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Health-related posts, for intro to healthcare class

Health-related posts, for intro to healthcare class

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Tank Girl - Introduce Myself
The Pain of Others
Living the brutal life of poverty now also means living a brutal life of violence. In Reno, harmless homeless people are being victimized by teenage boys as they sleep, being violently kicked and beaten for no reason except for the thrill. And the police aren't doing anything about it.
The article recalls several occasions of teenage boys brutally flogging old homeless men with bats, rods, and sticks, and on one noted occasion, a cinder block to the eye. The boys caught and questioned answered that they were thrill-seeking, and did it just for fun.
Why do they think they can get away with such brutality? Because of an old city law that criminalizes homelessness, sending the homeless a message that they are worthless to the community.
The article goes on to explain various laws that work against, not homelessness itself, but homeless people. In Florida, there are various laws associated with feeding or helping homeless people in groups or in public. Then continues on about the police turning away from clear harassment, and even burning shelters during 'sweeps'.
It ends discussing the homeless in pop culture, some statistics, and the real reason behind homelessness and poverty.

The magazine this article comes from, Adbusters, specializes in opening one's eyes to things that would generally be ignored or unnoticed. This is a perfect example of what Adbusters does. Homelessness is so terribly present in the world, and yet, people choose not to acknowledge that they exist. They don't contribute to society, so what's the point of worrying about what happens to them? People die and get the crap beat out of them every day, and people don't always know why.
This way of society is revolting, but nobody cares anyway. The homeless are like wild animals, right? Let natural selection take care of them, survival of the fittest and all that, right?
Well, a newborn baby doesn't contribute to society (and in fact, puts a real strain on your budget), but you worry about it, even when you have nothing to worry about. You would be devastated if your baby, or anyone's baby were harmed in any way. Why? Because they're cute? Because they bring joy? Well, what if your baby was born with a terrible and incurable disease? Would it still be a joy?
What if a stranger was in trouble? Would you stop to help him (or her) if (s)he was in a suit rather than rags? Would you still help out a friend who became a homeless beggar?
The homeless are still people, and there shouldn't be rules against them. They are still people, still citizens (for the most part), and should be protected and barred by the law as equally as everyone else. The law should not be only on the side of those who can afford it.

Non-European PhDs In Germany Find Use Of 'Doktor' Verboten
Americans with PhDs beware: Telling people in Germany that you're a doctor could land you in jail. A little-known Nazi-era law prohibits any outsiders from using the honorific 'doctor' regardless of a degree to back it up. In 2001, however, the law extended allowance of the prefix to any doctor in the European Union, but still barred it from Americans.
Seven American doctors doing research at the Max Planck Society in Germany have been blown in by an anonymous upright tipster, who was concerned about the rampant lawlessness among PhDs, and are being summoned by die Krippo (short for die Deutsche Kriminalpolizei) for the crime of using "Dr." on their business cards, resumes and websites. German law dictates that if American doctor Ian Thomas Baldwin wishes to refer to his doctorate, he may identify himself as Professor Ian Thomas Baldwin, PhD, Cornell University. That's quite a mouthful.
The article explains the German culture of the importance of surnames and honorifics, and how seriously they take their titles, which become part of their legal name. Of course, not realizing what they had done when they were summoned, they stated that they had no criminal intent.

**note: this law was changed last week to acknowledge doctorates from certain American universities.

The first thing I thought of was that they got it all wrong when the Nazis referred to Indiana Jones as "Dr. Jones."
I'm afraid I don't have much to say about this article.
I fully understand taking your title seriously in context. I would never call my doctor "Mister" in the hospital.But I never understood why anyone takes their title so seriously outside their profession. Why would someone be offended that they were called "Mister" rather than "Doctor" or "Professor" at a picnic? And why do we call our teachers "Mister/Miss/Missus" in grammar/high schools and "Professor" in universities? Or by their first names in some places and cases? I do find it absurd that these doctors in Germany were arrested for such a seemingly silly issue, but they are still doctors. Some people are affronted by the "insult" to their name, and say that they worked hard for their title. Well, I would think you worked harder for your degree. Shouldn't that be worth more than a title?

Put Young Children on DNA Lists
British police want to collect DNA samples from children as young as five who 'exhibit behavior indicating they may become criminals in later life'. Gary Pugh, scientist from Scotland Yard, argued that since some schools already take students' fingerprints, and that the collection and permanent storage of DNA samples should logically be next step.
The article is mostly about the psychological damage that could be done on children, being branded as potential criminals at such a young age. It also goes into who supports and who doesn't... and that teachers should be on the side of the police, but are torn.
And of course, if anyone argues that branding naughty five-year-olds as lifelong criminals will stigmatize them, the proposed solution will be to take samples from all children.

The upside to putting children's fingerprints on government files is that it the database will be more fully stocked of fingerprints to match to public enemy number one. I always figured, though, that if you've checked out a library book, written your name in and handled a text book, or even spent a penny, that the government has your DNA. Of course they do, but they need a name, right? I think that giving up that sort of information should be a choice. Any adult can protest giving a sample when confronted, so why shouldn't children be able to make that same choice?
Personally, I would feel branded if police wanted my prints on file because I'd probably grow up to be a criminal. At that age, I'd think, wow, they already expect it, so they won't be surprised when I do it. Or maybe they'll be relieved when I actually do something good.
Though, if a child refuses submitting prints, that child might still be branded. Protest and be appalled for being wrongly pre-accused, or protest and be appalled to cover your ass in case you do become a criminal.
And yet there are always ways for the government to get around consent.

Chantal Sebire Begs French President for the Right to Die
Former school teacher Chantal Sebire of France looks almost like a full-grown harlequin baby (if harlequin babies could survive 52 years). She looks like a monster, and she is in constant pain (although her physical pain may not be constant, her mental anguish definitely is). Chantal appealed to President Nicolas Sarkozy begging to be put down like an animal, because "an animal would not be allowed to endure what I have to endure." Chantal has a very rare disease called esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB), an uncommon malignant neoplasm which attacks nearly all the senses through the nasal vault. The tumors first took her sense of smell and taste, continued to the jaw, and then her eyes.
Unfortunately for her, although it's allowed to pull the plug on life support patients, euthanasia is illegal in France.
Two follow-up articles posted in the last week reveal that the Dijon high court has rejected her plea for death. She decided not to continue to appeal the decision and declared to seek out mercy elsewhere.
Only a few days ago, she was found dead in her home, survived by her three children. It is not yet known how she died. The case stirred up many emotions, and revived the debate on the right to die in France.

Although I know nothing of French law, I have always been pro-choice in all aspects of the human body. I think that if it's okay that an animal can be put down to prevent it from suffering, so can a human being. Anyone who has lost a treasured family pet knows that it can be just as hard on the emotions as losing a member of the family, because a pet IS a member of the family. I don't understand how people can argue that humans are a more valuable part of the family, yet they won't let the dog suffer longer than it wants to.
Chantal Sebire was suffering and wanted desperately to die. It was going to happen, whether France allowed it or not. Though the last article about the case stated that it was unknown how she died, I suspect that, like she said, she found what would get the job done. My guess is that her family helped, perhaps by bringing her to Belgium or the Netherlands, or bringing her a peaceful end from elsewhere.
At first, I wasn't sure why she didn't just go to another country to be euthanised, but reading the follow-up articles and reader comments, I see that appealing her right to die in court and to the media has rejuvenated the debates and perhaps has brought the country one step toward legalizing euthanasia for future cases (not for ENB cases- there have only been 200 worldwide in the last 20 years- but for all cases of the suffering and lifeless).

Death of the Father
British scientists are well on their way to completing a cure for infertility. But for now, they've figured out a way to turn your bone marrow into a sex cell. Now lesbians can produce their own child while cutting out the middle-man (did you catch the pun?) and gay men can do the same (with the use of a female host). This research extends on the whole stem-cell deal, where one type of cell can be chemically enhanced and transformed into another.
Not surprisingly, these Butantan Institute researchers are battling ethic issues. There are a trillion issues, I'm sure, but this article mainly mentions the gay/not gay, man and wife thing, thankfully, in brief. Their primary focus is to cure infertility caused by radiation of cancer patients.

Like self-spawning amphibians, life will find a way.
There's nothing in this article that suggests that this will be more fun than the traditional methods of procreation, but that isn't the point. I don't think I'm infertile, so I don't have absurdly strong opinions on artificial insemination. But it WILL still be artificial, more so than the original ways of AI.
I must mention, first, that I have many gay and lesbian friends and I have no problems whatsoever with who they want to love, and second, with that said, I really dread having to listen to angry, man-hating dikes in the future about how they think they can finally render men obsolete and kill them off (only this time, they can cut out the part where they harvest their sperm). Sorry to be so blunt there, but I've heard that speech more than a few times, and most of these chicks are hypocrites (animal rights activists wanting to get rid of a species? Riiiight).
The article mentions a scientist's hopes to undermine the statement that heterosexual marriage is superior because it aims at procreation. First of all, there are plenty of married couples who aren't in it for the babies. Second, pregnancy doesn't always have anything to do with marriage. It has to do with love, care, and starting a family (or human trafficking, but I won't get into that).
Instead of worrying more about the ethical uprising, they should focus more on the scientific drawbacks of reproducing with yourself. Are these bone babies going to be disfigured, as if in an inbreeding situation? Would the child be a clone? Is there a way to chemically create a Y chromosome in female sperm? How far down the gene pool will this succeed (and will the child also be infertile)? Is this planet doomed to be inhabited only by females?
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