the critical information they need for his care.

His family and lawyers still have very very little information about his treatment and his conditions. They are trying to limit additional visits.

It was inhumane that his family continues to be limited in accessing and monitoring his condition and his health. Literally for 20 hours his family was in the Intensive Care ICU and were told nothing.

Now that they have had a visit. They are attempting to speak with the doctors and get medical records.

Literally after 20 hours of torture Mumia remains in intensive care. .

Mumia’s family is keeping vigil in the ICU critical care visiting room. Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA.

His supporters and lawyers were at trial challenging the Revictimization Review Act aka the “Mumia Silencing Act” in Harrisburg, PA when they received word that he had been taken to the hospital.

The Abolitionist Law Center’s Bret Grote is in Pottsville and taking all necessary steps to gain access to his client for the family and access to his medical records so that independent doctors can intervene.

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s brother Keith Cook stated “The rules that the prisons have are very arcane. They don’t give out any information about prisoners to their families or anyone else. It’s like you have your hands tied because you don’t know how the prisoner is and you have no way of talking to him. I remember a month ago—- Phil Africa exercising in the prison, next thing they know they moved him to a hospital and didn’t tell his family where he was, and three days later he was dead.

"It’s scary. This situation needs to change. The prison authorities need to be more humane to the families of prisoners.”

Pam Africa stated “Prison Officials are lying. Mumia is going through torture at the hands of Department of Corrections through medical neglect. It is clear to people that they want to kill Mumia. They gave him the wrong medication which made his condition worse. Inmates on the inside who questioned what was happening have been subjected to direct retaliation by the superintendent. They have been moving concerned inmates out of Mumia’s unit in an effort to both bury and keep this critical information from the public.”

Johanna Fernandez of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home noted “Mumia has been complaining about being ill since January. If he had gotten the proper care he needed originally, he would not be in this situation. This crisis illustrates the problem of health care in American prisons as a basic human rights violation. I am personally concerned because Phil Africa of the MOVE organization was rushed to the hospital not long ago in good health and a few days later he was dead. We need to fight to defend Mumia’s life, and that of all prisoners.”

Bret Grote bretgrote@abolitionistlawcenter.org 412-654-9070
Johanna Fernandez 917-930-0804 jfernandez1202@gmail.com 917-930-0804
Pam Africa 267-760-7344
Keith Cook kdc52@aol.com 919-302-4177
Noelle Hanrahan info@prisonradio.org 415-706-5222

The Abolitionist Law Center is a public interest law firm inspired by the struggle of political and politicized prisoners, and organized for the purpose of abolishing class and race based mass incarceration in the United States.

Link to Yesterday’s press conference outside of the hospital in Pottsville, PA.

CALL NOW and demand that Mumia’s family can visit him at the medical center: 570-773-2158

SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Rd, Frackville PA
Superindendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158 x8102

We do not trust that the prison officials will provide any transparency on Mumia’s medical emergency. They indeed told us Phil Africa was fine, and he passed away the next day.

We need you to help us demand family visitation rights at Schuylkill Medical Center NOW!

We will send a trial update shortly.
Please make the call right now: 570-773-2158 x8102

You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.

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1. Universal Healthcare Is Great for Free Enterprise and Great for Small Businesses

The modern-day Republican Party would have us believe that those who promote universal healthcare are anti-free enterprise or hostile to small businesses. But truth be told, universal healthcare is great for entrepreneurs, small businesses and the self-employed in France, Germany and other developed countries where healthcare is considered a right. The U.S.’ troubled healthcare system has a long history of punishing entrepreneurs with sky-high premiums when they start their own businesses. Prior to the Affordable Care Act of 2010, a.k.a. Obamacare, many small business owners couldn’t even obtain individual health insurance plans if they had a preexisting condition such as heart disease or diabetes—and even with the ACA’s reforms, the high cost of health insurance is still daunting to small business owners. But many Americans fail to realize that healthcare reform is not only a humanitarian issue, it is also vitally important to small businesses and the self-employed.

2. Comprehensive Sex Education Decreases Sexual Problems

For decades, social conservatives in the U.S. have insisted that comprehensive sex education promotes unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. But in fact, comprehensive sex education (as opposed to the abstinence-only programs that are common in the American Bible Belt) decreases sexual problems, and the data bears that out in no uncertain terms. Public schools in the Netherlands have aggressive sex education programs that America’s Christian Right would despise. Yet in 2009, the Netherlands had (according to the United Nations) a teen birth rate of only 5.3 per 1,000 compared to 39.1 per 1,000 in the U.S. That same year, the U.S. had three times as many adults living with HIV or AIDS as the Netherlands.

3. American Exceptionalism Is Absolute Nonsense in 2015

No matter how severe the U.S.’ decline becomes, neocons and the Tea Party continue to espouse their belief in “American exceptionalism.” But in many respects, the U.S. of 2015 is far from exceptional. The U.S. is not exceptional when it comes to civil liberties (no country in the world incarcerates, per capita, more of its people than the U.S.) or healthcare (WHO ranks the U.S. #37 in terms of healthcare).

4. Adequate Mass Transit Is a Huge Convenience

When it comes to mass transit, Europe and Japan are way ahead of the U.S.; in only a handful of American cities is it easy to function without a car. New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC are among the U.S.’ more mass transit-oriented cities, but overall, the U.S. remains a car culture—and public transportation is painfully limited in a long list of U.S. cities. Many Americans fail to realize that mass transit has numerous advantages, including less air pollution, less congestion, fewer DUIs and all the aerobic exercise that goes with living in a pedestrian-friendly environment.

5. The Bible Was Not Written by Billionaire Hedge Fund Managers

Christianity in its various forms can be found all over the developed world. But the U.S., more than anywhere, is where one finds a far-right version of white Protestant fundamentalism that idolizes the ultra-rich, demonizes the poor and equates extreme wealth with morality and poverty with moral failings.

6. Learning a Second or Third Language Is a Plus, Not a Character Flaw

In the Netherlands or the Scandinavian countries, becoming proficient in two or three foreign languages is viewed as a sign of intellect and sophistication. But xenophobia runs so deep among many neocons, Republicans and Tea Party wingnuts that any use of a language other than English terrifies them. Barack Obama, during his 2008 campaign, was bombarded with hateful responses from Republicans when he recommended that Americans study foreign languages from an early age. And in the 2012 GOP presidential primary, Newt Gingrich’s campaign ran an ad in South Carolina attacking Mitt Romney for being proficient in French.

7. Union Membership Benefits the Economy

In 2014, a Gallup poll found that 53% of Americans approved of labor unions while 71% favored anti-union “right to work” laws. Union membership is way down in the U.S.: only 6.6% of private-sector workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, belonged to unions in 2014 compared to roughly 35% in the mid-1950s. The U.S.’ overall unionization rate (factoring in both public-sector and private-sector workers) is 11.1%, which is quite a contrast to parts of Europe, where overall union rates range from 74% in Finland and 70% in Sweden to 35% in Italy, 19% in Spain and 18% in Germany. That is not to say unionization has not been decreasing in Europe, but overall, one finds a more pro-labor, pro-working class outlook in Europe. The fact that 47% of Americans, in that Gallup poll, consider themselves anti-union is troubling.

8. Paid Maternity Leave Is the Norm in Most Developed Countries

The U.S. continues to lag behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to maternity leave. Paid maternity leave is strictly voluntary in the U.S., where, according to the organization Moms Rising, 51% of new mothers have no paid maternity leave at all. But government-mandated maternity leave is the norm in other developed countries, including the Netherlands (112 days at 100% pay), Italy (140 days at 80% pay), Switzerland (98 days at 80% pay) and Germany (98 days at 100% pay).

9. Distrust of Oligarchy Is a Positive

In February, the Emnid Polling Institute in Germany released the results of a poll that addressed economic and political conditions in that country: over 60% of the Germans surveyed believed that large corporations had too much influence on elections. ThE survey demonstrated that most Germans have a healthy distrust of crony capitalists and oligarchs who take much more than they give. Meanwhile, in the U.S., various polls show a growing distrust of oligarchy on the part of many Americans but with less vehemence than in the German Emnid poll.

Read the full article

By Scott Williams

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s worrisome hospitalization comes only months after the death of MOVE leader Phil Africa, who died under suspicious circumstances at the State Correctional Institution in Dallas, Pa., in January. Phil Africa was secretly taken from the prison to a Wilkes Barre, Pa., hospital without any contact with his friends and family for several days before his shocking death.

With this tragic loss fresh in the minds of MOVE and Mumia supporters, more than 15 people travelled immediately to where Mumia was hospitalized in order to demand more information. Upon arrival, Mumia’s brother, Keith Cook, was not allowed to visit his brother. Cook was part of a delegation in Harrisburg, the Pennsylvania capitol, March 30 to challenge the Revictimization Relief Act, which denies First Amendment rights to Pennsylvania prisoners.

In an attempt to learn more about Mumia’s condition, Mumia supporters were feet away from his hospital door at the Schuylkill Medical Center; yet four police officers stood in their way, blocking the answers they sought. Hundreds of supporters have called SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes. This led Kerestes’ office to turn off his phone, forcing concerned people to leave messages.

Undoubtedly, more support for Mumia will be forthcoming until he is safe and ultimately until he is free from the racist prison system.

'Cyborg' spinal implant could help paralysed walk again

Paralysed patients have been given new hope of recovery after rats with severe spinal injuries walked again through a ‘groundbreaking’ new cyborg-style implant.
In technology which could have come straight out of a science fiction novel or Hollwood movie, French scientists have created a thin prosthetic ribbon, embedded with electrodes, which lies along the spinal cord and delivers electrical impulses and drugs.
The prosthetic, described by British experts as ‘quite remarkable’, is soft enough to bend with tissue surrounding the backbone to avoid discomfort.
Paralysed rats who were fitted with the implant were able to walk on their own again after just a few weeks of training.
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne are hoping to move to clinical trials in humans soon. They believe that a device could last 10 years in humans before needing to be replaced.
The implant, called ‘e-Dura’, is so effective because it mimics the soft tissue around the spine – known as the dura mater – so that the body does not reject its presence.
“Our e-Dura implant can remain for a long period of time on the spinal cord or cortex,” said Professor Stéphanie Lacour.

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The GOP’s latest budget proposal offers the same-as-it-ever-was scorched earth approach to cutting funding for domestic programs, including the ones that serve low-income women and victims of violence. The hottest Republican presidential contender for 2016 just suggested that he might eliminate the federal minimum wage. Senate Republicans have vowed to block the confirmation of Loretta Lynch until Democrats essentially agree to force child victims of trafficking to carry pregnancies to term. And some of the most prominent women in the party are blaming the pay gap on old people watching porn at work.

The GOP wants to attract women voters by putting a happy face on policies that will make their lives miserable

You know what’s messed up? We have a procedure available to us that will either fix or drastically improve your vision (a godsend to those of us who rely on our glasses and corrective lenses to even make it across the room in the morning) and it is considered an elective or cosmetic surgery. LASIK is minimally invasive, can be done within your doctor’s office, requires little anesthetic drugs, and takes less than 10 minutes per eye. The laser (and the doctor wielding it) actually fixes your vision in about 20-50 seconds!

But insurance companies will urge you to continue to wear corrective lenses, to continually, year after year, pay for vision that is only correct so long as you look through this specific lens at a specific angle. I just think it is so messed up that we have the means to FIX OUR EYES and we can’t pay for it. And insurance won’t pay for it.

The wife and brother of Mumia Abu-Jamal have been allowed to visit him in the critical care unit of Schuylkill Medical Center in Pennsylvania, one of his attorneys today told Colorlines. The visits come a day after reports surfaced that state Department of Corrections officials, according to Prison Radio News, were blocking family visitation following Abu-Jamal’s admittance Monday morning into the ICU. 

“He was admitted yesterday morning with a blood sugar level at 779,” attorney Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center says by phone from the hospital. “He had passed out, came to and didn’t know where he was or how he got there.”

According to Grote, Abu-Jamal, 60, had been under care for a series of health issues over the past two months, which included stays in the prison infirmary. “Still,” he says, “they didn’t notice the onset of [symptoms] which almost led to him entering into a diabetic coma.”

Reached for comment to the above, the state DOC’s deputy press secretary Susan Bensinger says via e-mail, “We have no comment regarding the inmate’s status/hospitalization. We never discuss an inmate’s medical condition.”

Abu-Jamal, born Wesley Cook, is serving life without parole for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. The former journalist and activist’s case and subsequent appeals have won him international support and calls for a new trial.

Even female nurses face a surprising pay gap…

Even in nursing, where women make up an overwhelming majority of the profession, female nurses are paid less than their male counterparts. According to new research from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), male registered nurses (RNs) on average make nearly $11,000 more per year than female RNs. The kicker: only half of this gap can be explained by variables such as education, specialty, and work experience. That leaves a $5,148 gap in salary between male and female nurses — essentially a gender-based salary gap, which according to researchers affects 2.5 million women and their families.

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Jolie acknowledges in the piece that her decision to have surgeries to remove her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes may not be the right choice for others in her situation (and testing positive for BRCA 1/2 mutations does not automatically mean surgery is the right option), but “choice” can be elusive for the millions of women who don’t have adequate healthcare or any healthcare at all. But millions of women in the United States are still going without care, and the fate of the Affordable Care Act will  soon be determined by a Supreme Court. If the law survives the high court, Republicans have shown no signs of slowing efforts to dismantle the law that has extended coverage to more than 16 million Americans.

Angelina Jolie wrote a powerful editorial about her medical choices. But for millions of women, it’s pure fantasy