Drugs and Devices

My husband is scheduled in April for the implantation of a device to prevent clots. This started me thinking about such devices and prescription drugs.

The FDA regulates drugs and devices used in the US. In general this is a good thing but there are some holes in the system.

If a device is very similar to another device it can be approved without as much testing as the original. This can be used by companies to slide in products that have not had the extensive testing required by the original. For example, there is not just one heart valve replacement on the market and they may not all be considered equal.

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There are similar issues with drugs although the problem can present in a different way. Has anyone wondered why the company that raised Insulin prices astronomically was able to do that? A small change in the medication made it able to considered a different drug and was therefore allowed a different patent allowing the price gouging. Insulin was originally given away by its creator in order to help mankind. Look what has happened now.

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We have so many problems with our medical system and these are ones not always at the forefront. If only we could all care about the patient and not all the outliers how wonderful the system could be.

Tell the truth??? or not??

Truth said in love can hurt before it heals. Unknown

Sometimes we know something that we feel needs to be told. It is something that we know will be a surprise (not always a good one). It is something that could be devastating. What do we decide to do?

This can be an awful decision. It is important to look carefully at why we would disclose. It is possible that we might never be forgiven. It is possible that any friendship will be gone. Do we want to tell for us or for them? Will the disclosure be worth the pain it could inflict? We absolutely have to look closely at ourselves and think about the outcome. Sometimes revealing something it not necessary in the long run. Some times the repercussions will be too painful and can be unnecessary.

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Taking the time to think everything through is most important. Hurting someone should not be done lightly. Think before you do!

When the truth can hurt

Truth may be vital but without love it is unbearable. from “The Two Popes.”

We can get ourselves into a moral dilemma sometimes. We may find out something that we feel we need to tell someone but it may destroy their world. What to do?

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Information is important but so is caring about others. It is just hard to know when to share that information and when not to. What if you know that someone is having an affair and you are friends with the other spouse? To tell or not tell…..that is the question.

There are lots of other moral scenarios where we may be called to judge if telling is worth the harm it can cause. Truth is good but love has to be considered.

When did lying become OK?

With what is going on politically in the US this quote popped into my mind, I may have used it before but it is so appropriate now.

In a time of universal deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

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Yesterday I heard someone talking about the absence of truth in everything we see and read. It is a incredible indictment of how things function in today’s world. If we are smart we have to question everything and IF we are good at research we may find the truth….but there is no guarantee. It is so different from the world I grew up in. I know it wasn’t perfect but the “average” person could be taken at their word. It was not OK to lie. It was not all right to distort the truth until it’s unrecognizable.

 

It makes me realize that one of the most important things that should be taught in schools is to take nothing at face value but learn to dig for more information. What a thing to have to teach children….that so much of everything is false.

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I feel lucky that my first degree was in history which meant I spent a lot of time doing research. I know how to hunt for facts and sniff out exaggerations and falsehoods. That has helped me so much in my life.

I guess I will be passing that on to my great grandchildren now.

Mystery is allowed

We are surrounded by mystery. Though hard for us to accept we don’t have control over many things. We would like to be in control. We yearn to be in control but ultimately we are not.

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We prefer to make decisions trusting that they will happen as we planned. We make judgments about right and wrong, about people, about events. We can make quick certain and smug judgments. We are so sure that our way is the right way. We are sure that life will follow the path we have set. We are so wrong.

This inability to accept our powerlessness can make us blind and unwilling to see the truth. We can say “don’t bother me with the truth, I want to be in control.” We see ourselves as all knowing. We cover our heads and stick with own ideas. This action leads to a lack of willingness to see any other way. It makes us unable to have compassion for others and their thoughts and ideas.

We choose not to see our own biases, imperfections and wrongness. We do not look deep inside ourselves to find the “shadow self” who hides there.

There is so much that we do not know or understand. Pat answers lead us nowhere. We have to see the world as it is in all its mystery. We have to be willing to step out into the unknown. We have to face doubt and fear and understand that they are part of life.

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We must learn to accept the ambiguous and the anxiety it can cause. To not know the answers is understandable in the world we inhabit. I don’t think we will ever have all the answers and the truth is we don’t have to know.

 

Where are we headed?

Today I wrote on my other blog about the erosion of Christianity happening in our society. This erosion is also true in other areas of our lives. We have already lost so much of our moral sense and what behavior is acceptable.

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Rudeness and uncaring have become the order of the day. Anger is rampant. We have a society of entitlement and very little else matters.

Our media is violent, making us tolerant of almost any kind of atrocity. The news is biased to the point of the ridiculous. In fact it should not be called news but opinion. Children have to be taught that what they hear and see must be scrutinized carefully to determine its veracity. Most of them accept what they see and hear as true.

Our government is corrupt and careless of their behavior but quick to accuse opponents of the exact same thing. Hollywood idols lead youth into imitating their behavior.

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The frightening thing is what to do. How do we turn things around and bring sanity and moral fibre (moral fibre (Britain) The inner strength to do what one believes to be right; often an ability to make difficult decisions.) back to our country? I wish I had an answer. Yet, I am one and I will continue to make my voice heard whether heeded or not. That is all that there is.

Words

Why do people say terrible things!  Why would a nurse in a doctor’s office say to a patient “we don’t know what is wrong with you. You may have cancer?” If it really happened that sent someone on their way in a panic.

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I don’t know whether the above story is true or not but that is my point. We hear stories every day about other people and we have no idea how far they are away from the original. It may have floated through 20 people and been changed by every one.

Gossip. It can be a killer. It may start out as a fact but it really can evolve as it goes. I heard that a husband and wife were very sick. His illness was not specified but it was told that she had serious cancer. Both were on their death beds. On checking facts I discovered that she did in fact have cancer but is finished with treatment and doing well. He has a problem that he has had for a while and things are no different.

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A friend’s son is going through a divorce and I’m sure by now he has been tarred and feathered and run out of town.

Why do we enjoy passing on things told to us? Is it because we can gloat that we are not in the same predicament? Does it make us feel better?

The answer is both are true. There is something so fiendishly fun gossiping about someone else’s misery. We are not sick, not evil, not in trouble like them. We can walk away with a smile leaving the trash talk behind. And on the story goes on changing with each telling.

no gossipMy father used to say “put your brain in gear before you put you mouth in motion.” A wise saying. We need to think about the pain our actions can cause. At a new kind of mediation I observed recently the leader said “think about the ABC’s. Action, Behavior, Consequences.”  Every one of us needs to think about that. Words can hurt, words can kill, words can ruin someone’s life.

Be careful what you pass on.

Education at home and in the world

What we are taught from childhood on is what carves us into the people we are now. Children absorb not only what they are told but also what they see. Their world is their home and family. What happens there sets the path.

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Have we been teaching children to think only of themselves?

Have we taught intolerance?

Have we taught hatred?

Have we belittled them?

Or have we taught love?

Kindness?

Caring?

Education is not just what we learn in school. That is important and the more we learn the more we can understand about the world around us. The more we learn about the lives of others the less likely we are to be intolerant. However, learning in early childhood is crucial.

Every kind of education is necessary to make the world a better place. We must help families to teach their children well. We need to marry what we learn at home with what we learn of the world. The more knowledge the better. Never stop learning.

 

 

 

 

A wider God

This morning the pastor at our church said in her sermon…spoken to God….“Let me not confine you in the narrowness of my mind.” This is a very profound statement.

Whatever your belief, if you espouse any God, this tells us where most of us want to be. We want a God who is like us. We want to create God in our image instead of the other way around. We want a God who thinks like us. We want a manageable God.

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If God is like us then God has the same bias, the same prejudice and the same belief system. Then it is easy for me to point fingers at others and scoff at their beliefs. It allows me to pick and choose what God thinks. Aren’t I amazing?

This God can occupy a nice closed box in my mind and I will only let out what I deem appropriate. However, God is tricky and sneaks out of the box in and plants ideas that I don’t want to consider. He/she is constantly challenging me and widening my mind, calling me on prejudices and making me rethink my ideas.

It is abundantly clear to me that however much I could live with God in a box that is not going to happen. And in reality it would not be something I want.

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I see a God who is infinite and intimate. I see a God whose mind I cannot comprehend. I see a God whose thoughts are so far above mine that the universe can’t contain them. Maybe this is not at all comfortable but this, for me, is God.