Raise awareness of environmental health issues in order to better protect our children and future generations.

23 April 2012

U.S. Health Care: A Profit-Driven, Uncaring System

Fool’s Gold: US Healthcare System Cheats Patients
by Donna Smith (16 April 2012) 
"Simply fixing the payment mechanism will not be
 enough to fix the broken human interactions."
In case any one of us needs reminding, the profit-driven healthcare system in America is broken. Driven by its primary motivation to make money, there is little that compels those currently in control to care about patients like you and me. We are most assuredly a necessary component of the healthcare market – they cannot make any money without us – but we are treated like children to be seen and not heard.
The vast majority of us cannot access or pay for the care we need without health insurance coverage through either a private, for-profit health insurance company or through a government program for which we qualify. A small minority of people can afford to pay for care outright with cash or credit.

19 April 2012

News from Geneva: Lecture on "The Marketing of Madness": Psychiatric Medications Dominate Mental Health

On 18 April 2012, the Citizens’ Commission for Human Rights (CCHR) organized a lecture in Geneva, Switzerland, on the marketing of psychiatric diagnoses and medications and their adverse effects on health.  Dr. Nicolas Franceschetti, President of CCHR, Geneva, introduced the evening by referring to recent developments such as the British Medical Journal article published on 27 February 2012 warning about the deadly adverse effects of regular ingestion of hypnotics (sleeping pills) which include shortening of lifespan and cancer.

A nurse who works at a “home” for aged persons (EMS) in Switzerland gave testimony of the over-prescription of medications to the elderly in these establishments.

Extracts of the documentary, “The Marketing of Madness” were shown. (YouTube access to the 177-minute film is available at the end of the article).  The film discusses “how psychiatric medications with deadly side effects and no known rate of cure came to dominate the field of mental health”, for example through the drawing up of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).  This manual creates “disease out of everyday suffering and as a result, pads the bottom lines” of pharmaceutical companies (ref: “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness”, by Gary Greenberg, 27 December 2010, Wired Magazine).  Another example is the prescription of atypical antipsychotics to some 2.5 million children in the United States.  This new type of psychiatric medication, which includes Risperdal and Zyprexa, can cause weight gain, cardio-vascular dysfunction and Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms.  These drugs sometimes require the prescription of other psychotropic medications to lessen side-effects, a practice called “poly-pharmacy”.

11 April 2012

The Cherry Tree

The flowering cherry tree, « Sakura », welcomes spring.  The cherry blossom is an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life.  It reminds us that we must protect this very fragile existence which is granted to us.  May the flowering of these trees bring healing this year to the nation’s people and land, and a nuclear-free Japan.

One hundred years ago, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador to the United States, planted two Yoshino cherry trees in Wasington DC, part of a gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to the United States.  Today, these two trees and thousands more grace the city’s spring.    Let this be a message to the United States that it too must consider abandoning nuclear energy and protect the beauty and fragility of life.

Cherry blossoms at Fukushima
by Meris Michaels