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There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
September, 2009, Vol. 9, Issue 09
By Elaine Stillerman, LMT
I always felt that the case of Meador v Stahler and Gheridian would have made a terrific case for the award-winning television show "Boston Legal." I could just picture Alan Shore (brilliantly portrayed by James Spader) eloquently and passionately representing his client while educating the rest of us about our legal rights as patients.
Not familiar with this case? Let me explain. In 2005, a Massachusetts woman, Mary Meador, sued and won a $1.5 million award against her obstetricians for performing a C-section she made clear she didn't want. She didn't claim that the procedure was negligently performed or that her postsurgical complications (which left her bedridden and unable to work for a number of years) were foreseeable. The merits of her claim were that the doctors had misrepresented the risks and dangers of her birth choice -- a vaginal birth after a prior C-section (VBAC) -- and that they ignored her repeated pleas and requests for a vaginal birth.
The doctors were brought up on charges that they failed to obtain Meador's informed consent, which constituted substandard, negligent medical care. The forensic psychiatrist who testified at the trial established a link between the lack of informed consent and the physical and emotional toll it took on the patient and her family by forcing her to undergo a procedure she did not want and did not medically need.
When it comes to labor and childbirth, a woman's emotional vulnerability and physical discomfort makes it difficult for her to stand up for her rights. She needs to focus on her labor and not be engaged in an argument about what she is entitled to. According to the Childbirth Connection's "Rights of Childbearing Women" brochure2 (www.childbirthconnection.org), "Every woman has a right to accept or refuse procedures, drugs, tests, and treatments and to have her choices honored." (For a free copy of this important pamphlet, send a SASE to Childbirth Connection, 281 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor, New York, NY, 10010.)
Fifteen years before the Meador case, Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) as an amendment to the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. It became effective in December 1991. Basically, the PSDA requires that Medicare and Medicaid providers (hospitals, nursing homes, hospice programs, home health agencies, and HMOs) give competent adult individuals, at the time they are admitted or enrolled in the program, information about their rights under state laws governing advance directives. These rights include:
The PSDA also prohibits institutions from discriminating against a patient who does not have an advance directive or a plan of care.
All hospitals that receive federal funding (nearly 80 percent of hospitals in the United States) must conform to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Conditions of Participation (CoP) which requires that hospitals honor patient rights as expressed by the PSDA, the Consumer Bill of Rights and the EMTALA (Emergency Medical Treatment and Advanced Labor Act) law to be fully informed of the risks, benefits and alternatives of any proposed treatment and to participate in all treatment decisions. Hospitals that fail to uphold this practice run the risk of receiving stiff fines and/or losing their right to qualify for Medicare or Medicaid funding.
In New York, we have the Public Health Law, Section 2503, passed in 1978 (see my March 2006 column "The Truth About Pitocin" ), that requires all doctors and midwives to fully disclose and require informed consent from laboring women, regarding the use of all drugs during labor and delivery. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO) accredits 80 to 85 percent of American hospitals, and one of their standards for accreditation is patient rights. Complaints about patient rights violations can be made to them at www.jacho.org or (630)792-5800.
In my May 2005 column "'V-Back' to the Dark Ages," I addressed the political environment surrounding VBACs and the increased medical denial of this choice, so I am not going to go into the benefits and risks of VBAC again. Instead, I want readers to know that we and our clients have choices and responsibilities when it comes to our health care. Informed consent can only be provided if the patient is truly informed, and by regularly conceding this right to our care providers, it proves how rare and improbable this practice is. The onus of education, the burden of learning the facts, options, alternatives and side effects of procedures and drugs must be the responsibility of the patient. That is the only way, regrettably, that the patient will learn all the facts. Patients don't have to be powerless about their rights.
This is neither a war against individual doctors, or hospitals and their care, nor a diatribe against the medical community at large. It is a wake-up call to those patients who have remained passive about their own health decisions for too long and who have merely accepted the choices that are made for them by others. Only when patients and their care providers can openly discuss, debate and compare options based on shared evidence-based information can we really have a partnership, a team, dedicated to a person's total health care. Alan Shore would have fought -- and won -- for these rights. We can too.
Click here for previous articles by Elaine Stillerman, LMT.
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