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bihet feminism lite, you credulous troglodytes
Posts tagged "healthcare"





When I was 12, I was sent to live with my aunt/uncle in Atlanta, GA. She was dying of pancreatic cancer and luckily it wasn’t too aggressive so most of us had time to be with her. I wanted to go because in the selfishness of youth, I just didn’t want to be around my family and this was an easy way…

I talk to my husband about this all of the time. At least where we’re at, you see breast cancer billboards and all kinds of stuff. Where are the prostate cancer billboards? Prostate cancer affects just as many men as breast cancer does women, and yet it receives 1/3 of the funding that breast cancer does. My mom is a survivor of breast cancer, and for all of the funding and research done on it, I’m thankful. But like you said, what about lung cancer? What about pancreatic cancer? I grew up in a smoking environment and have respiratory issues because of it. What’s going to happen to me if I develop lung cancer? Is my care gong to suffer because of these problems you stated?

There’s the sad truth of the medical industry, you hit the nail right on the head. How marketable is the cancer? It makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

It’s a very complicated problem. Is it marketability or our emotions?

I have a weird and unusual position. My job often has me trying to advertise for drugs for rare diseases. 

When I hear people praise Canada’s universal healthcare program, I think of kids with Hunters who can’t get medicine there because it’s not covered as a rare disease. I think of this because last year I billed probably maybe 60 hours to trying to promote awareness of rare diseases in Canada. This is a criticism of their health plan that does let people fall through as much as just simply my perspective.

My homework for the weekend is finishing a logo and brand identity proposal for a new company that’s trying to pick-up orphan drugs from companies that will discontinue manufacturing those medicines. 

Want to see something scary? Google: genzyme shortage deaths

Worse yet and related to cancer, Google: oncology generic shortage

I hear Ron Paul getting cheers about letting someone die, and I think of how many of those cheers will be people who will develop a cancer that can’t be treated because a drug involved in that treatment has been dropped because medicare pays the subsidies for those drugs.

Why make generic injectables that changes the price of a cancer treatment from $500,000 to $300,000?  Why do that when there are millions of people out there cheering for you to stop in spite of their potential need for it in the near future? 

Most cancers are developed between age 50 and 70. I don’t think that’ll surprise anyone. 

Most baby boomers are of that age and that doesn’t surprise anyone either.

Yet, most people can’t seem to make that connection. There is a cancer for every part of your body. A lot of people say if someone like Bill Gates got cancer, we’d have a cure the next day, “fuck drug companies”.

We have plenty of examples to show that’s not true and we’re hitting a disastrous shortage of doctors and drugs.

This is a really complicated issue, about cures and treatments for rare diseases, the failures of capitalism and all that.  But can I pause briefly to note that all the attention that breast cancer receives in 2011 is as a result of the incredibly hard work of women with breast cancer (including Betty Ford) who fought against the incredible and deadly silence around breast cancer.   Up until breast cancer activists began their work in the seventies the only treatment for breast cancer was radical double mastectomies that will typically performed on women without their consent:  you’d go in for a biopsy and wake up with no breasts.  

And of course, it was only less than 10 years ago that we discovered that hormone replacement therapies,  pushed onto women because of sexist ideas about the importance of women remaining sexually attractive no matter how it affected their health,  caused an increase risk of breast cancer.

I think we can certainly address disparities in health care funding and push to increased research and treatment across the board,  but let’s very careful not to degrade the hard work of women who fought so long to carve out resources for breast cancer research, to create support groups and to lobby for awareness of breast cancer? As if we all woke up one day in the mid 1980s and no longer reacted to breast cancer with silence and stigma?  

To do so is ignorant of history and incredibly sexist.

(via galesofnovember)




The ‘Standards of Care for Gender Identity Disorders’, the document used to justify the gatekeeping of transsexual and transgender people’s treatment and historically used to bar nonbinary, genderqueer and gender nonconforming people from access to hormones and surgeries, is to become considerably more progressive. The new document will be called ‘Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People’ and features a number of revisions:


Some key revisions:

• Psychotherapy is no longer a requirement to receive hormones and surgery, although it is suggested.

“It used to be a minimum amount of psychotherapy was needed. An assessment is still required but that can be done by the prescribing hormone provider,” Bockting explained.

• A number of community health centers in the U.S. have developed protocols for providing hormone therapy based an approach known as the Informed Consent Model. These protocols are consistent with version 7 revisions of WPATH’s standards of care. 

“The SOC are flexible clinical guidelines; they allow for tailoring of interventions to the needs of the individual receiving services and for tailoring of protocols to the approach and setting in which these services are provided,” Coleman explained.

“Access is more open and acknowledges transgender care is being provided in community health centers. This certainly makes it easier to access hormones,” Bockting added.

• There are now different standards for surgery, as well. For example, a transgender man who wants a hysterectomy no longer has to live one year as a male in order to receive the surgery. Likewise, a transgender woman who wants her testicles removed does not have to live one year as a female. 

For people who want genital reconstructive surgery, however, the standards of care recommend living a year in the role of the gender they are transitioning. 

• Another major change, Bockting explained, is that the standards “allow for a broader spectrum of identities – they are no longer so binary.”

“There is no one way of being transgender and it doesn’t have to mirror the idea of a change of their sex,” Bockting explained.

“These standards allow for a gender queer person to have breasts removed without ever taking hormones,” he said.

Read the full summary at GA Voice

The entire text of the new SOC is now available in PDF form

Won’t stop individual gatekeeping assholes entirely, but it will help. This is awesome.

this seems more like WPATH struggling to catch up and stay relevant when they know most non-surgeon trans health providers who really know and understand trans people (this does not necessarily include providers who are trans themselves because sometimes they are super invested in their own narrative blah blah) already stopped giving a shit about them. 

but idk, i’m not really thrilled about the reaction i’ve seen on tumblr. yes this is still a medicalizing discourse and it’s still gatekeeping, but i’ve worked with a friend on shopping new doctors for trans people who can’t afford/do not want therapy, and this will make a big difference for them. if it means fewer trans people on black market mones (not talkin about inhouse pharmacy) then great. if it means fewer people going without and having to deal with the consequences then great. if it means less of a sense of hopelessness which is a basic threat to a lot of trans people’s mental and physical health, then great. idk, a very tumblresque real world/ideal disconnect going on here. 

(via optimistic-red-velvet-walrus)


When he had a pain in the butt, he had to wait until early in the morning of December 3rd to present himself at the ER of Highland Hospital, the Alameda County medical facility.  There are guards at Highland, and a football field full of plastic chairs for the indigent to use while they wait treatment.  He was sent home with a handful of Vicodin and a suggestion to follow up with a pulmonologist for the 3 cm spot the Xray showed on his lung.  The soonest appointment was Feb 25.

He was in so much pain that he could not stand up for more than a few seconds at a time.  He got Vicodin.  And steroid suppositories.  

His buddies came up with the $2000 a proctologist wanted to do an outpatient surgery.  But the hospital wanted $20,000 for use of the room for the brief procedure because he was uninsured.  Because the pain didn’t matter half as much as the profit.

For six weeks he suffered at home.  You bastards, you would have liked to watch that, wouldn’t you?  Too bad there were no cameras to catch him as he collapsed when he tried to microwave his oatmeal.  No microphones to catch his cries of pain or despair.

He was finally admitted to Highland after his heart started to fail in the emergency room one night early in February.  The staff there are dedicated, caring, compassionate people who work their hearts out trying to save the sickest and poorest Americans.  They have only limited resources with which to do that.  And they make every one of those resources count.

By then, of course, the cancer from his lung had spread to his buttock where it attacked the bone.  It wrapped itself into the nerves that travelled up his spine.  The pain was indescribable.  Perhaps his medical records could serve as pornography to sate your sick lust for the pain of others… 

I cannot, for the life of me fathom why he is only ashes today and you are walking this earth.  

But then, I am not the hero my brother was.  He would have forgiven you.  He would have understood the source of your fear that caused those cheers.  I don’t want to.  

I think you are scum.

Just to remind you that this isn’t hyperbole, the below is an actual exchange from the GOP Presidential debate:

BLITZER: A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. 

Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that… 

PAUL: That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks…

BLITZER: Congressman, are you saying that society should just let him die? 


(via marshlights)