Monday, July 29, 2013

Chicago Area Police Open Fire (Bean Bag Bullet) On 95 Year- Old?

Chicago area police are not new to the concept of bad publicity.  Who could forget the Sylvia Broadway incident? LINK  So why should we be surprised when the Oak Park officers once again step in a pile of dung? It is hard to sugar coat the news when a 95 year-old at a Chicago senior living community is shot to death with a bean-bag gun for refusing medical treatment.  (You can't make this stuff up.  So you don't think you need medical help?  Bam.  Now that your shot, you sure as hell do.)  

Police were called in when the 95 year-old, John Warna, refused medical help. They ended up killing Warna with a bean-bag gun.  Chicago Tribune  On Friday night, officers were called to the nursing home to help a private ambulance crew deal with a "combative" resident being "involuntarily" sent for medical treatment.In the officer's defense, John Warna allegedly threatened them with a metal cane and a 2-foot metal shoehorn.  When the 95 year-old allegedly refused to drop these deadly weapons, police shot Warna with a Taser.  When the electrical jolt allegedly failed to knock him down, the officers opened fire with a bean-bag round. Warna, who previously refused medical attention, was now in need of treatment.  He was still conscious when he was taken to the hospital; however, he later died of internal bleeding due to blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, caused by the bean-bag.

Look for a law suit!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cuts Like A Knife, But It Sure Feels Right ~by Dr. B.

It is not your ordinary knife but a life saving tool.  No, not switch blades which are surprisingly legal in many states. LINK. This is a knife that surgeons may be able to use to avoid removing noncancerous tissue.  Stated differently, this English surgical knife can help surgeons make sure they have removed all cancerous tissue without harming normal tissue. Specifically, the knife heats tissue as the surgeon excises the diseased area producing a sharp-smelling smoke. The English surgical knife analyzes the smoke and indicates whether the tissue is cancerous or healthy. This knife may avoid the 30 minute delay typically associated with a surgeon having to send the tissue to a lab and waiting for the results.

Dr. Zoltan Takats of Imperial College London designed the English ‘‘smart’’ knife hooked up to a refrigerator-sized mass spectrometry device on wheels that analyzes the smoke as he cauterizes tissue.
The smoke is then compared to a library of smoke ‘‘signatures’’ from cancerous and noncancerous tissue. A computer monitor displays green for healthy tissue and red for cancerous.  The new knife and its monitoring equipment cost about $380,000 U.S.D. The new tool resembles a fat white pen. It will likely be submitted for regulatory approval after more studies are concluded.

If this knife can definitively tell doctors whether they've removed all the cancerous tissue, patients all over the world may benefit. Only additional tests will provide the answer. In the meantime, expect smart knives to join the ranks of smart phones as a part of everyday life.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Past Catholic Practice Of Turning A Blind Eye To Abuse Coming Back To Haunt The Church?

The Church has had its rocky moments in the past.  LINK.  But the most recent release of information in Wisconsin is likely to fuel additional mistrust.  The Archdiocese of Milwaukee released thousands of pages of documents related to allegations of alleged sex abuse by members of the clergy.  Included in the material were personnel files of more than three dozen priests.  Included in the production was the deposition of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the former archbishop of Milwaukee.The production was not exactly voluntary.  Rather, it was a product of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud.   Victims claimed that the archdiocese transferred problem priests to new churches without warning parishioners as part of a general covered up.

Files released by other Roman Catholic dioceses have detailed how leaders allegedly tried to shield priests by not reporting child sex abuse to authorities. The Associated Press in 2010 alleged that the future Pope Benedict XVI had ignored requests in the 1980s to defrock a California priest who had allegedly molested children. 

Alleged abuse victims have spoken out against the payments and pushed for the archdiocese to release its records.  Alleged victims have sought to hold the church accountable.  Yet most alleged victims did not come forward until adulthood.  (Many missed the statute of limitations to file a civil suit under Wisconsin law for negligence in supervising priests.  However, a 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision allowed a six-year limit to file a fraud case after the deception was uncovered.) The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011 in order to avoid defending numerous lawsuits based on fraud.  As of June 30, 2012, the archdiocese had spent over $30 million on litigation, therapy and assistance for victims.  Over 500 people have filed claims against the archdiocese.
Most of the allegations arise out of events that occurred many years ago.  However, at least one priest on the list of 45 may currently be under police investigation.  The files suggest that over the time period in question 22 priests may have been reassigned after allegations of abuse.  A handful of the reassigned clery may have abused again. If true, that seems inexcusable.