This blog is largely writing itself, as you'll see. In a way, Laurie David had a hand in it because of her relentless efforts to awaken us to environmental atrocities - even though early on few people were responding to her blogs. She didn't give up and now more of us are listening and responding. Inspirational too were Robert Kennedy's two blogs about Thimerosol-based flu vaccines for kids - about millions of children designated to receive mercury-based flu vaccines because "For the first time in history, CDC rationalized the new protocols by arguing that the inoculations will spare parents and the health care industry significant lost work time now spent taking care of sick children."
The inspirations for this blog are also the people who responded to my earlier one, "Who's Voting for Your Health," to Robert Kennedy's warnings and to Michael J. Fox's concerns about obstacles in the way of a cure for PD. I read and reread the comments still coming in days later when all multiple-day old blogs are supposed to have evaporated in the blogosphere. I couldn't let go, move totally back to focus on government leaks and lies. And if you read those responses and met PD patients at the World Parkinson Congress, it's likely you'd have difficulty moving on too. Granted it's closer to home for me because PD chose me. I would have liked a different new cause like helping save a rare bird, but I must have been in the wrong line up there when assignments were given out. Sometimes a cause chooses you. I resisted for years being a young spokesperson for cancer and I'm sorry about that. I just wanted it to go away. I'm not frightened now, more knowledgeable, and getting angrier by the minute.
Read the comment on my earlier blog about a man whose PD progression was stopped by a medication removed from the market, despite NIH expressed desire to continue trials, doctor urgings and patient repeated requests for compassionate use. Read the company's response to 60 Minutes story. Read about the confusion and ambiguity surrounding a potential cure, something that could be cleared up with open discussions among scientists, doctors, advocates, and patients who've taken the drug. As one responder described it, the people who were withdrawn from the drug were sentenced "back to the helpless and sure hopeless abyss of pd" an act "not only immoral, but unconscionable." If that's not accurate, let's hear why -- the real why and in longer form than a few paragraphs. If such medications shouldn't be on the market, shouldn't even be in trials, then so be it. But let's hear some good reasons.
Here are a few more excerpts from responses to the "Who's Voting for Your Health?" blog:
At the World Parkinson Congress, Michael Fox also said: "There is so much passion around the recent GDNF trials. As a patient, I'm with you. But I have no easy answers. Can we trust each other to be objective and pure of motive as we figure this out? In the end, this has to be about the patients. After all, isn't that why we're here? "
Research the amount of funds spent on diabetes treatments in 2004 - on an annual basis. ($130 billion). In 2004 this country alone spent some $360 plus billion on the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. With that kind of annual revenue, what incentive do the pharmaceuticals have to bring cures to the table?
Michael has touched on the dirty little secret that has haunted our modern healthcare system for over fifty years. Billions of Government and privately invested dollars to solve the curse of cancer and we have the same basic treatment regiment that was available in 1950. The only thing that has improved is the sophistication of the sell and the shine on the bottle that contains the Snake Oil.
Maybe there's some exaggeration and passion here. But when you know that potential cures and compassionate medication are being held back for a variety of diseases to wait for more profitable times or delivery techniques, when you know children are going to get mercury injected into their veins because their parents might have to miss work if they don't, then indifference to horrific pain that isn't yours gives way to indignation. When you know what neurological disorders are like and consider we might be, as Robert Kennedy warns, giving them to kids, ages 2 to 5, and when you think that the very best explanation for all of this is Katrina-like governmental ineptitude but the more likely explanation is greed, inertia should transform to wrath. When you know how careless as a society we are about protecting kids anyway, and when you think the next medical breakthrough removed from the market or delayed might save you or your child, grandchild, mother, father, sibling, or friend from an early demise, feigning ignorance is not an acceptable option. So should we let businesses get so huge they can determine life or death, let pharmaceuticals or independent labs own patents to potential cures and hold them back and let low income families unknowingly bring their children to get flu shots laced in mercury?
I hope the next time each of these "I got mine" types puts a $10 bill on the counter to pay for a burger he or she remembers who suffered for it. And maybe they should worry whether that meat was adequately inspected or whether some people made a little money overlooking their jobs. I wish these types the what-goes-around-comes-around nightmares and restless nights for life they richly deserve. And yet I pray a few of them and senators and congressional reps surrounded by tag sales for their souls will wake up and say, "That's it! No more! I'm rich enough, thank you! Time to get to the bottom of this. No more acting religious and doing nothing for God's children. Time to give back. Time to halt this suffering and to save a few lives!"