Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Location

I want to let everyone know that I will be opening my practice in La Grande shortly, most likely in June. It will be located in the Blue Mountain Academy for the Healing Arts (1405 Washington Ave). I will be taking over the practice of Dr Meg Perry. I'm excited about this opportunity and look forward to serving the residents of eastern Oregon.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Mad Cow/Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

This is a bit of a follow-up to the downed cattle post from a few months ago. In the US we tend to deny the existence of Mad Cow Disease, and its related illness. One suspected case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, the human equivalent of MCD, made it into the news recently. I find it odd that it didn't get more coverage on national news, especially since it occurred so soon after the downed cow incidents made the news. I find it more disconcerting that I can't find any follow-up on this story.
Read more about this possible current case in Virginia.

Tips to avoiding CJD:
  • Know your food!
  • Take action to improve the downer cow situation in the US.
  • Avoid eating meat.
    • Prions pass mainly by ingestion.
    • Our current agricultural industry often feeds parts of animals to other animals.
    • Grow your own, or have someone you know raise it. Make sure that the animal is vegetarian fed.
  • Avoid manure based fertilizer.
    • Prions may be able to spread from manure onto food; remember the recent E coli spinach outbreak. This is still a tenuous link, but a possibility. Once again knowing your source is important.

Health Care Industry Lobbying

This entry focuses more on the politics of health care in the US, than on individual actions you can take. I urge you to become politically active to help make the US more friendly to "alternative" medicine. Two major steps that need to be taken are getting naturopathic medicine and midwifery licensed nation-wide. Licensing ensures standards of training and procedure, protecting people from inadequately trained practitioners. To help get these professions licensed nationally please visit the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians and The Big Push for Midwives. Both of these groups are fighting the well funded lobbying efforts of the conventional health care industry.

According to a Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, the health care industry is the top spender among lobbying groups in the US, for the second year in a row. Health insurance companies spent $138 million on lobbying in 2007, imagine how much lower costs would be under a single payer system. All the recent horror stories from the pharmaceutical sector (heparin that was not quality tested, drugs approved without full safety testing, etc) makes me think that they should be spending their lobbying money, $227 million, on identifying the safety of their products. I guess pharmaceutical companies find it more economical to get congress to protect them, rather than fully safety testing their products.

The US needs to realize that it should be protecting its citizens, and not big corporations. We protect the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies, while forbidding women to deliver babies in their homes. The health care industry needs to stay focused on life, rather than profit. Life is an unalienable right, not money.
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