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Archive for July, 2010

CPR

Posted by MDViews on July 7, 2010

Following is an article I wrote several years ago and just revised slightly. I hope you enjoy this story.

Small town medicine is personal. A winter evening splashing and playing with my children at the Friday night YMCA open swim in about 1986 found me using my CPR skills on a 12 year old boy who nearly drown. The frantic shouts of a 17 year old lifeguard pulled my attention away from my children as he hauled the limp body of a young swimmer from the deep part of the pool. In the ensuing chaos, the pool was cleared and I ran to the victim and his rescuer, identifying myself as a doctor. The stark fear and anxiety on the face of the young lifeguard, who couldn’t have been more than 16 years old, eased somewhat as he realized he had done his job and would not have to revive the child. I checked. The lifeless-appearing youngster had a pulse but he was not breathing. I started mouth-to-mouth, thankful for his youth and the light breaths it took to ventilate him. He started to cough and sputter after about 45 seconds. Another minute and he opened his eyes and started to struggle. By the time the ambulance crew arrived, he was dazed, but sitting. I rejoiced that his twelve short years were not his last. He recovered completely.

At church about a week later, a very shy young man said a weak ‘thank you’ and handed me a card as he stood close to his mother. His mother was a single mom who had two sons thankful her youngest son lived through his brush with death. I lost touch after a few years, but that winter evening will be one I’ll not forget.

About four years later, while jogging at the same YMCA, a staff member caught my attention as I rounded near the door.

“A man collapsed in the hall downstairs. A nurse has started CPR. Could you help?” he asked urgently.

I ran down the stairs three at a time (I could do that back then). A large elderly man lay on the hallway floor surrounded by a small crowd. He probably weighed 250lbs with a barrel chest and the type of clothing you would see on a retired farmer from our area. As I moved closer, I could see blood on his face and blood splatter marks on the floor, a result of his hitting the floor. A nurse from the hospital where I worked pumped up and down on his chest, counting “One, two, three, four…” The 911 call went out, but no ambulance crew came for at least 20 minutes. We switched from ventilating to chest compressions and back again as our fatigue increased. Occasionally, we felt for a pulse, but found none. His chest showed a scar from prior open heart surgery. Through her tears, his frail wife told us of his previous two heart bypass operations. By the time the paramedics arrived, we were exhausted. The paramedics were able to start a line, administer medicines and defibrillate him with some success. He left the YMCA with a pulse, but still unconscious. Sweat soaked our clothes as we both caught our breath. I prayed he would survive.

Later, I learned that he lived through the night, but died the next day. His wife sent a thank-you for our efforts.

Medicine takes its toll on medical professionals, none more than doctors and nurses. Although I rarely encounter the dramatic, outside-the-hospital, life-saving resuscitations, I tell these stories to illustrate the emotional roller coaster of medical care; from joyous birth to tragic stillborn, from successful surgery to unexpected cancer, from medical cure to medical mystery and from dramatic interventions to mundane office work. Burnout, job dissatisfaction, alcohol and drug use, divorce, suicide are all risks of this profession. Most doctors just separate themselves from the emotional aspects of medicine and develop a detached aloofness in order to survive.

I’m blessed to find medical practice a job I love and am thankful God called me to medicine. But I am not immune. Sometimes I think of how much more thankful I will be when the roller coaster stops at the gates of glory.

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Ellen Kagan, the Remorselessly Dishonest SCOTUS Nominee. The Smoking Gun Shows Her To Be An Ardent Partial-Birth Abortion Advocate

Posted by MDViews on July 5, 2010

In 1996, the partial-birth abortion debate pushed the American College of OB/GYN (ACOG) for a scientific opinion on this abortion procedure. A statement from ACOG, the preeminent authority in the country on all things OB/GYN, would carry weight with the Congress and the courts. So ACOG assembled a task force of experts to examine the issue and came up with a document stating, “there just aren’t many [circumstances] where use of the partial-birth abortion is the least risky, let alone the ‘necessary,’ approach.” In other words, ample, safe (in their minds) procedures already existed to perform abortion at that advanced stage of pregnancy—the partial-birth abortion was neither safer nor necessary over other, more studied procedures.

The Clinton White House, knowing the influence this document could have, pressured ACOG meet with them. ACOG initially resisted, but then agreed to meet. Ellen Kagan, our current Supreme Court nominee who worked in the White House at the time, wrote in a memo, “For many months, the folks at ACOG had been unwilling to speak with us about the medical issues surrounding the partial birth ban, but Marilyn Yeager convinced them to do so, and this meeting was the result.” Kagan looked at the ACOG statement and wrote, “[it] would be a disaster — not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation.” She knew that any expression of doubt by ACOG would severely undermine the case against the ban. Realizing this, she suggested ACOG soften its medical opinion by changing it to read, “[D&X abortion] may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.”

Her suggestion obviously changed the meaning intended by ACOG. However, as one of the major abortion advocate organizations in the country, ACOG changed their treatise to include her exact wording—no changes—in their final draft.

In response, Kagan wrote, “Bruce [Bruce Reed, her boss] — Here’s the final ACOG statement on partial birth. It turned out a ton better than expected.” She was more than pleased.

Later, she did not hesitate to use this statement as a purely scientific opinion by a medical organization. When Clinton was considering his veto of the partial-birth abortion law which passed Congress, Kagan sent him a memo citing ACOG as an independent scientific body and wrote, “An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman’s particular circumstances can make this decision.” (The phrase includes her contribution.)

This change in wording influenced the courts in large measure. Judge Kopf of the Nebraska court, in striking down the Nebraska law prohibiting partial-birth abortion, cited ACOG and its independence as an expert medical body. He wrote, “Before and during the task force meeting, neither ACOG nor the task force members conversed with other individuals or organizations, including congressmen and doctors who provided congressional testimony, concerning the topics addressed.” His statement was not true. ACOG and the Clinton White House collaborated and both knew that. The judge then cited Kagan’s very language when striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion. The language influenced other courts, Congress and public debate as well.

So, corruption and deceit carried the day. The Clinton White House actively sought and obtained political input on the statement of a scientific body in order bolster support for partial birth abortion. ACOG amended a scientific document to influence public debate and the courts. Both the White House and ACOG deceived the courts by remaining silent on their collaboration. To both groups, the ends clearly justified the means. Neither Kagan nor ACOG has shown remorse. Such duplicitous, naked, bare-knuckled abortion advocacy horrifies me.

Kagan is unfit for the SCOTUS. In fact, she would be unfit for any job in my judgment. What employer would hire a person known to be dishonest without remorse?

ACOG, as a group, should never be trusted on any statement they make regarding abortion. Already, they deny the obvious science showing the negative medical consequences of abortion. Now we see just how far they will go in their advocacy of abortion-on-demand.

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