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Friday, February 02, 2007


And In Medical News.....

Bringing out the wanna-be-dead:
In W.W.II, the Swiss defended their neutrality by fighting off the Luftwaffe; both sides using Messerschmitt 109s. Now, the Swiss are looking at adoption of another Nazi idea-

Swiss may expand assisted suicide law
1 hour, 18 minutes ago
A ruling by Switzerland's highest court released Friday has opened up the
possibility that people with serious mental illnesses could be helped by doctors
to take their own lives. Switzerland already allows physician-assisted
suicide for terminally ill patients under certain circumstances. The Federal
Tribunal's decision puts mental illnesses on the same level as physical
"It must be recognized that an incurable, permanent, serious mental
disorder can cause similar suffering as a physical (disorder), making life
appear unbearable to the patient in the long term," the ruling said.
"If the death wish is based on an autonomous decision which takes all circumstances into account, then a mentally ill person can be prescribed sodium-pentobarbital and
thereby assisted in suicide," it added.
Various organizations exist in Switzerland to help people who want to commit suicide, and assisting someone to die is not punishable under Swiss law as long as there is no "selfish motivation" for doing so.
The judges made clear in their ruling that certain conditions would have to be met before a mentally ill person's request for suicide assistance could be considered justified. "A distinction has to be made between a death wish which is an expression of a curable, psychiatric disorder and which requires treatment, and (a death wish) which is based on a person of sound judgment's own well-considered and permanent decision, which must be respected," they said.
The case was brought by a 53-year old man with serious bipolar affective disorder who asked the tribunal to allow him to acquire a lethal dose of pentobarbital without a doctor's prescription. The tribunal ruled against his request, confirming the need for a thorough medical assessment of the patient's condition.
Whether any Swiss physician would be prepared to prescribe a lethal dose of pentobarbital to a mentally ill person remains unclear. The country's national ethics commission could not be reached for comment late on Friday.
Switzerland is one of a number of countries in Europe that allow assistance to terminally ill people who wish to die.
Netherlands legalized euthanasia in 2001 and Belgium in 2002, while Britain and France allow terminally ill people to refuse treatment in favor of death.
Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press.
Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc.
All rights reserved.

Mentally ill persons with suicidal ideation are usually not in a place where they can make anything remotely like a rational decision. And, as they say, suicide is a permanent solution to problems that are usually temporary.

Presumption of promiscuity:
When I was 13, I certainly would have been most happy to participate in sex. Hey- it was the '60s (from what I can remember). Today, 11,12,13 year old girls in Texas are presumed to be engaging in sexual intercourse-

Texas Requires Cancer Vaccine for Girls

Feb 02 3:31 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer

AUSTIN (AP) -- Gov. Rick Perry ordered Friday that schoolgirls in Texas must be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer, making Texas the first state to require the shots. The girls will have to get Merck & Co.'s new vaccine against strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, that are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer.

Merck is bankrolling efforts to pass laws in state legislatures across the country mandating it Gardasil vaccine for girls as young as 11 or 12. It doubled its lobbying budget in Texas and has funneled money through Women in Government, an advocacy group made up of female state legislators around the country.

Details of the order were not immediately available, but the governor's office confirmed to The Associated Press that he was signing the order and he would comment Friday afternoon.

Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug
company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff.
His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne
White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.

Toomey was expected to be able to woo conservative legislators concerned about the requirement stepping on parent's rights and about signaling tacit approval of sexual activity to young girls. Delisi, as head of the House public health committee, which likely would have considered legislation filed by a Democratic member, also would have helped ease conservative opposition.

Perry also received $6,000 from Merck's political action committee during his re-election campaign. It wasn't immediately clear how long the order would last and
whether the legislation was still necessary. However it could have been
difficult to muster support from lawmakers who champion abstinence education and
parents' rights.

Perry, a conservative Christian who opposes abortion rights and stem- cell research using embryonic cells, counts on the religious right for his political base.
But he has said the cervical cancer vaccine is no different than the one that protects children against polio. "If there are diseases in our society that are going to cost us large amounts of money, it just makes good economic sense, not to mention the health and well being of these individuals to have those vaccines available," he said.

Texas allows parents to opt out of inoculations by filing an affidavit stating that he or she objected to the vaccine for religious or philosophical reasons. Even with such provisions, however, conservative groups say mandates take away parents' rights to be the primary medical decision maker for their children.

The federal government approved Gardasil in June, and a government advisory panel has recommended that all girls get the shots at 11 and 12, before they are likely to be sexually active.

The New Jersey-based drug company could generate billions in sales if Gardasil _ at $360 for the three-shot regimen _ were made mandatory across the country. Most insurance companies now cover the vaccine, which has been shown to have no serious side effects.

Merck spokeswoman Janet Skidmore would not say how much the
company is spending on lobbyists or how much it has donated to Women in
Government. Susan Crosby, the group's president, also declined to specify how
much the drug company gave.

A top official from Merck's vaccine division
sits on Women in Government's business council, and many of the bills around the
country have been introduced by members of Women in Government.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Gov. Perry- there's a helluva difference between an MMR shot for highly contagious childhood diseases, and one for HPV contracted through intercourse.

Jane also wrote about this, here:

UPDATE 2/7/07:
A news story tonight led me to IN SB0327 . This is legislation to make HPV vaccination mandatory for 6th-Grade girls in Indiana. Reports in the news say that the vaccine costs in excess of $300/dose. Someone has to pay the freight on that, and the implication is that schools or public health departments will have to pick up most of the tab. That will come straight out of your taxpaying wallets , whether your daughter is sexually active or not, or even if you don't have a school-age child of any gender. So of course I had to write letters:

Rep. ______-I strongly urge you to vote against any attempts to make HPV vaccination mandatory for Indiana schoolgirls. HPV transmission, unlike measles, mumps, rubella, and other diseases, is a behavioral issue. Hoosiers should not be required to vaccinate their children based on the assumption that all 12-year-old girls will engage in sexual activity, and other Hoosiers should not be required to pay for these expensive vaccinations.I would be happy to discuss this and any other medical issues that come before the legislature.
Regards,__________, RN

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