Tag Archives: Health Care

Organ Donation

Organ donation is a long and incredibly difficult process. It can be very difficult to get on an organ donation list, and they may not get the organs they need due to the short supply. People can only donate a few organs while they are still alive, so organ donation after death can be extremely helpful for sick people with conditions like heart defects.

There is also the issue of getting a compatible organ. You have to get an organ that matches with your body in order to get the transplant. There is no guarantee that the one organ available will be compatible with a person. Even a blood relative might not have an organ that is compatible. So the more people who become organ donors, the better the chance there is for another person to live.

Organ donors do not have to be the healthiest individuals; anyone can donate parts of their body even if other parts are not in the best shape. A heavy smoker could still donate something like their eyes or even the bones after their death. Every part of the human body can potentially be used to help a person in need. The skin, for example, can be used to help burn victims if doctors get to the deceased fast enough.

In your will, or by proxy after you die, you can still dictate what parts of your body are available for use. If a person wishes to hold on to specific parts of their body, they can. An organ donor still has a certain level of control over their body.

The community still needs organ donors; they are in great demand. While scientists are working toward creating organs in labs to help save lives, they have not yet reached a point where they can keep up with the demand of organs.

Brace yourself for winter with these health tips

Winter is well on it’s way, and we all know how the cold weather affects our bodies. Follow these tips to prepare and make it through the freezing winter that’s heading straight towards us.

Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News
Stay protected from the wear and tear of winter. Graphic from NY Daily News

Stay moisturized. To prevent chapping hands, use soap-free cleansers and alcohol-free hand sanitizers. When you do wash your hands, slather on lotion immediately after. Use a simple mix of honey and sugar — the honey reduces inflammation while the sugar increases circulation in skin — to soften dry patches on rough elbows and knees. Before putting on moisturizer, exfoliate with a gentle exfoliator.

For your feet — before bed, use a scrub or pumice stone to buff away calluses, then apply a thick moisturizer and wear socks overnight.

Keep your showers short — long exposure to hot water can strip your skin and hair of moisture.

Keep chapstick handy — but if your chapped lips get too flaky, take a clean toothbrush and gents exfoliate to remove excess skin. Then, apply beeswax or a lip balm with lanolin and keep reapplying throughout the day. For seriously dry lips, apply honey or Vaseline to your lips for 15 minutes and then remove with a cotton swab dipped in hot water. 

Slather on sunscreen — winter sun and sun glare can damage your skin. Apply 30 minutes before going outside, and remember to reapply. 

When heading outside, put on a hat, scarf, and gloves to avoid windburn and prolonged exposure to the cold air.

Apply olive oil or lotion containing lanolin to nails before bed and sleep with gloves on — to protect your nails from breaks and tears. Clear nail polish can protect brittle nails as well.

Buy foods full of healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids — such as fish, nuts, olive oil, flax, sardines, and avocados.

Also buy vitamin C-rich produce like citrus fruit and dark leafy greens. Vitamin C helps boost the body’s production of collagen, a protein that maintains skin and other connective tissues. Add biotin-rich foods (Vitamin B7) to your diet, vegetables like carrots, and protein like nuts and fish. Consider buying Biotin in supplement form.

Use humidifiers throughout your home, to disperse moisture more evenly — to help prevent your skin from drying out.

Drink plenty of water. Water is good for your overall health.

Keep your stress to a minimum. Studies have linked high stress levels to susceptibility to catching colds and the flu.

Exercise regularly.

Get the right amount of sleep every night. The average person needs 6-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your body becomes vulnerable to illness.

Stay warm this winter, but most importantly — stay healthy.

Should non-vaccinated children be barred from pediatricians?

The anti-vaxxer movement has gained a lot of attention in recent years. Many parents think that vaccines are related to autism. This idea may’ve taken root when Jenny McCarthy came forward and announced that she believed her child developed autism because they were vaccinated.

This fear inspired many medical studies. Although no studies show a link, there isn’t absolute proof that autism can’t be caused by vaccinations. However, with the many studies that show no link to vaccines and autism, I think it’s safe to assume that link doesn’t exist.

An infant with measles. Graphic from Janie Maitland
An infant with measles. Graphic from Janie Maitland

Many parents cry that it’s their choice to vaccinate their child or not. Just as many parents don’t like others interfering with the way they raise their child, many parents also aren’t comfortable with someone telling them how to care for their child. Although I’d be annoyed if someone told me how to raise my child, I’m not a doctor. I don’t have a medical degree, but I do look at the latest research–which tells me that there are more benefits to vaccines than there are dangers.

Recently, a measles outbreak occurred at DisneyLand in California. The source was a child who hadn’t received the measles vaccine, due to a parent’s concerns that the vaccine would have adverse effects. Because of this outbreak, many parents who had once fought against the standard vaccination schedule changed their mind and rushed to have their children caught up on vaccines.

A recent segment by NPR addressed an idea brought about by concerned, vaccinating parents: pediatricians should bar parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. Many may argue that this would keep children from receiving other medical care. However, Dr. Bob Sears’ office had a great idea: give parents who choose not to vaccinate a date to start having their child caught up on vaccines. This would pressure parents to vaccinate their child immediately, or risk losing treatment for other illnesses.

Some argue that this is infringing on parents’ right to choose care for their child. I believe that parents who believe that measles, meningitis or chicken pox are lesser threats than autism, shouldn’t be parents at all. I’m not a parent, but if I ever became a parent, I would be furious if my baby were infected with a deadly disease by a child who could’ve been vaccinated. Just as some parents are charged with child abuse for faith healing,parents who choose not to vaccinate against deadly diseases should be charged with murder if their child happens to die of a disease that could’ve been prevented by vaccination.

Even if there was a link between vaccination and autism, I would much rather care for a child with autism than have to bury my child. I simply can’t imagine being a parent and not doing everything possible to protect my child.

Overall, I think barring parents who choose not to vaccinate is a very smart idea. I think there has to be an extreme level of inanity to choose otherwise. Science has brought us so far and given us the wonderful gift of health against preventable diseases. Who wouldn’t take the risk, especially when the risk is virtually non-existent?

One-stop shopping for your health

Ever heard of integrated healthcare? Probably not. It’s a revolutionary way of getting all of your health care needs in one place. Many integrated health care clinics in the nation feature primary care, OBGYN care, dentistry, optometry, pharmacies and mental health services (counseling and psychiatric services). Basically, it’s a one-stop shop for all of your health care needs. Continue reading One-stop shopping for your health

Pick me, pick me!

There have been three official presidential debates this election year, including one vice presidential debate.

Obama and Romney in their first live debate at the University of Denver on October 3.

A majority consensus of registered voters, liberal and conservative alike, believed that Governor Mitt Romney proved victorious on Wed, Oct. 3 debate. Romney has quite often been portrayed as a wealthy businessman who simply does not understand the struggles of an average man or woman. Moderator Jim Lehrer, host of NewsHour on PBS, opened the debate with a question about the two candidates’ jobs agenda. Continue reading Pick me, pick me!

You, your parents and the health care debate

As a relatively new college student and newly created taxpayer, I really cannot help but be intensely interested in the health care debate’s recent appearance in front of the Supreme Court. After all, this is one political issue where the applications to and consequences for my own life are fairly apparent and clear-cut. I may or may not be able to buy my own health insurance in the next several years. I may or may not be required to acquire my own insurance during that same time period. My taxes may or may not increase to pay for the health insurance of others. Continue reading You, your parents and the health care debate

Socialism isn’t a dirty word

People who treat socialism as a dirty word should have their high school diplomas revoked. If you haven’t noticed, our public school education was mandatory and paid for through taxes.

I’m not saying our country would be better off as purely socialist. I don’t think that will ever happen because there have been many failures in other places. However, Americans seem to shrug off the fact that some countries have strong socialist parties. Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland are just a few examples, and all three countries ranked high in the Legatum Institute’s 2010 Prosperity Index.

Notice how the three top ranked countries all have socialist parties. Photo from Creative Commons.

Most countries at the top of that list have a high redistribution of wealth, something Americans are terrified of. We have grown spoiled and don’t see any reason to work for higher benefits and less money. A lot of people think that if they’re taxed more, the people getting those benefits probably don’t deserve them.

I rarely hear an argument against socialist practices where someone doesn’t complain about the idea of a poor junkie getting their money. I think this idea is really narrow-minded. I grew up receiving social security disability because my mother couldn’t go back to work, and that money helped keep me fed and clothed. Now I’m a fairly educated adult who plans to give back to the society that helped raise me. What’s wrong with that?

Another thing Americans take for granted is public facilities. Guess how we are able to have these things. Taxes. The roads we drive on, the sidewalks we walk on and the parks we hang out in are paid for through taxes. If you have a problem with that, then get off my roads, or better yet, pave them yourself.

Pave it! You won't! Photo from Creative Commons.

Also, I’ve noticed that people who have problems with the idea of socialized health care are mainly healthy people or people with incomes large enough to pay hospital bills. We live in a country that doesn’t support preventative health care, and this is a problem because those of us who need the help paying for health care are usually in a position where they can’t do without it. There was no prevention, so now they need serious help.

I’m also familiar with being in that position. I have childhood onset osteoporosis, and I’ve broken my arm four times because of it. No, you can’t do much to prevent my problem, but we can try to prevent age-related osteoporosis and many other costly problems.

Lastly, I can’t believe how many people are ignorant to the difference between socialism and communism, but still have strong opinions about it. Socialism actually allows for a market economy to exist and gives resources according to how much people work. In communism the state owns all means of production and allots resources according to need.

It’s not really fair to judge communism based on most “communist” countries because they’ve never gotten it right. I don’t believe it can work on a large scale, but that’s an argument for another day. What’s important is that socialism and communism are different, and if you don’t understand that, then don’t voice a strong opinion about it.

Health care: rallying against useless windbags

I don’t care if your dad works for a health insurance company, or your mom, or you. Whoever is working for those sons of bitches needs to take a knife and stick it right through their windpipe, or at least quit. The health care industry provides no service. It provides nothing except a rocky middle-ground for money to pass over and slip beneath the cracks as profit for assholes who have found a loophole in American commerce.

Here are some facts that you should know, health care accounts for one-sixth of our economy. The largest demographic without health care is us: 18-28 year olds who have recently been taken off their parents’ plan but have yet to get their own. We spend 50 percent more than any other country per capita on healthcare, but have absolutely nothing to show for it, because almost 40 million of your fellow Americans are uninsured.

The most recent health care bill that may or may not pass through congress aims to address a few awesome things:

  • Make it illegal for healthcare companies to not insure you for pre-existing conditions
  • Make it illegal for healthcare companies to drop you or water down your coverage when you get sick
  • It won’t change your coverage if you are comfortable with it

However:

  • There is no public option, that is to say no government-issued health care
  • You have to buy health care if you’re uninsured, and if you can’t afford it, the government will buy it for you from one of the providers
  • That means a LOT more money for private health care providers, paid for by the people who are forced to purchase it and the government that will pay for those who can’t afford it.

If you’re not an ignorant crack-shooter, you know that the U.S. is the last industrialized nation without nationalized health care and medicine. Why? WHY!!!

It is because health care companies have prominent fucking lobbyists, who control Congress. Excuse me for sounding like a conspiracy-theory hippy douche bag, but I’m right. The latest bill is a delicious, blonde blowjob for those lobbyists. It guarantees almost 40 million more customers for various healthcare providers, when it should be wiping them out altogether, or at the very least providing a free option for those who can’t afford co-payments and deductibles.

Yes, I said it. Put one-sixth of the economy out of work. Because those assholes don’t provide any service in society other than taking my money, keeping 1 out of every 3 dollars for profit, and giving the rest to my doctor. Make them do something useful, like work for GE.

Some quasi-retarded people think that the free market system is the only thing that’s important in our culture, that the ‘invisible hand’ of the market will make everything work out. Those people are naive. For one, we’ve never had a laissez-faire (let alone) market. We’ve always had a controlled market, and government has always competed with free-enterprise companies without wiping them out. That’s what a public option (my view of the bare minimum) poses to do, provide an OPTION to go alongside ridiculously priced options set by the cheating private insurance companies.

Look at the postal services. Our national postal service has been supplemented by FedEx and UPS and none of the three have gone out of business. Look at our education system. Yale, (a private university) along with hundreds of private universities, coincides with NYU, Radford, Penn State, UCLA, and hundreds of other government funded universities without showing signs of tarnished business.

Words like ‘socialism’ and ‘communism’ and ‘Marxist’ get thrown around a hell of a lot. Idiots think that paying a tax so others can get the same care as the rest of us is un-American. What about social security? What about Medicare and Medicaid? Are those not socialist ideals? The truth is that we’re already a socialist nation and we should be fucking fantistically proud of it. We care for our elderly and aid our less fortunate. Now it’s time we pay a bunch more and receive the same care for everyone. Take the money you’re giving to the inflated health industry, give it to the government, and let it filter throughout everyone else’s tax to insure every American’s health. That’s one thing that they should be doing for us right now, helping with our illnesses.

To get more information listen to Obama’s health care speech.