Archive for the medical Category

Mixing Religion with Medicine

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, biological traits, Christianity, culture, faith, life, medical, random, religion, science, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2011 by chouck017894

Corporation take over of medical care under the guise of religious insight is becoming a serious threat to democratic principles in the United States today.  The diabolical move by religious denominations to take over hospitals and health care facilities is not undertaken in the noble spirit of love or intellectual understanding of biological truths.  It  is all about materiality and a lust for control.  That these facilities receive generous public subsidies is simply coincidental, of course.  When life threatening situations arise there should never be injected into those threatening problems some religious supposition to further contaminate the situation.  Case in point: those hospital mergers in which Catholic standards, which prioritize unsupported theological doctrines, are made to supersede medical knowledge and the true welfare of patients. 

The ethical question of imposing strict religious dogmatic interpretations on medical situations remains firmly ensconced behind the facade of spiritual posturing, which ignores all laws of physical development.  As an extreme example, ignorance of biological processes instituted by the males who devised Catholic dogma reached the holy conclusion that surgical performance of abortion was forbidden by god.  It did not matter to god’s henchmen if pregnancy had been induced by rape or incest!  And the bishops declared that god didn’t like  individuals taking precautions during sex either, so contraceptives or any precautionary form of birth control was deemed unacceptable.  Not content with these inanities, the self-appointed representatives of  god then issued “ethical directives” regarding end-of-life issues which too often overrule the “living wills” and advanced directives of the terminally ill persons themselves. 

By imposing these things the Catholic hierarchy has never advanced much from the god-inspired “medical” advice given by such revered “saints” as Gregory of Tours (538-594).  His saintly view was that the practice of medicine was a godless science, for any medical attempts to heal interfered with the will of god.  This “saint” conveniently ignored that Jesus is alleged to have healed many medical conditions.  Thus “saint” Gregory dared to condemn as heretic anyone who sought a  physician’s advice.  Healing the sick, he declared, belonged to the realm of faith.  He therefore felt worthy to dispense prescriptions such as a pinch of dust from the Shrine of St. Martin as a cure for dysentery; or, as a cure for the inflammation of the tongue, he recommended that the infected should lick the rails at the shrine of a saint

This same mockery of spirit prevails in too many health care facilities supervised by religious orders—those governed by Roman Catholic directives in particular, which are anchored in doctrine-based rules imposed by a conference of non-medical bishops.  And those doctrines came  down through a hierarchy of other non-medical men at councils that date back from the first sitting of the Council of Nicaea in Bithynia in 325.  Even as late as 1973-74 the US Catholic bishops actually decreed that a woman did not have the right to choose what was to grow within her own body!  Their church-serving judgment was directly contrary to the religious premise that everyone possesses free will choice.  As always, the main objective of the haughty bishops was, first and foremost, to give themselves authority to run other people’s lives in the guise of supernatural guidance.

That the religious panels that tyrannize health care  facilities are wretchedly indifferent about biological issues is an understatement, and that is glaringly obvious in their judgments of when conscious awareness of self enters the development of human identity.  These allegedly celibate men (unnatural in itself) dare to pretend judgment of when a “soul” (ego?) is injected into the elementary stage of an energy formation.  A fertilized egg is nothing more than the cleavage of a cell.  To say that god is personally present in the uterine tract to inject a  soul at the moment when ejaculated sperm penetrates an egg is more obscene than it is divine knowledge.

With all the subversive attacks by Religious Right extremists on democratic principles in the United States today, 2011, and the accompanying recession, an alarming number of hospitals are considering merging with larger systems.  Far too often these merged facilities are run through publicly subsidized religious systems.  Thus what are supposed to be medical services, in this manner, operate more profitably than average hospitals, and they now account for around eighteen percent of the nation’s hospital beds.

But when the dogma of some faith system gets pumped into health technology when a person is at their most susceptible condition, the person’s best interests are callously made secondary to church interests.  Jesus must be so proud.

Abortion and the Bible

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, humanity, life, medical, nature, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , on November 1, 2010 by chouck017894

More important than the event of being born into this harsh material world is the prospect of what the quality of that newborn’s life is likely to be.  This is not an aspect that those opposed to abortion seem willing to consider seriously.  They prefer to let incompetent religious hucksters manipulate them and short-circuit their reasoning ability by use of cherry-picked biblical verses taken out of context of certain stories.  To use two or three biblical verses out of context to claim a godly pronouncement against abortion, and jimmy them into a doctrine stoked with hatred amounts to true sacrilege.  Far more verses can be lifted out of context that will contradict the antiabortion stance, not to mention  that whole chapter in the Old Testament tell of god-approved slaughter of babes, infants, children and parents.  The book of Joshua, for example, is glorification of a holocaustic orgy of such slaughter of innocents. 

Anti-abortionists declare themselves to be “pro-life,” and yet they extend no compassion or thought as to the quality of  life into which a forming fetus is to be born.  Very few of those pro-life activists ever lift a finger to do anything about the infants after they are born into life-demeaning or life-threatening circumstances.  If these pro-life activists really were pro-life they would organize to help all those infants who are  born into poverty and have only a bleak, miserable existence waiting for them.  To ignore such tragedy that is played out all around this overpopulated planet is a testimony that pro-lifers actually lack any true spiritual perception. 

As a small example of how they blind themselves to the enormity of real life and spiritual problems, consider these facts from United Nations.  One-point-four billion people around the planet live in extreme poverty where income is less than $1.25 per day.  Around a billion people have no access to clean water, and infants and very young children perish from contaminated water.  And more than a billion persons, mainly infants and very young children, are chronically undernourished.  These are just a few examples of conditions of conscious, self-aware life, not potential life.  What do those who claim to be pro-life do to actually raise the quality of life in this world?  Nothing.   For pro-life fanatics to claim themselves as pro-life but ignore these tragedies while indulging in social mayhem amounts to nothing more than a stimulant for masturbating their egos. 

Nowhere in “holy word” is it said that God defined a fetus as being a sentient person.  In fact, in the timeframes in which the few cherry-picked verses were written a babe was not considered a person until it had passed its first year of life.  That is historical fact.  And it is made clear in the book of Exodus, chapter 21, verses 22 through 25.  It is highly unlikely that the anti-abortionists ever exert themselves to really read the Bible so here is what it says:  “And if men struggle and strike a woman with child so that she has a miscarriage, yet there is no further injury, he shall be fined as the woman’s husband may demand of him, and he shall pay as the judges decide.  But if there is any further injury, then you shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”  So if a woman were to lose a fetus when accidentally struck as two men are fighting, it was not deemed a capital offense.  If the woman had been killed, however, then another life had to be forfeited.  In other words, a fetus was not deemed to be a person, but the woman was man’s property.

Biblical translations abound, and one can pick and choose what they want to use as basis to practice some prejudice.  In the verses quoted above, the word miscarriage is changed in some editions to read “gives birth prematurely,” which is claimed to be closer to original text. (The New International Version of the Bible.)  But here, too, the choice of words are not scripturally correct.  The Hebrew word yalad, a verb, was translated as the word “miscarriage” or as “gives birth prematurely;” but more correctly it describes the process of expelling a fetus, not the personhood of the fetus itself.  And in the wretched book of Leviticus, a baby had to reach the age of one month before it was judged to have any monetary value (27:6).  In the book of Numbers (3:15) it tells of a census that was taken, but any babes under one month were not to be counted, so it is certain that any fetuses were not counted as forthcoming persons. 

Still the anti-abortionists love to point out cherry-picked verses chosen for them by some egocentric faith merchant, and then go forth in God’s name to bomb women’s clinics or indulge in outright murder of doctors who serve such clinics.  What part of the phrase pro-life do they not understand?  The favored verses chosen by the unspiritual faith merchants as a rallying cry for practicing hatred come from alleged special case character in some biblical tale.  One of their favorite rallying choices comes from Psalms 139:13-16, which reads:  “For thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.  (Wrought where?)  Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.”

The verse quoted above is alleged to have been written by David, but sounds suspiciously like priest jargon.  In any case, it is about one  particular person who was to be used by God to intruded upon regional politics: that one glorified womb product was not in reference to every conception and fetal growth. 

Another cherry-picked phrase taken out of context and thrown around to stimulate their urge for inhumane conduct is, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.”   And who was it that God allegedly said this to?  It was not to all humankind but to one particular prophet: it was to Jeremiah, supposedly chosen for a divine purpose.  The full passage reads: “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto nations.”  This hardly applies to the run of the mill fetuses.  And further on it says: “See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant.”  How does that possibly apply to every fetus?

There is one  more favorite cherry-picked Bible episode lifted out of the New Testament book of Luke (1:39-41); the crafted scene where Elisabeth, mother-to-be of John the Baptist, meets with Mary pregnant with Jesus.  “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”

Once again it is an alleged divine prophet that is portrayed as a sentient fetus.  Fetuses may kick and move as muscles and nerve systems develop, but the impulses of energy hardly makes every fetus a god-fashioned sentient person.  And using Bible verses out of context cannot be legitimately pointed to as a mandate against abortion.  If those who claim to be pro-life could find the stomach to actually read the “good book” from cover to cover they would find absolutely nothing in regard to abortion—neither condemning nor defending it.  As far as holy word is concerned, abortion is a non-issue.

Grab Our Profits

Posted in Atheist, culture, Government, history, life, medical, politics, random, secularism, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on December 21, 2009 by chouck017894

Health care for the nation’s citizens has been vigorously opposed by the Republicans for decades, but perhaps never have they stooped quite so low as through the 2009 drive by the Democrats to assure citizens security in the face of costly illness.  They had opposed Medicare, for example, but now claim, falsely, that extending health care to all citizens would deprive the elderly of Medicare benefits.  The truth is that far too many of those “public servants” standing in opposition to Health Care with public option have been happily raking in loads of cash for their congressional seats from big insurance corporations.  And from Big Finance, and Big Oil, and Big Pharmacy too.

The hard-line Republicans have a long record against adhering to ethical forms of regulations and controls that were once in place to keep a level playing field for all citizens and businesses.  Slowly and surely the heavily financed GOP (Grab Our Profits) crowd chipped away at the principled regard for the little man in favor of the conniving schemers and greedy corporations.  The 2008-2009 economic collapse and the $700,000,000,000 (seven hundred billion) taxpayer-funded bailout for the Wall Street crowd is directly traceable to their devotion to end all controls and regulations that once protected homeowners, taxpayers and the national budget.

In this regard the United States can truly be termed a “Christian nation,” for the whole principle of that faith is that someone else will pay the end-price for you.  Is it simply bald coincidence that as right-wing religionists squirmed into political influence through the late 1970s and early 1980s that the democratic principles upon which the U.S. was built began to noticeably slide downhill?  Noted in Time Frames and Taboo Data: Reagan’ first official act after assuming office as President of the United States in 1981 was to terminate oil price controls, asserting it would boost America’s oil exploration and production.  But in the years of Reagan’s reign the “conservatives” never managed to find the waste, fraud and abuse that they had always claimed had been the hallmarks of liberal government.  Subtle shifts did occur, however, and with Ronald Reagan’s election the war on poverty had been quietly and quickly shifted to a war on the poor.

By 1992 the extreme radical religionists announced publicly, “We want…as soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996.”  By 1995 Congress was manipulated by their cohorts into stripping victims of shady businesses of their right to recover their losses from those businesses!  And by 1996 the Christian Right had finally managed to gain full control of the GOP at the Republican Convention.  Through the next few years evangelical fanatics wormed their way into Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive Branches—all the while corruption and unethical behavior was flourishing, reaching its apex in the election process that brought born-again G. W. Bush the presidency in 2000.

Led by this self-proclaimed god-favored crowd the nation was blessed with an illegal war, and the likes of Big Oil, Big Pharmacy, and Big Finance manipulating more and more of government policy through the disgraceful practice called “lobbying” for favors for the corporations and the rich.  In other words, an undemocratic system that is nothing more than legalized bribery.  Since 1998, for example, the “financial service” industry has spent over $5 billion in campaign contributions and lobbying expenses.  How many lives could that money have saved if it had only been used in genuine spiritual compassion?

Abuse of Democracy

Posted in Atheist, culture, Government, history, medical, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , on December 12, 2009 by chouck017894

Let’s face it, there is a corrupt and self-absorbed minority in the United States Congress that is traitorously putting the screws to true democratic process.  It is obvious that these elected politicians have no genuine respect for the will of the people that they are supposed to be serving.  Glaring examples of these today are the poor-loser element of the Republican Party that have stood in opposition to Public Option in health coverage for which the majority of citizens clamored. 

Instead, that small segment of self-interest and special-interest senators indulged themselves by exploiting questionable rules of the House of Representatives to require that a supermajority be in place in order to even discuss necessary reforms in citizen health coverage.  Otherwise the self-interest senators threatened to filibuster.  In other words, a tiny minority, most from the least populous states, seeks to dictate terms of national health care.   

The antidemocratic indulgence of the filibuster, a means of gaming the system that was invented back in the 1800s to defend slavery and segregation, is a shameful “tradition” that has repeatedly threatened the credibility of Congress to implement the will of the majority.  The filibuster certainly is not authorized in the Constitution, for the purpose of that practice is to prevent the majority of senators from putting the peoples’ expressed requirements into effect.

As long as antidemocratic “rules” go unreformed, such self-interest “representatives” can thumb their noses at voters while they continue to compromise democracy and still get paid by the likes of insurance corporations, big oil, pharmaceutical companies, etc.  A couple of examples are in the persons of Democrat Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas who has collected a pile of insurance cash, and Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska who, from 2003 to 2008 squirreled away at least $600,000 from insurance “donations.”  The pursuit of corporate money has lured such as these into bed with the gang of obstructionist Republicans.  Plainly such politicians are not holding out for a better deal for the citizens.

For democratic justice to prevail, the Senate must honor the majority rule.  Compromise with politicians receiving under-the-table payments from corporate firms is not in the interest of the majority of the people.  While a good percentage of the former corrupt politicians are now sulking in their dens (like the infamous C Street “family” in Washington), the present elected representatives should commit themselves to ridding the Hill of the “rules” that suppress debate and inhibits achievement of majority will. 

The United States advertises itself as the land of the free, of liberty, justice, equality and opportunity for all.  It is also a nation with self-interest politicians that are inclined to tell other nations to take up a democratic form of government.  Shouldn’t we make sure that our own house is cleaned up before we strut around claiming to be the best of all social orders?

Abortion Anxiety

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, biological traits, faith, humanity, medical, nature, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by chouck017894

Thoughts in regard to news that an extreme fringe group of anti-abortionists is trying to drum up cash for legal defense of Scott Roeder, killer of Dr. George Tiller who tried to provide for women seeking safe abortion.

Ask most anti-abortion supporters where in the Bible it is stated that inducing abortion is forbidden and they dutifully allude to three or four selected biblical verses, especially the sixth Commandment forbidding killing.  Other verses cited are in regard to the conceiving of one special person such as a man who is allegedly meant to be a “prophet” or who is to become king.  Because God is referred to as having worked in the womb of some certain woman for God’s special purpose, none of the verses used as authority declare or even imply that God is the active participant in every conception.

A favorite bit of anti-abortion propaganda is a phrase in the first chapter of the book of Jeremiah, verse 5, that goes; “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee…”  If these Bible pickers would just read the rest of the passage, the words there do not support their argument.  The phrase held in such fanatic respect was allegedly spoken to Jeremiah personally, to whom God also allegedly said, “…before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet of nations.”  The soliloquy continues through verse 10 and elaborates on Jeremiah’s call as “prophet.”  So, unless everyone is to play the role of “prophet” to nations it cannot be said of them, “…before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.”

Another favorite bit of cherry picking the Bible is Psalms 139:13-16, supposedly composed by King David, that alludes, “…thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.”  And, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.”  So, once again, only one particular pregnancy was personally activated and it does not support the claim that every conception is God-ordained.

The third popular selection of holy word ferreted out by anti-abortionists comes from Luke 1:39-41 that describes the unlikelihood of a fetus (who was to become John the Baptist) carried in Elisabeth’s body leaping in his mother’s womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, greeted her.  That passage is taken by anti-abortionists to imply that all gestating fetuses are sentient persons; but once again the account is in regard only to a “prophet” allegedly ordained by God. 

Religious dogma too often celebrates ignorance, such as the untruth that self-aware physical personhood begins at conception.  A fertilized egg—a zygote—within a woman’s abdomen becomes active with 23 chromosomes from her egg and 23 chromosomes from a man’s sperm.  The resultant single cell that evolves then contains all the DNA to initiate a cellular glob, but that cellular mass has only the potential to evolve into a physical independent being.  The unproven assertion that a cognizant human exists is not a scientific or holy fact.

During the gestation period, a simple cell amoeba becomes activated by drawing upon nutrients and oxygen supplied by the carrier, which then converts (evolves) into biological energy which causes cells to divide, multiply and grow.  The developing energy-substance, although containing all 46 chromosomes for a potential human being, is not yet endowed with consciousness of self.  It is still simply a growing amoeba, meaning that it is without consciousness of personhood.  This is the indifferent method as described in Genesis by which all life in nature was programmed to renew itself.

Although a zygote, the fertilized egg, does contain all 46 chromosomes that can involve and evolve as a potential human, it is alive only as a mass of cells that are multiplying as an energy substance which continues to lack any consciousness of self.  That energy-mass will react to stimulus around itself just as “dead” tissue can be made to jerk by electrical stimulation, but it does not and cannot exist except by drawing all necessary life stimulants from its carrier.  Until the developing mass can breathe and take nourishment with a smattering of consciousness, it remains only a potential person.

Sex Attraction, A Bogus “Spiritual” Dilemma

Posted in Atheist, biological traits, Christianity, culture, freethought, humanity, life, logic, medical, naturalism, random, religion, science, sex, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by chouck017894

(There was enough sex-charged spam feedback on a previous post, Thoughts on Gay Marriage, to merit a few other comments.)

Chromosomes and the chemistry of the brain determine a person’s behavior and their attraction to other persons functioning on a similar wavelength, so to speak.  The effect of sex chromosomes and the chemical sex hormones do not have an undeviating manner of lining up or assembling according to one’s general anatomical features as adherents of radical religious prejudices choose to pretend.  Furthermore, anatomists know there are considerable variations in the human brain—its shape, thalamus, structure of the cerebrum, etc.—that are extremely variable and are as individual as an individual’s fingerprints.  Mental and/or sensory properties connected with brain structure may align within widely diverse ranges, and no two person will ever be exactly the same—not even “identical” twins.

The chromosomes chemically control the total development of the body, the brain and intelligence.  These do so in a wide range of ways throughout a person’s life.  Within these God-allowable differences there is left open the allowance for great diversity of life and love expressions.  Therefore, for religious or political factions to pretend that only one narrow expression of life or love is expected by “god” to be striven for by all  individuals is contrary to the manner in which the physical human organism was created.  If one believes that “intelligent design” is at work and responsible for all manifestations, then religious or political demands for one-style-only expressions of personal affection amounts to sacrilege.

Those who wax with rigid divine certainty regarding same-sex attraction would do well to remember that studies in the difference in development of body and brain have shown that the brain needs considerable amount of body to function well.  On the other hand, it has been medically authenticated that the body needs very little brain to exist.  Radical religionists seem to be out to prove this.

The physical body differences of male and female provides personal consciousness with only a representation of the interactions that take place between the chemical code in the chromosomes and the chemical process that contribute to physical body differences.  In other words, the chromosomal and chemical “design” decrees great tolerance in human physical, mental and emotional expression.  This is problematic only for those who choose to work themselves into hysterical prejudice and hatred for anyone that finds personal expression in a differnent manner from themselves.

 No, Virginia, there is no “gay gene,” but there is something that is infinitely grand: the God-allowable differences for all life expressions.

Medical Ideal: Do No Harm

Posted in culture, history, humanity, life, medical, politics, random, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by chouck017894

Ethics, morals and compassion were never close companions to the G. W. Bush administration in spite of their claims of religious guidance.  And like the bad apple that infects the whole barrel of apples, the aura of calloused disregard for anyone outside their clique spilled even into the medical branch of the armed service.  After the 9/11 attack upon U.S. soil in 2001 many international norms established by members of the Geneva Convention, of which the United States was/is a member, would be disregarded and violated by the Bush administration.

 Of the numerous crimes sanctioned by the Bush group, the authorization of torture of prisoners was possibly one of the most reprehensible.  An example of the administration’s disregard for the Geneva Convention agreements was made clear in December of 2002, for it was at that time that Donald Rumsfeld issued a directive that allowed interrogators to withhold medical care in non-emergency situations.  In other words, enemy soldiers with injuries, including gunshot wounds, were to be denied medical treatment as a means to make them reveal information.  The directive did not stand very long, but even after being revoked the practice was established and continued.

 But around April of 2003 Rumsfeld then approved the provision that doctors had to certify any prisoners held for interrogation as being “medically and operationally” suitable for torture, and the doctors had to be present for the torture sessions.  This medical involvement with the torture strategy of the administration was in direct opposition to the Hippocratic oath and to the World Medical Association’s directive that doctors could not assist in cruelty or torture of any kind.  Indeed, doctors are held duty-bound to report any abuses they might witness.  Unfortunately, too few uniformed physicians were warrior enough to stand up in defense of their Hippocratic principles.

Then in June 2005 a memo was excreted out of the Pentagon that cunningly sought to skirt official forbiddance of a doctor’s involvement.  The memo asserted that doctors were allowed to participate in torture and share medical records with interrogators as long as the detainee being interrogated was not officially their patient!

 There were a few honorable military physicians and medics who called for ethical reviews, but the Pentagon consistently overruled them.  There followed a clampdown on medical ethics by the Pentagon which altered the way doctors were screened for service, with only those favorable to the torture program being deployed to locations where “high value al Qaeda” detainees were held.

 To the shame of the American Medical Association, it was not until November 2006 that it finally issued a statement avowing that doctors cannot participate in torture-inflicted interrogation.  Even then there were four AMA military delegates who objected and sought to obstruct such high-principled medical ethics.  Thankfully there are still ethical doctors who have petitioned AMA leaders to endorse an independent investigation of their colleagues’ participation in detainee abuses.

To date they have been voted down four times.