get yer ‘conscience’ off my uterus

February 18, 2008 at 9:24 pm (feminism, gender, healthcare, law, quality of life, retail, they hate you they really hate you, they really hate you, wtf)

a judge rules that washington state pharmacists can refuse to dispense plan b

Pharmacies and pharmacists with religious or moral objections to “Plan B” emergency contraception may continue to refuse to dispense it until a lawsuit is settled, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The state had asked Judge Ronald Leighton of the U.S. District Court to reinstate rules requiring pharmacists and pharmacies to dispense all legal medications, pending outcome of an appeal. Last year, Leighton suspended the rules as they pertain to Plan B, the so-called “morning-after pill,” by granting an injunction.

Under the rules, pharmacies must stock and dispense legal medications; individual pharmacists may refuse, but only if someone else is available to provide the medication.

The defendants, including the state Department of Health and the Board of Pharmacy, asked the judge to stay the injunction and the case itself while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hears an appeal. The judge’s ruling means state rules are still suspended, and the case in Tacoma — scheduled to go to trial in October — will continue. Defendants must file their appeal by Feb. 29.

In Friday’s motion, the defendants argued that Washington residents have a legal right to obtain Plan B from pharmacies, and that the injunction “broadly infringes on that right, placing the public at greater risk of denial of access to care.”

and this gem:

The lawsuit was filed by two pharmacists and a pharmacy owner who contend their “rights of conscience” were violated by the state rules. The plaintiffs say their religious beliefs prevent them from providing the emergency contraception, which they say can cause an abortion — a claim the other side disputes.

this kind of shit has been going on since the minute the pharmacist’s prescriptive authority was granted in our state. but i have yet to see an area where “conscience” is ever applied against anyone with a penis.

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a weighty issue

January 18, 2008 at 8:41 pm (healthcare, image, they hate you they really hate you)

ever doubt that there were tangible benefits given to thin folk? if so, this may change your mind.

Chris Schulz, president of Pacific Northwest Title, is offering an employee benefit with the potential to transform lives. Workers who shed extra pounds may get the added benefit of extra days off.

the local company is doing its own version of The Biggest Loser:

Thirty-two of the company’s 44 employees, including Tye and her boss, have signed up for the 13-week program expected to start next week. Schulz said Wednesday he’ll pay the program’s full cost, about $156 per person.

He’ll sweeten the pot with a gift of time. The biggest loser, by percentage of body weight, will get three extra days of vacation. Second- and third-place winners will get two days or one more day. Those are nice perks at a business where vacation tops out at three weeks after 11 years of employment.

the prize was apparently something he spent a lot of mental energy on:

“Either the first prize was going to be three days off or going to an all-you-can-eat buffet,” Schulz said. That’s laughable, but we all know the seriousness of obesity.

of course! because obviously the only people who would go to a buffet are the obese folks!

apparently the twelve spoilsports that chose not to participate are shit out of luck, getting neither free weightloss programming nor a chance at the extra vacation time. which isn’t to say that they suffer the poor employees; oh, no! they even have a “happy committee” which presumably benefits people who are achievement-focused enough to deserve other stuff:

Tye, 58, is involved in her company’s “happy committee,” which has planned outings to Mariners and AquaSox baseball games and other events.

the article goes on to talk about the local health district’s concerns about the obesity epidemic, and a King County plan to penalize HMO participants who do not adequately partake of healthy behaviors, by charging them more for their health plans.

the article closes with a flourish, noting:

At the Everett business, Schulz expects a boost in self-esteem, if not profits. “If people feel better about themselves, they’re happier, more productive employees,” he said.

because the key to a patriarchy-approved dose of self-esteem is that it’s only deserved after one has undergone suitably demoralizing actions to achieve it. being compared to your co-workers in a company-sponsored weight-loss meeting and having your body mass tracked by your boss? that’s empowerment, bitchez.

here’s the article

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ny times to fibromyalgia patients: adapt, and lose weight

January 14, 2008 at 7:29 pm (healthcare, mental illness)

wasn’t journalism objective, once upon a time?

Most people “manage to get through life with some vicissitudes, but we adapt,” said Dr. George Ehrlich, a rheumatologist and an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “People with fibromyalgia do not adapt.”

well, that’s refreshing. we have an article full portrayals of malingerers who sway to the winds of the mighty pharmaceutical companies. and the not-so-subtile, yet entirely predictable rejoinder:

The potential for weight gain is a special concern because many fibromyalgia patients are already overweight: the average fibromyalgia patient in the 2007 survey reported weighing 180 pounds and standing 5 feet 4 inches.

actually, this article almost reads like it could have come out of some 1800’s medical journal commenting on the prevalence of hysteria. although sandwiched into the middle of all of it is some good, undeveloped commentary on the pharmaceutical industry’s role in generating modern definitions of pathology.

New York Times article

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the politics of shame

January 9, 2008 at 8:27 pm (blogging, flamewars, healthcare, mental illness)

there are many contexts in which vigorous conversation leads to a changing viewpoint, or strengthening of an existing viewpoint. sometimes we can take a bit of what the other party presents in a way that, at the very least, gives us a sense of the strength of our convictions. in the feminist community, there are plenty of topical opportunities for this; just look at all the debate stirred up over things like body image and who gets to call themselves a feminist.

but there are some topics that are so charged, so flammable, that it just doesn’t appear that folks can civilly disagree. the post that started here with kactus over at Feministe talking about her relief at getting pharmacological assistance in dealing with her symptoms, quickly escalated into a flamewar. a subsequent post commenting on the contention also escalated quickly.

mental illness is not a politically neutral topic. never has been. Read the rest of this entry »

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hmm, you don’t say

January 3, 2008 at 12:54 am (healthcare, racism)

amazingly enough, doctors give the real painkillers to the pale folk. which kinda sucks if you, you know, aren’t.

at CNN

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