SO215 Final Reflection

I have to say that I was surprised about how this course would go. I initially thought that we would just be learning about how the healthcare system works in America and in other countries, especially insurance and how healthcare is funded and mandated. I didn’t expect to go into such topics as socioeconomic factors beyond the rich get better access to care because they can afford it, let alone go into elderly care, hospice care, and elderly care. I certainly wasn’t expecting the idea of bringing up the end of life talk with family at Thanksgiving. I’m very glad that the class did go in all of these directions so that we get a more comprehensive and fuller sense of what healthcare actually means beyond government bills and insurance. It has really opened my eyes to how many different options of care there are, how much time and effort goes into deciding between these different care options, and how much the world of healthcare actually deals with and what it accounts for.  Continue reading “SO215 Final Reflection”

Death Brokering Meaning

On the review sheet that was passed out in discussion today, there was a question about death brokering. After reading Timmermans’s abstract I still don’t quite understand what it is. How or why are social movements challenging the institutionalization and why does it affect the professional legitimacy of forensic science other than the fact that it intertwines the legal system and medicine? Isn’t the point of forensic science to just found out the cause and time of death? I can understand how this would affect the professional legitimacy but not this whole idea of death’s existential ambiguity.

Response to Nursing Home Surveys Made Public

Today in discussion someone on the side against government intervention of nursing homes brought up a point which asked why surveys about private nursing homes should be made public. Unfortunately the pro government intervention side was not able to respond to this point due to time constraints. So my question/rebuttal for this point is why shouldn’t it be made available and readily accessible  to the public? These are the people who are trying to make informed decisions about where to put their elderly loved ones and the more information on nursing homes and their treatment of the elderly that live there, the better the decision they can make. Other than the fact that it’s a private nursing home, I don’t see why surveys about private nursing homes should be kept away from the public. Are there any more benefits/arguments that are in favor of keeping the surveys private?

Massachusetts Weighs the Idea of Raising the Legal Age of Buying Cigarettes

Link to the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/us/massachusetts-like-boston-weighs-raising-legal-age-for-buying-cigarettes-to-21.html?ref=health&_r=0

The state of Massachusetts is considering passing a new law that would raise the legal limit of those allowed to purchase all nicotine products (cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, e-cigs, etc.) from 18 to 21. This new law includes penalties for repeated violators. Massachusetts would not be the first state to raise the age limit, New York being the first and Hawaii is to follow at the start of the 2016 year. This idea of raising the age of those eligible to buy cigarettes has many benefits that may increase the life span of Massachusetts citizens and can possibly decrease the number of cases of lung cancer in Massachusetts. Smoking cigarettes and other nicotine containing products is typically characteristic of those of males of lower socioeconomic status. In increasing the age limit for purchasing tobacco, it is possible that the this high risk behavior can be lowered for future potential tobacco consumers, thus lowering the incident rate almost immediately and help better the health of those who do not have healthcare readily accessible and decrease their hospital bills. A study was done which showed that 90% of daily smokers and tobacco users started smoking before the age of 19. By increasing the age, hopefully smoking by teenagers and young adults can be delayed or even prevented.

However, many convenience stores and gas stations would lose customers and business if adolescents between the ages of 18 and 21 couldn’t purchase cigarettes from their stores. Because of this loss of customers, the revenue gained from the cigarette excise tax would inevitably decrease and the money from the tax that helped subsidize health care coverage would be lost.

The other issue is that Massachusetts has failed to fix the loopholes in their tobacco laws that still allows for minors to be supplied with cigarettes by adults. Since this is an issue that the state of Massachusetts currently faces, who is to say that this problem won’t increase when the legal age for purchasing tobacco is raised?

I personally don’t think that this is the best option because of the decrease in state revenue gained from the excise tax that can be allocated to important things such as health care coverage. I believe the best option is educating people from a young age and continuing to educate them about the harmfulness of tobacco through out their life. I feel that in this case, education and prevention is the key to lowering nicotine/tobacco usage rates. For example, ever since the news that tobacco is harmful for you came out to the public smoking rates have decreased enormously over time, especially for women.

Process Reflection for November: Socialization of Medical Students

In class a week or so ago we were talking about how there was an aspect of emotional labor engrained in nursing but there was a distinct lack of this with doctors in medicine. There is emotional detachment and a lack of attention to those patients with more chronic illnesses, as if doctors treat these patients with a “been there done that” type of mentality. They also treat patients as their illnesses and not as a person who has been affected by a sickness. Showing patients that they are cared about is obviously a huge part of maintaining long term patients and I believe it increases the quality of care, as stated in Larson’s study. However, will emotional labor affect quality care by increasing the wait time of other patients attempting to see a doctor or physician? While emotional labor helps maintain a good doctor-patient relationship, I fear too much emotional investment can harm doctors and physicians in the end because they cannot treat as many patients and help as many people as possible in a day. I believe a certain amount of emotional attachment is necessary for patients to feel comfortable and cared for by their doctors, but there are other professions in the medical field that can give just as much or even more emotional care. The job of a nurse was derived from the job of a midwife, traditionally a woman’s job. Because women are thought to be more emotional and nursing was also seen as a womanly/maternal profession, even though nursing is open to people of all genders, nurses are expected to be the ones to provide emotional support to the patients they take care of. I think having this expectation of nurses and not having too much emotional attachment expected of doctors allows for a more efficient way to treat as many patients as possible while giving them the emotional attention they require in their hospitalized state.

Reacting to Videos, Planned Parenthood Fights to Regain Initiative

Reacting to Videos, Planned Parenthood Fights to Regain Initiative

This article is not only about how the conservatives in Congress are actively trying to defund Planned Parenthood but also about the fact that they will be generally unsuccessful because of the rallying support of Democratic party.  The prevention of defunding Planned Parenthood is great news for the millions of people who cannot afford health insurance and must pay out of pocket for something so simple as a routine check up. Contrary to many Republicans beliefs about Planned Parenthood, half of its almost 700 clinics do not perform abortions and give life saving tests for STIs, cancer screening, contraceptions, and routine exams for clients with low income. Planned Parenthood is a great alternative for those who are in between being able to receive Medicaid and being able to purchase private health insurance. Continue reading “Reacting to Videos, Planned Parenthood Fights to Regain Initiative”