Tag Archives: Medicine

Could this happen to you?


Imagine that complications from your pregnancy put your health at risk and when you arrive at the hospital you suddenly find out that they can refuse to help you.

This horrific reality has happened to many women, and it will happen again. If your local hospital is religiously affiliated — or if it employs doctors or nurses who have religious objections to providing needed medical care — it could even happen to you.

Tell the Department of Health: Women in Washington deserve better.

Within the next two years, more than 50 percent of hospital admissions in Washington may be to Catholic institutions that restrict patient access to medication and procedures. These religiously affiliated hospitals allow religious doctrine, rather than proven medical best practices, to dictate the kind of care and procedures pregnant women and patients can receive. In these hospitals, patient care and medical standards often run a distant second to religious doctrine. As a result, women’s health can suffer, and lives can be at risk and all the while women continue to seek care at these hospitals with no idea.

You can change this. The Washington Department of Health is asking for comments on proposed changes to hospital disclosure policies.

Submit your comment today to ensure that hospitals in Washington fully inform their patients about the reproductive health services they do and do not provide.

Many women seeking care at these hospitals may not realize that the hospitals deny care for women and patients in emergency situations, including:

  • Prohibiting prompt, medically indicated treatment of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, even if the woman’s life and health is at risk.
  • Refusing   to inform a couple about their contraceptive options, including sterilization, even though a pregnancy could threaten the women’s health or life.
  • Requiring patients in persistent vegetative states to be kept on feeding tubes even when a patient has specifically indicated that a feeding tube is something he or she would never want.

This is a growing problem in Washington. Women cannot wait until they are in dire need of services to be informed of their care. Please take action right now — the comment period closes at midnight on November 26.

Thanks for keeping it personal,

Thao Nguyen
Campaign Director
This Is Personal

The Veterans Full Employment Bill Signing


The First Lady joins Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley for a formal bill signing ceremony at the Maryland state house. The legislation will make it easier for military spouses to transfer their licenses when they move from state to state, and it will require licensing units and public institutions of higher education to consider relevant military experience and training for licenses, credentials and academic credit.

Cruelty to animals at UW … Patrick Schmitt, Change.org


In just a few weeks, medical residents at the University of Washington will begin their fall rotations, studying new topics and performing new procedures. Unfortunately, they’ll be using cruel and outdated training methods to do so.

Students at UW still learn how to insert breathing tubes in human infants using live ferrets instead of simulators.

Here’s what happens: Students push breathing tubes down the throats of live ferrets to practice intubation. Each ferret is subjected to the process repeatedly, experiencing pain, bruising, bleeding, and even death.

More than 90 percent of U.S. pediatrics programs have moved from abusing animals to relying on simulators — an option that has been proven to be more effective for teaching.

Join the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) in urging University of Washington President Michael Young and the UW School of Medicine to stop using ferrets in its pediatrics program. >>    http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-university-of-washingtons-cruel-ferret-lab-3?utm_source=action_alert&utm_medium=email&alert_id=NNSacSzXig_zLjAKpCEDe

The use of ferrets in pediatric training is cruel and unnecessary. These ferrets suffer needlessly in the short-term — and medical students receive inferior training that affects their abilities as physicians in the long-term.

According to experts at PCRM, “Simulators approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics actually provide a better training experience – they’re humane, they can be used over and over again to aid learning, and they’re specifically designed to mimic the anatomy of newborns and infants.”

August is the perfect time to push for policy change before the new school year starts.

Several weeks ago, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine filed an animal cruelty complaint against the university with the county prosecutor, increasing pressure on UW officials.

Plus, University of Washington President Michael Young has only been at the university for a month. He is still likely to be receptive to reviewing and updating policies.

If Young commits to switching the pediatrics program to using simulators before the next classes of students and residents begin training, 2011-2012 could be a cruelty-free school year for UW’s pediatric residency program.

Sign here to ask UW to end the practice of animal cruelty in its pediatrics program and begin offering more modern methods of training to its medical students and residents:

http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-university-of-washingtons-cruel-ferret-lab-3

Thanks for being a change-maker,

– Patrick and the Change.org team